Announcement in Brief
|Type:||Short Term Course|
|Programme Area:||Intégration régionale et commerce|
|Beginning of the course:||1 March 2021|
|Language:||Bilingual (English & French)|
|Location:||Web Based E-Learning|
|Fee:||Covered by UNECA|
|Application Deadline:||22 February 2021|
|Specific target audience:||No|
The need to have accurate and updated data in virtually all areas is paramount to making informed choices and evaluating alternatives. Thus, in assessing and monitoring regional integration in Africa, relevant decision-making requires skills not only in assessing regional integration but also in understanding its various components.
Furthermore, the dramatic effects of COVID-19 point out the need for enhanced production of African finished goods and services that can be easily traded on the continent and thus this COVID-19 crisis provides an impetus to accelerate African regional integration.
The United Nation Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have produced the African Regional Integration Index (ARII), which is a tool for measuring and evaluating regional integration on the continent. It assesses the progress of regional integration in five areas of economic and social integration and offers many opportunities for use in policy formulation, analysis and targeted policy measures in relation to Aid for Trade and other areas.
Of particular importance, of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Country business index (ACBI) aims to measure the implementation of the AfCFTA and how it actually affects businesses. The developmental impact of the AfCFTA, including gender dimensions and implications for vulnerable groups have been taken into account. According to the 2020 ACBI final pilot report of UNECA, the dimensions of the index are Good restrictiveness and costs, Investment and services restrictiveness, African FTA knowledge and use and Business environment. Otherwise, a first version of ARII has been produced at 2016, it assesses the progress of regional integration in five areas of economic and social integration (Trade Integration Productive Integration, Macroeconomic Integration, Infrastructural Integration, Free Movement of People) The second edition of the Africa Regional Integration Index (2019 ARII) is built to address some limitations of the first one. The most significant change is that the 2019 ARII ranks African countries not only in their respective regional economic communities (RECs) (as ARII 2016) but also within the African continent.
The 2019 ARII report highlighted essential recommendations that help to accelerate regional integration. Specifically, within the five regional integration dimensions, the continent is performing poorly on productive and infrastructural integration. These two dimensions are very important for the other three dimensions (trade, macroeconomics and movement of people) to function properly. To improve productive integration, the report recommends prioritising the development of regional value chains and technological advancement, among others.
Due to COVID19, a number of African economies are under severe strain. Economic activity has been disrupted with key sectors bearing the brunt of the pandemic. Mastering the tools to monitor regional integration, specifically ARII and ACBI present opportunities to speed up Africa’s integration agenda, especially the implementation of the AfCFTA.
The major goal of this online course is to create a pool of experts in the assessment of African regional integration. Specifically, the course aims at deepening the knowledge of participants on the Africa Regional Integration Index. With this capacity building program, participants will be able to track progress made by African countries on regional integration goals within their regional economic communities (RECs) and across Africa and also to evaluate five dimensions of regional integration for the 54 African countries and for the eight RECs recognised by the AU. Also with ARII, participants will be able to identify strengths and weaknesses for each of the 54 African countries and the 8 RECs within its five dimensions of regional integration.