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          Regional Cooperation and Integration in Sub-Saharan Africa (English)
          Discussion paper by Metzger, Martina/UNCTAD, 2008, 42 pages
          Categories: Emerging Economies and South South Cooperation, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements

          Africa has a long tradition of regional cooperation, its trade and monetary integration schemes being the oldest in the developing world. This paper analyses the state of regional integration with respect to trade and financial relations in selected regional schemes in Central, Southern and West Africa. The paper concludes that in particular regional monetary integration offers advantages in terms of monetary stability, growth, competitiveness, deepening of financial markets and ownership compared with an indiscriminately integration of individual countries into the global economy. Thus, great significance must attached to cooperation between Member States. Although trade and financial integration can be mutually enforcing, a minimum level of regional activities is required to set this process in motion. Until the necessary threshold is achieved, Member States have a vital role in organizing and delivering regional activities, e.g. the development of bond markets or the promotion of production networks.