Regional trade agreements (RTAs)are a significant part of global trade and an important aspect of Africa’s development effort. Also, regional integration provides opportunities for African countries in terms of competitiveness as well as providing the potential to increase trade and services while attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This paper highlights some of the issues related to regional integration in Africa in the context of the immediate past global financial crisis.
It outlines challenges and thoughts towards strengthening and deepening this process for far-reaching development outcomes now and for the future. It links regional integration to financial and monetary reforms within regional trade arrangements across Africa, and particularly highlights the potential for regional integration to facilitate financial reform as well as improving the investment climate for trade in the African region. This brief was a contribution toward the UNCTAD - United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Public Symposium 2011