Outcome Statement of the “Joining up Africa: Regional Integration” conference – 4th March 2010, London

1. The African Union Commission (AUC), Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), in line with the Resolutions of the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government, reaffirm that accelerating regional integration is essential for growth and development of Africa.

2. The African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank (WB), the European Commission (EC), the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Department for International Development (DFID) [plus other agencies that also want to sign] recognise the urgent need to strengthen and enhance support for economic integration in Africa.

3. As Africa begins to recover from the impact of the global economic crisis, regional solutions are more important than ever in creating jobs, unlocking economies of scale and restoring long term growth in Africa.

4. We recognise that the successful implementation of this process will require close cooperation of all the relevant African stakeholders1.

5. On the development partners side the AfDB; EC; WB and DFID are profoundly committed to supporting this process. The development partners, working together with all the relevant Africa partners, are committed to ensure that their current multiyear regional financial commitments, which total over $6 billion, are used for the greatest effect. Furthermore the partners commit to efforts to mobilise additional resources to support economic integration and to work to achieve sustained and predictable multi year financing

6. At the Joining up Africa conference in London on 4 March 2010 the African Partners (AUC, RECs and UNECA) and the Development partners (AfDB, WB, EC, WTO and DFID) held discussions that focused on four critical areas and committed themselves to:.

6.1. Accelerate the successful implementation of regional transport; trade, energy and other infrastructure programmes as well as resolving current constraints and non-tariff barriers. They committed to review progress against this at the next meeting of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA). They further committed to;

  • Strengthen links between regional and national level programmes, including greater alignment of national plans to regional priorities and mainstreaming regional policy issues into national level dialogue
  • Strengthening implementation agency capacity
  • Ensuring more realistic implementation sequencing and implementation periods
  • Improved implementation of current trade agreements and increased collaboration on power

6.2. Ensure that the private sector is more effectively engaged in supporting regional integration by addressing barriers, including:

  • Provision of policy and operational support to help governments promote competitiveness and improve investment climates
  • Fostering successful knowledge sharing on regional public private partnerships and working to resolve uncertainty and lack of clarity therein.
  • Earlier engagement with business on project identification and development, including exploring opportunities to develop platforms for business to engage with RECs on project pipeline. And that they know how to access these;
  • Developing local private sector capacity to engage on economic integration and project implementation;
  • Continued innovation of financial and insurance products to support private investment in Africa, including enhanced guarantees, risk sharing mechanisms and enclave lending.

6.3. Improve the effectiveness of support for regional integration by ensuring that the key principles enshrined in the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action should be applied regionally. In particular they committed themselves to work with other African and development partners including the OECD Development Assistance Committee over the next [18] months on developing further the proposed set of specific proposals set out in the Annex to ensure effective ownership; alignment; harmonisation; results management and mutual accountability for all development partner support for regional integration. They are committed to secure agreement to a full set of proposals at the high level event in Seoul in [September] 2011. As part of the road to Seoul, they will develop these principles, particularly in the context of existing good practice such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)-East African Community (EAC)-Southern African Development Community (SADC) Tripartite Task Force, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional Poverty Reduction Plan, the SADC Windhoek Declaration and the four regional programmes agreed at the ICA meeting in Tunis in September 2009. These will be taken to and offered as case studies at the Seoul High Level Forum in 2011. This will be considered and taken forward at the ICA meeting in May and AfDB aid effectiveness meeting scheduled for September.

6.4. In the context of the Libreville AU/RECs recommendations and AU Heads of State and Government Resolution, that welcomed the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Framework and urged other RECs to establish similar arrangements as way of fast tracking the establishment of the AEC, give support to the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite process as well as encourage and give support to the AU and other RECs in implementing similar arrangements.

Agreed in London, United Kingdom on this 4th day of March 2010.

Signed by:

Oby Ezekwesili
Vice President for Africa, World Bank

Abdoulie Janneh
Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa

Donald Kaberuka
President Africa Development Bank

Pascal Lamy
Director General, World Trade Organisation

Juma Mwapatchu
Chairman of the COMESA – EAC – SADC Tripartite and Secretary General of the East African Community

Erastus Mwencha
Deputy Chair of Africa Union Commission

Andris Piebalgs
Development Commissioner, EU/EC

Gareth Thomas
Minister of State for International Development, DFID UK

Read more information on the conference here.

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