Since the cold war, regionalism and regional economic integration have been at the top of the global themes discussed in the international and regional fora. The European Union (EU) market integration triggered this trend; customs unions and free trade areas (FTAs) continue increasing and expanding in developed and developing countries. All African states participate in at least one of the eight Regional Economic Communities (REC). This dream of regional and continental cooperation has been the primary topic for African heads of state since 1963, with limited acknowledgment of effective regional integration. This doctoral study focused on the Greater Horn of Africa region, composed of eight neighboring countries with many interrelated pursuits and challenges. The Intergovernmental Authority on Development IGAD was founded in 1996 to supersede the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) founded in 1986. The current IGAD mandate is to promote joint development strategies at the regional level that can gradually develop into full regional cooperation and integration. The study was persistent on regional economic cooperation and integration in the extent to which regional Integration has been achieved within IGAD and its alignment with the African multidimensional regional integration index (AMRII). Examined the challenges and advance policy recommendations that can be used to accelerate regional integration within IGAD and how the regional integration experience of IGAD informs the way forward for a new paradigm of regional cooperation and integration in the region. The study deeply discussed and analyzed the regional economic cooperation and integration and the situation of IGAD as an organization. The study employed a descriptive research design with mixed methods that are quantitative and qualitative by analyzing inter-state and intra-regional cooperation and economic integration interventions.
IGAD and its member states are struggling with many interrelated challenges, which hinder the effectiveness of creating regional economic cooperation and integration. These include limited political trustworthiness among member states, the overlapping IGAD membership in more than one REC, and the absence of minimizing and abolishing inter-state quantitative and administrative restrictions on trade among the member states. Therefore, a paradigm shift in the functioning and performance of IGAD is an urgent necessity if the institution intends to achieve its main regional integration objectives. Policies and agendas that do not resonate well with Member States and their citizens do not augur well. There is a need for member states citizens to take part in what is being molded as the regional policy or agenda. Overall, the study contributes significantly to the new paradigm shift of implementing regional cooperation in the economic and political aspects and authorizing regional institutions (IGAD) to achieve regional integration, sustainable peace, and development agendas. The study recommended revising and upgrading the Establishment Treaty in 1996 to re-engineer the regional authority (IGAD) to suit present member states’ needs, requirements, and expectations and align the treaty of the African Economic Community (AEC).
All African states participate in one of the eight regional building blocks. The African Regional Integration Index published by the African Economic Commission (AEC) every two years shows that IGAD is one of the least progressive regional economic communities (REC), as it performs the minor rank in accordance with the African Multidimensional Regional Integration Index (AMRII).
This doctoral study aimed to illustrate regional economic cooperation and development as a desirable future integration that can bring faster economic development and regional stability to member states. Hence, this study highlighted the importance of enhancing IGAD as a formidable regional economic development authority that would go overboard and bring sustainable, inclusive cooperation development. The evolution of different strategies adopted by IGAD since its inception in 1986 is worth examining for future projections. This will ensure that the institution avoids what has been obvious or the status quo to embrace new ways of doing things. The study brings out the comparative advantage and critical strengths of IGAD over other regional economic development instructions, such as COMESA and EAC, with which it shares member states.
This doctoral study contributes to the knowledge and understanding needed to improve regional economic cooperation and integration to achieve sustainable peace and development. It also indicates the institutions and structures needed to implement regional-owned and driven economic and political integration processes effectively. Overall, this doctoral study proposed a paradigm shift in how IGAD will effectively and efficiently achieve its regional integration objectives and where it can be started. This will help IGAD make a conscious paradigm shift from traditional cooperation and regional collaboration in aligning Africa’s economic community treaty. This study will show how best the commitment from regional states can be demonstrated by aligning their national development plan to reflect the regional authority priorities and the continental vision 1963 to better trace performance across the indicators proposed at output and outcome levels. Therefore, this study achieved the following objectives: Evaluated the extent to which regional Integration has been achieved within IGAD; Examined the extent to which regional integration within IGAD aligns with AMRII; Examined the challenges and advance policy recommendations that can be used to accelerate regional integration within IGAD; Determined the effect of Member States belonging to multiple RECs and subscribing to different policy and regulatory frameworks on IGAD’s performance; and Examined how the regional integration experience of IGAD informs the way forward for a new paradigm of regional cooperation and integration in the region.
