Regional integration of the continent, which is not always understood in Mauritius, has been dreamed by many African leaders and led to the creation in 1963, the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
Despite being a member of SADC or COMESA, Mauritius is an African country, but away from African concerns. Faced with the continuing decline in demand from its main market, Europe, the map of regional integration, is wild, because it can promote intra-regional trade among member countries.
The Abuja Treaty lays the foundation for the creation of the African Economic Community (AEC), in which the economies of Member States of the AU (African Union) will be fully integrated. The objective of the ACS is to transform the 54 African economies in a single economy and monetary union with a single currency and free movement of capital and labor. As stipulated in the Constitutive Act, the political leadership of the continent wants to have in place an African Central Bank, an African Monetary Fund and African Investment Bank when the ACS is fully operational. This implies that Africa as a whole, must have gone through all the stages of integration.
The Daily Challenge is a presentation of African regional integration in the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, last week. The speaker, Peter Draper, Trade Research Fellow and Project Head of the Development, explained that "regional integration is currently only a partial solution to promote economic growth in Africa." This is because of the disparity between the different African countries. Some countries are still in the underdeveloped economy.
Peter Draper also had reservations about a single currency for Africa or SADC as a block. "I do not think it will be possible, as this could affect the competitiveness of some countries." Including Mauritius, which has always had a lower rupee against major currencies. Tax harmonization could also disadvantage the country, as it has always been to 'low tax diet'.
Even if it is still in its infancy, it would seem that the economic model to follow will be South Africa. Thus, for example, different economies should index their currencies to the Rand.
Another obstacle to the establishment of a single economic block is whether some countries several blocks. Of the 26 COMESA member countries, the Community of East African and SADC countries, 17 are either in a customs union and negotiate the creation of a customs union different from that to which they belong, as currently negotiate the creation of two different customs unions.
Due to a convergence disparate, Peter Draper believes, however, that a single economic bloc should take at least a quarter century. Does Maurice wait or she will continue to go it alone to protect against adverse effects of a global economy at half-mast?