1st Seminar of the African Development Agenda

DEVELOPMENT - Jul 3, 2009

On 29 June, Castell de Castellet, the headquarters of the Abertis Foundation, was the venue for the first seminar of the African Development Agenda (ADA), titled “Regional Integration in Africa: achievements and prospects”.

Description

On 29 June, Castell de Castellet, the headquarters of the Abertis Foundation, was the venue for the first seminar of the African Development Agenda (ADA), titled “Regional Integration in Africa: achievements and prospects”. This first meeting brought to the debating table the need to return to a “traditional agenda” of development that includes an increase in production and industrial capacity, in addition to social instruments based on solidarity (gender equality, health, education), in contrast to the trade openness models that have been prioritised until now. Economic resources represent a serious limitation for the national application of regional commitments, but emphasis has been placed on the importance of continuing along the path of institutional strengthening, while acknowledging the central role of the State in the design and monitoring of policy and in the decision-making processes.

For the first time in Catalonia, specialists came together (from the fields of both academia and politics) from different countries in sub-Saharan Africa (including South Africa, Zambia, Sudan, Senegal, Madagascar) to present their works, research and ideas on regional integration processes on the continent, and to answer the questions of those attending the event, thus creating an interesting debate that covered different issues and helped the audience to understand both the successes that have been achieved to date, and the ongoing ones of the present day.

The addresses were structured into three panels. The first of these presented the historical background of regional integration processes on the continent, revealing the multiplicity and overlap of the different initiatives in this area. Likewise, the panellists stressed that the trade issue has until now been the priority, at the expense of many other factors that are decisive in achieving a suitable process of regional integration for development. The second panel analysed the implications that these processes have for economic growth and development, and advocated the promotion of factors linked with security, institutional reform, skills creation and industrialisation policy. Finally, the third panel reviewed the mechanisms for the application of regional agreements on a national scale, while highlighting the limitations that result from economic and institutional constrictions.

The CIDOB Foundation and Casa Africa, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), were responsible for promoting this, the first initiative of the African Development Agenda (ADA), thereby creating an arena for reflecting and analysing, on a regular basis, different fundamental aspects of development on this continent.

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>> Documento: Síntesis del Seminario

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