1.1. Problem Statement
The regional cooperation and integration aim of the IGAD establishment agreement has a noble intention of bringing about integrated regional economic development for the welfare of all citizens; this is not without challenges and setbacks. The external and internal obstructions have stood in the way caused IGAD to fail in the eyes of the member states and their citizens and demoralize the stakeholders. Also, the regional strategies and sectoral strategic plans implemented by IGAD have been challenging. These failures have diminished member states’ commitment to IGAD’s supra-national authority goals. This region has tremendous problems, including structural inefficiencies, which means the regional authority’s capacity to facilitate profound regional cooperation and integration intents and limited political commitment from the member states.
Regarding structural inefficiency, the leadership was poorly rotational, as one chairperson has been at the helm for about ten years with minimal new inputs to the regional authority. Only those countries in the leadership are fully committed to the regional block, while other member states are silently not supporting it. On this premise, they seek membership in other RECs that offer better benefits, such as access to market and trade exchange. Three out of eight member states (Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan) are East Africa Community members, while the other four states (Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Sudan) are recently negotiating with the Red Sea Council. Unlike other RECs in Africa, IGAD does not have legislative and enforcement arms; hence, members are reluctant to obey and domesticate the authority’s rules and policies, which leads to low morale and less commitment from member states.
The regional cooperation and integration aspects have received minimal attention from IGAD compared to the region’s politics, peace, and security aspects. This conflict and security slog has sabotaged strengthening economic development cooperation because there is no significant evidence of regional integration among IGAD member states on economic features. IGAD has not prioritized economic development integration and reduces its presence in the minds of member states and citizens. Naturally, people and countries are more glued together because of trade and economic interest above any other. Since member states and their citizens cannot conceptualize economic benefits from their membership in IGAD, they have informally withdrawn from their Regional Economic Community. The peace and conflict achievement by IGAD is insufficient to characterize a thriving regional economic community without facilitating interventions, including accessible trade areas, macroeconomic convergence, industrial development, investment promotion, infrastructure development, and regional information technology economic integration.
The membership overlapping makes it challenging to measure the effectiveness of regional economic cooperation and integration. On the same premise, being a member of other RECs erodes the loyalty and commitment of member states toward their RECs. IGAD seems unable to develop an approach towards taming multilocality among its member states; hence, without a new way of doing things, there is very little that IGAD is destined to achieve. The institution needs to benchmark its performance on better RECs in the continent, such as ECOWAS and EAC, as those members in EAC have better market access than IGAD. At the same time, other states like Somalia recently applied the membership in EAC, which makes the aim of regional cooperation and integration very difficult.
This region has neither a free trade area (FTA) nor customs unions that ease the physical and non-physical trade barriers of intra-regional import and export movements. This reduced the volume of trade that is accruing from the IGAD region. These statistics are evident to member countries; hence, their loyalty and commitment are drastically reduced and challenged to abolish the quantitative and administrative restrictions on trade among the member states. The countries of this region are over-depended on trade taxes and costume duties to fund their annual budgets, which made the states develop protectionist markets. For example, unlike its other counterparts, Ethiopia pursues a protectionist approach where its economy is closed to every import from other member countries, while other member states have emulated this. Therefore, this region failed to develop more diversified but domestic integrative taxes to solve this challenge. No evidence showing that IGAD authority performs better in creating Regional Free Trade Areas (FTA)  as the African Regional Integration Index produced by the Africa Economic Commission (AEC) every two years indicates that IGAD is at the bottom of this indicator for the last two reports.
IGAD has failed to implement the free movement of persons, services, and capital among member states, an essential component of regional integration; hence, once not achieved, it will militate against the spirit of regional integration.
Harmonization of agricultural policies and food security promotion programs has failed to be established in this region and, notably in marketing, research, and agro-industrial enterprise, has not taken off effectively. A paradigm shift in the functioning and performance of IGAD and member states commitment is urgent if it intends to achieve the region’s cooperation and integration objectives with the benchmarking in other continents’ RECs, such as EAC, ECOWAS, and external ones, including the EU. This doctoral study sought to understand why some members seek membership in other RECs instead of maintaining their loyalty to IGAD, why the member states’ political commitment is low, and what can be done differently to do better. Therefore, this study reveals what IGAD should do and how it should be done differently. This is because what should be done is already there, but how it should be done begs the many answers. Therefore, it is a time to rethink, redesign, and redo things differently as a new paradigm shift of regional authority.
