Trade Forum Features

Regional integration is key to Africa’s growth

17 February 2016
ITC News
Dignified, educated and healthy people are
at the heart of rationale for greater economic
integration in Africa

Deeper integration of regional economic communities through increased trade facilitation, value addition and increased connectivity are central to sustainable growth and development.

For Rwanda, deeper and closer economic integration within the East African Community (EAC) and the rest of Africa is opening up new trade and investment opportunities. In an increasingly interconnected world characterized by strong competition in product and service markets, countries and economic opportunities need to work together to attract more domestic and foreign capital.

Though the private sector plays a vital role in building a strong regional economy, legal and physical barriers still hinder the potential for global growth. It is our responsibility as policymakers to remove those barriers. Within the EAC we have already made great strides to remove barriers to the free movement of goods, people, labour, services, capital and information and technology across borders. This has facilitated and increased transactions across the region while lowering costs. Today, the EAC is larger and more attractive than the mere sum of its parts.


Rwanda’s vision of a dignified, healthy, well educated, secure and prosperous people is strongly embedded in the EAC and African Union vision. Regional and international integration is a central part of the transformative agenda that guides Rwandans from all paths of life in the delivery of public goods and personal advancement as enshrined in our vision.

In the past two decades, Rwanda and the EAC have come a long way in opening up to the world and building a sustainable growth path. Rwanda will continue to be at the forefront of bringing people and businesses together, and deepen its engagement with the EAC and other African countries. This mindset continues to prove beneficial in accelerating prosperity not only for Rwandans, our neighbours and Africa as a whole – it is one concrete way of ensuring the economic dignity for millions of Africans across the continent.