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A Political Economy of African Regionalisms

An Overview of Asymmetrical Development

Wil Hout and M. A.M. Salih

This book analyses the main factors influencing the political economy of Africa’s asymmetrical regionalism, focusing on regional and sub-regional trade, investment, movement of people, goods and services. It pays particular attention to the way in which regional and sub-regional dynamics are impacted by extra-regional relations, such with the EU, US, China and India. Because African regionalism is influenced not only by economic processes, peace and security are also analysed as important factors shaping both regional and sub-regional relations and dynamics.
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Chapter 2: Evolution of African regionalisms

Wil Hout and M. A.M. Salih


Chapter 2 discusses the history of African regionalism from the Organization of African Unity to the African Union (AU). The chapter explores the architecture of African regional institutions, particularly the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), as the building blocks for African unity, regional integration and peace and security. The proposed establishment of the African Economic Community in the 1990s is discussed in detail, because this offers insights into the process of setting up the Regional Economic Communities. Further, it is emphasized that issues of peace and security, and governance and democracy, play an important role both at the continental level (in relation to the AU) and at the regional level (in relation to the RECs).

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