2.0 TOWARDS AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO REGIONAL INTEGRATION
Intergovernmentalism proposes that national governments or state leaders representing their respective interests are excellent in determining or dictating integration outcomes. Inter-governmentality has a plausible explanatory perspective if the integration process seems to stall. A process resembling a huddle or tangle among countries in the same region defines regional integration. Regional integration takes successful leadership when it comes to goods and services. Regional integration exhibits more political aspects than economic endeavors; hence, it manifests the characteristics of an institution.
Globally, the concept and process of regional integration began with European economic Communities in the 1950s. This constitutes voluntary and collective action among countries within geographical proximity to economically and politically harmonized policies, productions, and trade issues to optimize efforts in tackling national and regional challenges. Generally, the structure of regional integration comprises the assembly of state and government, a council of ministers, a committee of ambassadors, and a secretariat.
Global political integration is a cumulative process of more sovereign states voluntarily changing their relationship with a new central authority. Functions are delegated to the new central authority, which the member states accept as a legitimate world society. Moreover, they cannot necessarily lead to a new central authority. Apart from interaction, some elements of interdependence must manifest among the nation-states for integration.
Another example is W.T.O. as an international institution for trade; it has become a cash cow for developed countries to exploit less developed countries. Hence, it is not surprising that the U.N. and other international agencies have had minimal impact on member countries, unless in a case where the negatives work for the superpower’s superpowers’ interests.
Functionalism is an international organization Essential because there is a belief that modern nationalism is based on the factors that cut across national lines. There is a movement away from a demand for national rights and toward a demand for services.
Integration is ‘bringing together of parts into a whole.’ Therefore, regional integration has political, social, and economic dimensions. The emergence of regional integration organizations or institutions in the Third World Countries, for example, was out of protracted negotiations that happened and began slightly before the independence of most of the countries.
Economic integration was given low consideration because, in developing countries, there is much more to integration than eliminating discrimination within the region will be little in an economic sense. Since the International Court of Justice was established in 1945 following its predecessor, the Permanent Court of International Justice, established in the 1920s, much international and regional adjudication has taken off to handle regional socio-political and economic disputes. Regional integration is in different forms; for example, regional economic communities (R.E.C.) courts in Africa possess human rights jurisdiction.
3.0 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Data for this doctoral paper came from both primary and secondary sources. Documents analysis was the secondary source, while interviews and questionnaire administration were the primary source. These comprised philosophical considerations, methodological aspects of the literature review, qualitative interviews with analysis, interdisciplinary mapping, analysis of assumptions, inductive output, and dialectical evaluation. The IGAD-related documents included journal articles, relevant websites, international journals, IGAD strategic plans, official reports, newspaper articles, and any other materials that were most relevant. The researcher reviewed the materials to fathom background information, establish normative evidence, and corroborate to inform the findings.
The research design adopted is descriptive data, and the information collection method is to describe a phenomenon. A sample of respondents was selected using the Slovene formula to provide a general view of the factors influencing the functions of IGAD and a new way forward. The sampling units were the council of ministers (Ministers of Foreign Affairs and one other focal Minister whom each Member State designates.), a committee of ambassadors (Member States’ Ambassadors or Plenipotentiaries accredited to the country of the Headquarters of the Organization), secretariat and other stakeholders(experts) of IGAD which consisted of 78 participants.
Out of 78 participants, 12 provided qualitative data, while 66 provided quantitative data. The researcher was aware that some audiences would argue that the sample of 12 interview participants is too small for 66 participants for questionnaire administration. However, the researcher argues that qualitative study sample sizes are characteristically smaller than quantitative studies. The researcher, therefore, in addition to the empirical data from the field, gathered and analyzed published materials and information from internal and external sources of IGAD.
This chapter presents the dissertation’s findings and analysis as set out in the research objectives and methodology. Therefore, the results and discussion cover findings based on the extent to which regional Integration has been achieved within IGAD, the extent to which regional integration within IGAD aligns with AMRII, the challenges and advance policy recommendations that can be used to accelerate regional integration within IGAD; the effect of Member States belonging to multiple RECs and subscribing to different policy and regulatory frameworks on IGAD’s performance; and how the regional integration experience of IGAD informs the way forward for a new paradigm of regional cooperation and integration in the region.  It offers a new paradigm of regional integration with the case of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. The data was gathered exclusively from the structured and unstructured (interview schedule) questionnaires as the research instruments. The questionnaires were designed in line with the objectives of the dissertation with the methodology described.
