The Principal Policy Adviser, Capacity Development Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Mr Joseph Atta-Mensah, has underscored the need for cohesion between the African Union (AU) and all regional blocks, to make integration possible.
He said the lack of cohesion had resulted in seeming differences on the same subject, which impacted on integration of the African continent.
Mr Atta-Mensah, was delivering the introductory remarks at the opening of a three-day colloquium on Africa’s economic integration organised by the UN Economic Commission for Africa and Third World Network-Africa, a pan-African research and advocacy organisation based in Accra, on the theme “Africa’s Economic Integration: Strengthening Internal Coherence and Resilience to External Challenges” on Tuesday.
“Regional integration is important and there is currently no link between what the African Union is pursuing in terms of regional integration and that of the different regional economic blocks on the continent. Therefore there is a need to establish that coherence between the AU and the various regional blocks,” he said.
The UNECA Policy Adviser said decisions that even the heads of state took at the AU were not replicated in the regional block or at the country level, so it appeared there were differences on the same issue, such as differences on policies from country to the regional and to the AU.
He said there was an affront on free movement of people on the continent and that the political imperative of regional integration should not be lost on everybody, although there was now more emphasis on economic integration.