Supporting Regional Integration Processes
Support for regional integration in Sub-Saharan Africa is a priority avenue for French cooperation. Building regional economic clusters is one way of responding to the risk of marginalisation which States face, making it possible for them to assert their rights during major international negotiations, in particular as part of Economic Partnership Agreements (APE) with the European Union. The regional framework also creates “leverage” for reforms, which are sometimes difficult to apply at the national level. It is often the best-suited local level for implementing certain sector-specific strategies (transport, energy, food safety, etc.) needed in the fight against poverty. Lastly, regional and cross-border dynamics are a factor for stability and conflict prevention between States.
France supports these processes, governed by a determined, partnership-based approach, by working to strengthen the institutional structures in place (CEMAC, UEMOA, CEDEAO, COMESA, EAC, SADC[1[Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), Economic Community of West African States (CEDEAO), Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).]]). It also contributes to taking integration deeper by harmonising standards. Lastly, it supports organisations dedicated to specific themes, taking action at the regional level, in the fields of corporate law, statistics, insurance and social foresight, where action can have a positive influence on regional integration.