The socio-demographic characteristics of the study participants were to provide the understanding of the IGAD, both internal and external composition of stakeholders who formed an essential study sample. Therefore, capturing different departments or divisions with varying roles in IGAD functions made it possible to collect data from different experiences and departments in IGAD and regional integration experts. This includes the IGAD secretariat, IGAD Ambassadors, Council of Ministries, regional experts, scholars, and member state officials.
Figure 4.2 Composition of the Participants
Source: Dissertation Data (2022)
As shown in the figure above, 33.33% of the Participants were IGAD secretariat, 16.67% were IGAD ambassadors, 13.64% were Council of Ministries, 24.24% were regional experts, and 12, 12% were Scholars and member states. The study sought data from the IGAD secretariat as it implements the decisions of the Assembly and the Council of Ministries and Ambassadors. The Council of Ministers is the focal of each Member State and is an essential component of the participants because it makes recommendations to the Assembly on policy matters. This is aimed at the efficient functioning and development of the Authority, approves the Authority’s budget, reviews the Authority’s operations, and guides its work under the agreement. IGAD committee of ambassadors comprises Member States’ Ambassadors or Plenipotentiaries accredited to the country of the Headquarters of the Organization. The Committee of Ambassadors reports to the Council. The committee advises the Executive Secretary on promoting his efforts in realizing the work plan approved by the Council of Ministers. It guides the Executive Secretary on the interpretation of policies and guidelines which may require further elaboration. Regional experts, Scholars, and member states were essential to the study because they gave independent external observations about the functioning of IGAD since its inception.
4.3. QUALITATIVE RESULTS
This section covers the paradigm shift that IGAD and other regional stakeholders are supposed to employ for a new IGAD functioning. This dives into in-depth thinking and suggestions by scholars, IGAD officials, and the member states on the feasible strategic new approach.
The regional markets are fragmented, with limited active facilities such as regional policies and cross-border Infrastructure, which cause limitations in transport movement and raise transport costs. Trade naturally is supposed to bring cross-border cooperation between states, which creates intra/inter-communal interests to smoothly facilitate regional cooperation in mutually benefiting mechanisms. The indicators for this aspect are low.
Economic regional integration can start with two countries on a bilateral basis or more than two to three in the best-case scenario to the agreement they never respect within the regional context, for example. Facilitating such relations and creating an enabling environment is the work of the secretariat of every regional economic community. Therefore, regional integration should be security-oriented, infrastructure-oriented, people’s movement-oriented, cultural parts exchanges, and trade issues-oriented. There should be an encouragement for any level of working by two countries, three or more, for bilateral or multilateral cooperation to be enhanced by the harmonized trade policies.
Apart from Infrastructure and political will, the third important thing is peace and security. For example, Ethiopia and Sudan have excellent relationships and ties, and the communities interact harmoniously, but sometimes politics impact negatively in addition to external interference. For the region to fast-track inter-state and intra-regional market cooperations. Regional integration is the genesis of bilateral relations. The original idea of LAPSSET was for the Lamu port, Ethiopia, and South Sudan projects. This project has been taken by the African Union (AU) as one of the infrastructure projects of an African land bridge from the Indian Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean through the port of Douala in Cameroon.
In this region, the intra-state markets are not much manifested, but AU has already established ACFTA, and EAC has free trade areas. When it comes to IGAD, there is no platform to implement these FTAs, so it needs more effort to achieve inter-state and intra-regional market cooperation. There is a need to work at the community level against most African regional economic communities, which focus on top-down strategies. International financial institutions such as the World Bank and African Development Bank encourage governments to go for more integration. They have initiated supporting processes such as the Horn of Africa Initiative.
Notwithstanding, the region has geopolitical rivalries where China, the US, Turkey, Russia, and Middle Eastern countries such as UAE are struggling to have a foothold. Formidable examples are the railway built by the Chinese between Djibouti and Addis Ababa, between Kenya and Uganda, the LAPSAT project connecting Kenya and Ethiopia, and South Sudan as an intervention from great powers.
