Walsh School of Foreign Service

INAF 373- Intra-African Cooperation

There has been a recent resurgence in inter-state cooperation in Africa on security and economic issues. These developments have brought a new focus to regional economic communities as well as continent-wide organizations like the African Union and the African Development Bank. This raises two important questions: (1) what explains the observed patterns of inter-state cooperation on security, trade, and investment in Africa? ; and (2) under what conditions has inter-state cooperation yielded results in the attempt to provide “African solutions to African problems?” This class will examine how the need to cooperate on security and economic matters is driving inter-state cooperation in Africa. The goal of the class is to systematically interrogate the logic of inter-state cooperation in the region, and the workings of key sub-regional and continental organizations. Terrorist organizations like al-Shabaab, AQIM, and Boko Haram, as well as ongoing civil conflict in a number of countries, present new challenges to African states, and have forced them to seek regional approaches to deal with the emerging security threats. Why do some African states seek international assistance in the face of security threats while others do not? And what is the impact of regional organizations on state development in Africa? At the same time, Africa has over a dozen regional economic communities, with each country being a member of at least two. Yet at 12%, intra-Africa trade is among the lowest of any region in the word. If Africa’s borders are artificial, why are they so impervious to trade? How has regional economic cooperation impacted intra-Africa trade and general mobility of goods, services, and people? The class will pay special attention to ongoing interstate infrastructure projects under the NEPAD initiative; as well as the main political and economic communities such as the African Union, ECOWAS, the EAC, SADC, and COMESA.