Mo Ibrahim Foundation, CoDA want regional integration as priority in 2011

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The Mo Ibrahim Foundation on Monday joined the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) to urge leaders from the continent to make regional economic integration a priority in 2011.

As African leaders continued with discussions on various issues at the 16th African Union (AU) ordinary summit under here, the Foundation and CoDA convened a side meeting with some heads of state and government to discuss the challenges and obstacles facing greater economic integration and strategies for overcoming.

The focus on regional economic integration follows from a forum on the topic convened by the Foundation in Mauritius in November 2010, where political, business and civil society leaders from across Africa agreed on an action plan to move regional economic integration forward.

Former Botswana president Festus Mogae, who chairs CoDA, thanked the heads of state and government for their participation in and support for the Coalition.

“Regional integration is an area of particular interest to CoDA. We are discussing and exploring ways CoDA could help to advance the agenda by investigating how the financing of regional integration could, and should, be up-scaled, in particular, through the use of innovative and wide-ranging modalities,” he said.

Joining in calls for increased action towards greater economic integration, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, founder and chair of the Foundation said, “It is time for us to accept that in a globalised marketplace, many African countries are sub-scale, are economically nonviable.

"The regional economic integration of Africa is vital if we are to survive, let alone compete. The GDP of all of Africa is less than that of Brazil. It is time to wake up.”

The Foundation and CoDA continue to work with stakeholders on the agreed action plan to pursue increased economic integration.
-0- PANA AR/SEG 31Jan2011

31 january 2011 12:36:43




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