Challenges and prospects of regional integration in Africa: a case study of Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
Mekonnen, Sirak Feleke.
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This study explored and assessed the challenges of regional integration in the Horn of Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). IGAD, like all the other Sub-regional and Regional Economic Communities (RECs), is considered as the fundamental pillar for African development and continental economic integration. IGAD’s efforts integrate regionally is meant to address economic, social and political challenges by engaging and coordinating efforts of all the regional member states. The aim is to enhance regional development under the umbrella of the African Union. This study thus examined the challenges and opportunities of this initiative, its theoretical underpinnings and in the process explored the specific trajectories of IGAD to determine its role in the regional integration endeavor. By examining the above, this study explored IGAD’s institutional structures and arrangements, its programmes of action and implementation. In the main, two namely, the economic and security dimensions that have dominated IGAD’s agenda have remained the focal point of the study. Last part not least, this study probed into two cases of IGAD’s interventions that have been noticeable: the cases of Somalia and South Sudan. Thus, this study argues the successes achieved thus far remain rather ambivalent as manifested by the low and uneven positive outcomes. Arguably, this is due to the interplay of complex factors ranging from the political economy of global and regional dynamics, historical formation of the regional states and the geographical challenges in the IGAD region. In light of the above, this study recommends that the institutional capacity of IGAD and its members states needs not only to improve to meet developmental and security challenges but also to provide constructive and permanent solutions in the Horn of Africa.