Mark Malloch Brown: The EU can be the model for a future of African integration

Share
Related Topics

The world's economic storm has hit and it has shown us that while sub- Saharan Africa's nascent globalisation has brought huge benefits, these benefits are fragile and global integration can all too easily take back what it gives. Indeed, critics of globalisation might argue that it's no longer the case that Africa is doing well because of globalisation: Africa, they might claim, is surviving despite globalisation.

The global recession has re-ignited the perennial crisis of faith, or direction, in African development. Should it be trade, not aid, for the developing world? Has aid failed, and should it be replaced by private investment even as private flows fall?

In truth these are not the choices they are posed as. Aid, trade and investment are all needed. They are mutually dependent, and no one must drive out the other. But I would pose a different challenge for Africa during this recession. Use the opportunity of the crisis to speed up the process of regional integration: economically, in terms of trade and infrastructure; politically, in terms of institutions and the African Union; and socially and culturally, in terms of Africa's impact on the world stage and its sense of solidarity at home.

The way to seize the opportunity is this: it is for Africa – its leaders, policy makers, civil society, businessmen and women – to make a collective investment in building Africa-wide markets and institutions. If Africa is to weave the social safety nets that lift its people out of poverty, if Africa is to build the businesses that give its people jobs, if Africa is to deepen democracy to put sovereignty firmly in the hands of its people then it's through a regional push that it will get there.

But let me be clear that this is not a veiled call for a united states of Africa, but rather like the EU using economic integration and regional institutions as the vehicles for national success. This is my response to the false choices of aid versus trade versus private investment. The real choice is building an Africa of competitive global scale in both markets and institutions. And that regional integration will take both public and private leadership and effort.



Taken from a speech – 'Africa: Weathering the Storm' by the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, Foreign and Commonwealth Office at Chatham House; www.chathamhouse.org

Podium

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Editor's Letter: The rules were simple: before the results are announced, don’t mention the S-word

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Howard Jacobson has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for the second time  

In praise of Howard Jacobson

Simon Kelner
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week