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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 3: Regional socio-economic asymmetries

Wil Hout and M. A.M. Salih


Chapter 3 focuses on the regional socio-economic asymmetries characterizing African development. It analyses economic growth over time, measured by an increase in gross domestic product (GDP) and per capita GDP, and human development, expressed as improvements in the human condition (education, health and life expectancy). Regional Economic Communities (RECs) differ considerably in terms of their populations and their endowments of land and natural resources. Asymmetries among and within RECs relate to the economic dominance of a few countries, as well as to substantial differences in the achievements on the Human Development Index and the incidence of multidimensional poverty.

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