In conclusion, fast-tracking inter-state and intra-regional market cooperation will solve regional market fragmentation through active facilities such as regional and cross-border Infrastructure, which will boost transport movement and reduce transport costs of doing business and movement. Ensuing trade will naturally trigger cross-border cooperation between states, creating intra/inter-community interests leading to regional cooperation in a mutually beneficial approach and mechanisms.
Economic Development Corridors (EDCs) are known to be vital in bringing entities together for mutual benefits. A development corridor is a geographical area identified as a priority for investment to catalyze economic growth and development. The eight IGAD’s major trans-border corridors are all bare transportation corridors with poor infrastructure; none are fully-fledged EDCs. Still, there are very few tangible benefits from these neighboring states, as most are under construction or in the planning stages. What IGAD secretariate needs to perform is it should carry out its self-assessment as an organization by looking at what is being done right and where it is underperforming. There is a need for the IGAD stakeholders to review its charter (treaty).
Typically, transportation activities such as business and people across countries, industrial production activities in established centers, and inter-city growth can form the starting point to operationalize Economic Development Corridors. At the regional level, IGAD guides member states and takes their input to make what it is. Therefore, IGAD will be as good as its member states would want it to be. This creates an environment where member states can propel IGAD to do its work following the treaty. Inter-state tension or internal conflicts, change of governments, and aspiration of secessions pose a clear obstacle to a better way forward. Once these obstacles are resolved, IGAD can fit its purpose to the member states’ aspirations to a better position that will bring about the economic integration envisaged. Institutionally, IGAD has issues; for example, according to the IGAD’s charter, the chairmanship is supposed to be a one-year rotational among the member states. There is a chair who has been at the helm for four years. IGAD should have qualified staff if it were to work for the benefit of its member states. Qualified staff from developing countries should not be a problem since the staff can have its capacity built.
b) Regional transportation and corridor transformation
Whether geographic, demand-driven, or political, the reason for the corridor’s existence is a significant determinant in its evolution from transport to economic corridor. The African Union is a continental organization that has an agenda of regional integration and comes with the CFTA. These outstanding principles will guide every region and every country toward regional integration. IGAD member states should prioritize and focus on peace and security. For the region to prosper, peace and security are prerequisites.
The cross-border communities should integrate more, for example, Sudan- Ethiopia, Kenya-Somalia, Eritrea-Djibouti. Creation of synergy of free movement of people first, then goods will also usher in common currency. To realize corridor development, member states should commit to it first as their priority of regional cooperation. A political will must be seen in the member state’s consent and financing of IGAD. This will ensure that the IGAD agenda is member-driven, not donor-driven.
IGAD member states at individual levels are endowed with different resources that give them different comparative advantages. Therefore, these can trigger inter-state cooperation at the bottom level. Hence, IGAD can leverage these synergies to fast-track the regional integration agenda. Neighboring states sharing some natural resources between them is a prime building block on which regional economic integration can be premised.
Finally, environment conservation is another area that neighboring states share under IGAD. Natural resources tend not to be restricted to one country’s boundary. Neighboring countries can start by conserving soil and land, water and energy, biodiversity, and the environment they happen to share across their borders.
d) Practicalization and enhancement of cooperation at the lower level
The current peace efforts under IGAD should be given due importance to actualizing peace in South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia. This may not be absolute peace, but some calmness can allow business and trade to take root and prosper.
If the countries have a meaningful discussion about economic sharing and develop a mutually satisfactory system that shares the trade, this will open the region for development. For example, the Somali, Ethiopian, and Eritreans have most of the trade in South Sudan, and it shows that there is something that can be learned from each other, and the area that it is active in will bear fruit.
A regional assessment of the member states is necessary to ascertain their strength and weaknesses. This will help leverage the synergy and exchange where comparative advantage exists. For this to be effective, IGAD should facilitate or mediate any dialogue between more than two countries. In the case of two countries, the integration office should ensure that the overall regional goal and long-term stability are compatible.
There is a tremendous opportunity to trigger integration; for example, the Ethiopian case has the potential to generate electricity through renewable energy. This is because Ethiopia is endowed with natural rain, which enables it to generate over 45000 megawatts. This electric power is not only for Ethiopia’s domestic consumption, but it can supply the whole Horn of Africa. There are sound policies and strategies, but in practice, their implementation faces several challenges that must be overcome. In the trade, Ethiopia has the potential to produce wheat and other grains that are not found in Somalia; hence, Somalia is a great market destination for Ethiopian grains.
