REFRAMING THE NOTION OF REGIONAL INTEGRATION IN SUBSAHARAN AFRICA: WHAT ROLE FOR CIVIL SOCIETY?

Daniel Nkosinathi Mlambo

Abstract


From an Afrocentric perspective, the notion of regional integration has over the years has received much scholarly attention and debate(s) from scholars, practitioners, heads of states and civil society alike. Such notion is drawn from the fact that colonialism by erstwhile European colonizers brought with it dire effects on most African states lack of development and economic growth prospects. In this vein, post the colonial era, regional integration was regarded as a perfect blueprint if most Africa states were to rise from their development doldrums. Since the demise of colonialism, a lot has been done by African heads of states, continental organizations and Regional Economic Communities (RECs). However, there has been the notion that not much has been done to promote the role of civil society in Sub-Saharans Africa’s (SSA) regional integration endeavours. The objective of this article is to delve on the role of civil society in SubSaharans Africa’s regional integration frameworks and how it (civil society) can currently and in the future supplement the work done by other continental organizations towards realizing the gains of regional integration.

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