The Mo Ibrahim Foundation joined with the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA), have urged leaders from across Africa to make regional economic integration a priority in 2011.
A statement issued by the Foundation and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Monday said as the heads of state and governments gathered for the 16th African Union Summit (in Addis Ababa), the Foundation and CoDA had convened a meeting with the heads of state to discuss the challenges and obstacles facing greater economic integration and strategies for overcoming.
It said the meeting focussed on regional economic integration followed from the Forum on the topic convened by the Foundation in Mauritius in November where political, business and civil society leaders from across Africa agreed on an action plan to move regional economic integration forward.
The statement quoted Festus Mogae, Chairperson of CoDA and former President of Botswana as saying, “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.”
It 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 unviable.
“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 statement said the Foundation and CoDA would continue to work with stakeholders on the agreed action plan to pursue increased economic integration.
Established in 2006, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation aims to support good governance and great leadership in Africa.
The CoDA is a new, independent, international, African-owned forum that identifies and discusses issues of importance to Africa’s development within a global context.