The most important political forum to emerge from the declaration of the eighth IGAD Summit in 2000 was the IGAD Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). The idea and principle behind the establishment of an inter-parliamentary union of IGAD member states were to introduce the context of popular participation in decision-making and to advance cooperation and better commitment in favor of IGAD’s goals of peace and conflict resolution and building more friendly relations and cooperation among member states not least the promotion of democratic governance in the states.
IGAD set up a parliamentary union as a legislative arm of the body to complement the executive arm calling the shots. This was necessary when the region was experiencing protracted conflict and violence. Therefore, establishing the parliamentary union aimed to tackle crises in the IGAD region. As much as there are similar crises in Africa, the peculiarities cannot be ignored since they will require a particular way of handling those in the Horn of Africa.
Funding is needed to implement the new arm of IGAD while the parliament sessions should be held once or twice a year. For IGAD to achieve social and economic development and integration of the region’s members, collaboration between its Executive and Legislative arms plays a significant role in fulfilling its mandates. Roundtable discussions should be organized to bring member states parliamentarians that pave the way for sharing recent regional developments.
What should the IGAD secretariat and member states do to promote democratic governance in the member states?
Democratic governance in the IGAD member states is not one of its priorities. The goal and objectives of IGAD do not include the aspect of democratic government; hence, it is not obliged to pursue or even compel member states to be democratic internally.
Therefore, this area of democracy would require redrafting the IGAD treaty, whose mandate would be expanded to include democratic governance. Member states would be necessary to embrace multiparty systems of government, which are associated with good governance. It is assumed that since there are opposition parties, they hold the government to the people. They keep the government in check every time.
There is a duplication of mandates and a heterogeneous nature of IGAD membership. For instance, Kenya, Uganda, and South Sudan are members of the East African Community, apart from the regional organization (the AU). IGAD member states belonging to other blocks in which their allegiance is more than to IGAD jeopardizing the efforts of achieving complete regional integration. For example, Kenya is in COMESA and EAC, and South Sudan is in IGAD and EAC. Ethiopia is eying Red Sea Council membership. Others remaining, such as Somalia, have applied for membership in the East African community.
IGAD can tame its member states when it forms a free trade area or customs union offering members preferential trade access to each other’s markets. There should be ways to coordinate by having a liaison office for each REC to its Neighboring REC. To strengthen IGAD, it is necessary to address the geopolitical conflicts between the member states; for example, Ethiopia is a regional power, but member states have not accepted it.
The issue of countries overlapping in more than one REC is a challenge that will be discussed while developing partnership programs between the EU, WB, AFDB, and other development partners. This problem is not in IGAD alone but in the whole Continent. Overlapping is here to stay. One needs to be done to avoid clashes between RECs because of membership, like the regional project preparation for the East African Region.
In conclusion, member states joining different regional organizations or RECs is an idea whose stage has come, and no law or policy threat IGAD can put in place will deter this. What IGAD should do is come up with policies and projects that can convince member states to stay put. Second, merging RECs will be the way to go so that overlapping can be dealt with once and for all.
5.1 The State of Regional Cooperation Macroeconomic Policies in Sustainable Agricultural Development.
Enhancement of cooperation and Coordination of member states’ macroeconomic policies in sustainable agricultural development and food security is still very low. This is because neighboring member states have not developed any joint program and policy on the region’s agricultural development sustainability and food security. As governments of member states face the current economic storms, they must ensure that everyone has enough food to eat.
a). Coordinating and monitoring migrant pests and animal and plant diseases.
On the coordination and strengthened effective mechanisms for monitoring and controlling migrant pests, member states show a concerted effort. This is supported by the International Center of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), headquartered in Nairobi, which serves the entire Eastern African and Horn of Africa to control the menace of insects and pests.
b). Agricultural research cooperation and Capabilities
On agricultural research cooperation and capabilities, a new concerted push is seen in the four eastern African countries Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, which are together captivating steps to marshal the power of science to boost food and dairy production. This puts more money into farmers’ pockets, helps them send their children to school, allows them to eat more meals, and reduces agriculture’s environmental footprint. Member states have cooperated in improving their capacity for agricultural research, training, and extension services.
