Conversation with doctor Francis IKOME

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Conversation with doctor Francis IKOME

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Conversation with doctor Francis IKOME, Chief of the Regional Integration Section (RIS) in the Regional Integration and Trade Division (RITD)  at the  United Nations Economic Commission for Africa


“Overcoming the Challenges of Regional Trade Integration: What Solutions for Africa?”

Tuesday, March 7, 2023, from 2:30-3:30 pm (Cameroon time)

Via  Zoom, link here

  1. Background

Africa is the only region in the world with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty (World Bank, 2020). This number represents about 60% of the world’s extremely poor, and is expected to reach 90% in 2030, compared to 15% in 1990 (World Bank, 2019). The high concentration of extreme poverty across the continent has become worrisome because it creates numerous and significant disparities between the different countries and limits Africa’s chances of reaching the much hoped-for level of development as well as the economic integration process. Although the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) have been created, this situation persists and economic integration has remained on the sidelines. In an effort to ensure greater effectiveness of the African Union in achieving Agenda 2063 of “the Africa we want”, African policymakers decided to develop another tool to monitor and measure regional integration that is more transparent and enables to take into account the objectives of the Abuja Treaty, Agenda 2063 and the RECs’ treaties (AUC, 2020). Indeed, after the creation of the African Regional Integration Index (ARII) in 2016, there was concern that it did not comprehensively capture and assess the various aspects of regional integration in Africa due to its minimal dimensions. Therefore, the Africa Union in collaboration with the RECs, the Association of Central Banks and National Statistical Agencies, developed in 2020, the Multidimensional Index of African Regional Integration (AMRII). The AMRII aims to strengthen the assessment of the regional integration process in Africa, which is composed of eight dimensions and 33 indicators and now serves as a basic tool for assessing the integration process in the RECs. According to the 2020 AMRII report, this new index indicates that the average level of progress of the RECs is not in line with the progress required to effectively lead the African integration process and cannot provide opportunities for transformative and inclusive growth. However, for the African Union, the RECs would still have the capacity to effectively participate in the realization of an African Economic Community and achieve the goal of a united, prosperous, peaceful and vocal Africa in the concert of nations.

  1. Objective of the forum

The main objective of this conversation is to discuss strategies to facilitate bilateral and multilateral trade in Africa over the next ten years. Specifically, it will be about:

  • Discussing on ways to accelerate real trade integration in Africa at the sub-regional, regional and continental levels;
  • Discussing on strategies to make African countries attractive and competitive in foreign trade within the framework of the AfCFTA;
  • Discussing on priority measures to be implemented by African countries to conquer markets with high development potential.
  1. Outcome of the forum

Africa’s RECs are enlightened on the role they should play in facilitating the regional economic integration process under the AfCFTA.

  1. Target audience

The event targets international trade experts, development partners, policy makers, entrepreneurs, traders, academics, and members of civil society.

  1. Format event

The event will be online and will be streamed live on the Foretia Foundation’s social media platforms.

  1. Contact

Email: [email protected] / Tel: (+237) 654 86 72 54

The event is finished.


Mar 07 2023


2:30 PM - 3:30 PM


Zoom Online
Nkafu Policy Institute


Nkafu Policy Institute
+237 654 86 72 54
[email protected]

Catalyzing Africa’s Economic Transformation



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