Concept Note on GENDER/Regional Integration Roundtable
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The gender unit of TWN-
Regional economic integration in Africa has been a long-
At the basis of all the different conceptions are contestations about the nature of Africa’s economic challenges and the specific issues that need to be addressed for Africa’s development. They also have implications for the way in which questions of gender equity are addressed.
In this perspective, issues of political processes, including institutions and participation in decision-
Among the substantive issues that will be looked at are various ingredients of economic integration as contained in the variety of formulas available on the continent ranging from the push to full economic union as embodied in groupings such as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to the proposed integration of economic sectors as represented by the Community of Sahel-
The meeting will be organised over two days around a set of papers.
The following range of issues will be addressed: theories/paradigms of regional integration, existing practices and policy as carried out and/or promoted by key actors within the African regional integration processes, the external/global environment and its influence on regional integration, as well the adequacy or otherwise of these from the perspectives of structural economic change and gender equity. Topics will include
a) Conceptual issues in regional integration:
(i)Contested paradigms of economic integration, structural transformation and equity
(ii) Issues of gender equity and indicators of gender-
b) Policy and practice
(i) The features of regional integration within the Regional Economic Communities in Africa. Papers will combine exploration of:
(a) the features of regional integration which are common to the RECs, and
(b) those features which are peculiar to the RECs and arise from the origins and driving motives for their formation
(The topics suggested below aim to explore those features common to all RECs, but which are most glaringly operative in one REC)
2. SADC: Regional integration and dynamics of a regional hegemon
3. COMESA …Common Market versus Common Economy?
4. Maghreb: regional integration from outside…A Region defined by FTAs with Europe and America, in the absence of a grouping for the region.
ii) Policy formulated by: AU/ECA, RECs
c) The World Bank, ADB and the financing of regional integration
(This will explore the operations of key institutions which affect the regional integration practices and policies in Africa: e.g. the lending and financing policies of IFIs).
d) The international trade regime and regional integration
The meeting aims to:
(a) discuss issues in regional integration and gender, and explore the approaches that can advance structural economic change and gender equity;
(b) Develop an agenda of issues for further research;
(c) Create a ‘loose network’ of scholars and activists for periodic engagement around policy issues thrown up by regional integration.
20 participants including scholars, feminist economists, gender experts, and officials from policy making institutions
1) Information dissemination on issues of African and Southern interest;
2) Research which has policy relevance to struggles for economic and social justice and sustainable development; and
3) Campaigning and advocacy around policy issues, in collaboration with partners throughout Africa and also in the rest of the world, especially the South. TWN-
Through its programme areas -
The Political Economy Unit’s work is united around the issues of trade, investment and Africa’s economic development needs in the era of the new international trade and investment regime. The unit seeks to: make the international trade and investment regime, including the WTO respond more sensitive to the needs of African countries; promote equity in international trade and investment; and develop a framework for Africa’s developmental agenda.
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AREAS OF WORK
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|AFRICAN TRADE AGENDA|
|GENDER & ECONOMIC POLICY|
|ENVIRONMENTAL & MINING AGENDA|
|REPORTS & PRESENTATIONS|
|TRADE & DEVELOPMENT|
|MINING & DEVELOPMENT|
|GENDER & DEVELOPMENT|