For example, Kenya established a center of excellence on smallholder dairying and Tanzania on rice, and they share results with other countries in the region. This is one of the starting points for collaboration that leads to cooperation and, eventually, regional integration. As Peterson et al. (2021) noted, countries and other agencies can collaborate and fit into four broad approaches to developing agricultural human capital among youth and adults through a formal education system, a nonformal education system, state governmental agencies, and advocacy and commodity groups.
Collaboration among neighboring member states broadens expertise available to clients, leveraging complementary resources to meet diverse audience needs and creating new initiatives.
c). Coordination toward sustainable management of shared natural resources
Coordination toward sustainable management of shared natural resources is seen between Kenya and Ethiopia. Borana, Gabra, and Garri pastoralists in the border areas of Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia have long relied on managing natural resources to maximize land use and sustain livestock productivity. If such collaboration can be replicated in the IGAD member states, this will build a more considerable regional integration.
d). Harmonization of national plans for marginal and dry lands management
Regarding harmonizing national plans for marginal lands and dry lands management, IGAD’s three member states at the national and neighborhood levels have formulated medium national policies and climate adaptation strategies through National Adaptation Plans (NAPAs). National Climate Change Response Strategy 2013-17 ensures adaptation and mitigation measures are integrated into all governmental planning processes, budgeting, and collaborative endeavors. Given that they are neighboring, the impact of climatic change is no respecter of international boundaries. Once their plans and policies towards the environment have common aspects, this forms a basis of collaboration, leading to cooperation and, eventually, regional integration.
e). Trade cooperations and harmonization of trade policies
With Member states working towards promoting trade and gradually harmonizing their trade policies, it is still an emotive issue. Because of this, member states pursue different trade policies, such as Kenya’s open market, while Ethiopia pursues a protectionism trade policy. Harmonization of trade policies faces many challenges since IGAD member states pursue different trade models. At the same time, some member states, save for Somalia, are members of other RECs with different trade policies.
Regional integration exhibits more political aspects than economic endeavors; hence, it exhibits the characteristics of an institution. However, despite the enthusiasm for and creation of many regional integration organizations, African economies remain constrained by political boundaries, marginalized, and unintegrated in the rapidly globalizing world economy.
f). Harmonization of Transport and Communication Policies
It is a slow but sure harmonization of transport and communication policies. Member states are gradually harmonizing their transport and communication policies, developing infrastructure, and removing physical and non-physical barriers to interstate transport and communication approaches. IGAD member states, including Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, and South Sudan, have implemented sector reforms to efficiently provide services to substantially reduce the region’s high-cost transport.
g). Fiscal and monetary policies harmonization
On Fiscal and monetary policy harmonization by Member states, there is very little evidence that this is going on at this stage; this endeavor can be done at a higher level collectively. Member state governments have not cooperated in gradually harmonizing their fiscal and monetary policies. There is no slight evidence to support such an initiative in the offing. There is hope as much as there is no cooperation among member states on harmonizing their fiscal and monetary policies.
h). Enabling an environment for cross-border investment and gradually harmonizing their policies.
Member states have created a milled enabling environment for cross-border investment and gradually harmonized their policies. A good example is Kenya and Ethiopia. A new narrative of peace has replaced the internecine conflict along the Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti borders for many years.
i). Cooperation in sustainable utilization and development of energy resources and related policies
There is no evidence on the ground to support this statement of cooperation. Member states have not cooperated in increased sustainable utilization and development of energy resources in the sub-region and the gradual harmonization of their national energy policies and energy development plans. This area would have provided a platform at the state level to initiate cooperation between neighboring IGAD member states.
j). Social and cultural exchanges among the member states
There is no factual evidence to support Social and cultural exchanges among the Member states. Member states have recently promoted social and cultural exchanges to consolidate regional cooperation and understanding. It has happened that on both sides of the international borders in the region, it is the same ethnic group that the boundary divided. For example, Ethiopia-Somalia has Somalis on both sides of the boundary, like Kenya and Somalia and Ethiopia-Djibouti, Eritrea-Ethiopia, and Kenya-Ethiopia.
6.0 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This research, supported by qualitative and quantitative methods on the target group, confirms the importance of IGAD regional cooperation and integration interventions and unpacks the existing structures and challenges that can curtail or hinder practical regional cooperation and integration. The study also delves into how IGAD can simplify its complex characteristics to drive it into fully-fledged regional collaboration. It also suggests the new paradigm shifts that the region can take to facilitate successful regional integration approaches.
