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IGAD’s stalled success and African Economic Community prospects



IGAD’s stalled success and African Economic Community prospects
*Ethiopia’s reluctance still main predicament for regional integration


By Yosief Abraham Z

Almost completed assessment by experts on African economy prospects asserts that IGAD has been ranked the least economically and culturally integrated block from Africa. IGAD—a regional organization of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)—was established on 25 November of 1996 in Djibouti thus to facilitate the path for African Economic Community.

Thus, based on the June 3 of 1991 endorsement by members of the IGAD to the Abuja, Nigeria, Treaty, IGAD member countries should have completed the third stage by declaring free trade areas and regional custom union regulations. Unfortunately, Ethiopia’s reluctance for the demarcation of the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia has entered the region to quagmires of dragged regional integration. Ethiopia’s intensive campaigns in leveling its anti-role against Asmara left another vacuum in the efforts to facilitate possibilities for healthy economic cooperation in the region

Worse than the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), IGAD member countries have been dragged far beyond other blocks. In addition to the stalemate between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the last country that joined IGAD—South Sudan—has also been in its own factions of political and economic instability, another predicament for Horn Africa.

With the lowest per capita in comparing with other regional blocks in Africa-- for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are leading—IGAD has still been crippled from organizing its member countries into united economy power. Still this time, East African Community and the Economic Community of Central African States has been successful in finalizing stage one and two stages and are progressing modestly for achieving the third stage, a transition for wide continental economy integration.

Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland—under the auspice of the Southern African Customs Union—have also been progressing self-effacingly.

On this matter, Ethiopia’s defiance to witness demarcated border with Eritrea has been the main impediment. South-Sudanese unassailable-seem political chaos, weak policies of North Sudan on regional and international affairs, defragmented Somalia’s priorities and its repercussions on Kenya and Uganda, Nile basin complications, Ethiopia’s recklessness because of ‘language-ethnic’ federalism…have, therefore, assaulted IGAD’s possibility to follow the paths of other typical regional blocks in the continent.
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Yosief Abraham Z is a freelance journalist and Executive Director of HorMid Media and Art Center. You can contact him at josiabraham29@gmail.com
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