The IGAD region comprises eight neighboring countries with several interrelated pathologies, including festering wars, state crises, poverty, high unemployment, environmental degradation, and democratic deficiency.
Historically, the region has experienced inter-state and intra-state conflict and insecurity from unsettled insurgencies since liberation in the 1960s. Most IGAD member States face and experience internal political conflicts resulting from leadership struggles and resource sharing. Therefore, the spirit of integration is challenging more, pulling away disintegration between countries.
Most of the IGAD member states have weak democratic systems. Governance, some are autocratic though superficially, they exhibit the presence of democracy just because of the prevailing multiparty systems. The IGAD’s biggest strength is peace and security work as an organization. It has played a significant role in stabilizing Somalia and South Sudan and solving the Ethiopia-Eritrea war. South Sudan and Sudan conflict mediation and its independence as IGAD Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN) show its usefulness.
Regional Mechanisms and collaboration are very virgins and have the potential to unleash but lack cohesion and active facilitators such as political will, regional policies, and cross-border Infrastructure, which limits transport movement and raises transport costs. This region has nine potential economic corridors, all underdeveloped at present. The regional transport Economic Development Corridors (EDCs) are known to be vital in bringing entities together for mutual benefits. Against its establishment treaty, IGAD, as Regional Economic Community (REC), has achieved a significant step, although not as worthy as it was expecting. This block is ineffective in economic integration; it falls short of attaining this goal compared to other regional blocs, but it has many strengths in peace and security since its members are conflict-prone areas.
The revitalization of IGAD in 1996 did not bring the intended outcome due to multiple contests, which included overlapping memberships, diverging roadmaps to integration, unequal levels of economic development, and a dearth of commitment to implement the organization’s objectives and disagreement on the issue of sovereignty. Therefore, IGAD needs a paradigm shift for restructuring, members’ political dialogue, and re-engineering the authority functions for better performance with regional core values. Member states should have a retreat to digest the essence of revitalization and its holistic performances well by analyzing the relevant liberal theories, such as neo-functionalism, regional integration, and constructivism theories. To re-think and re-concoct the organizational mandate by agreeing to let part of their sovereignty be delegated to the regional organization, such as regional trade, macroeconomics, and political stability.
6.2 The New Paradigm Shift
The study proposed the following six areas of the new paradigm shift for regional cooperation and integration as immediate facilitating factors from low-level fields with fewer political areas to spill over into other areas of high levels of integration.
Figure 1. The new paradigm shift of IGAD regional economic cooperation and integration. (See more explanations below.)
a). Re-engineering of IGAD
The study’s analysis is in terms of critical studies on regional institutions, the individual status of member states, and historical dilemmas, including schemes, norms, rules, and routines. To further allow regional cooperation and integration, IGAD must undertake profound renegotiations about the kind of structure they require in terms of capabilities and ceding part of their sovereignty to exercise by the regional body.
b). Social integration
This study falls squarely under social integration theory because it summarizes principles that guide relationships between people and groups in the larger society, such as IGAD’s region, and how they interact within and between countries. Therefore, exerting a powerful force on individuals, people’s norms, beliefs, and values makes collective consciousness and shared ways of understating.
c). Physical transport infrastructure/Corridors
The soft aspects of the infrastructure of regionalism in the IGAD region have previously been studied. In contrast, the impact of complex infrastructure in the region, particularly transport infrastructure, has received little attention. This study contributes to understanding regionalism by presenting the relationship between complex infrastructure and economic integration.
d). Enhance energy integration.
Regionally Integrated Energy System (RIES) combines electricity, heat, natural gas, and other energy sources to improve the overall utilization efficiency of the energy system as well as to satisfy the energy demand. However, the energy flow relationship in RIES is highly under-connected because the network’s topology complexity and other energy factors create challenges in optimizing the system operation.
e). Regional natural resources and environment
This paradigm is guided by natural resource economics theory. It is a transdisciplinary field of academic research within economics that aims to address the connections and interdependence between human economies and natural ecosystems. Its focus is on how to operate an economy within the ecological constraints of Earth’s natural resources. Achievement of natural resources and environment integration utilization will emanate from a bottom-up approach that starts with neighboring countries’ cooperation in handling what natural resources they share.
f). Regional Financial and trade cooperation
IGAD, guided by the regional financial cooperation models, can relate to the intimate connection between the regional body and economy and the coordination of intra-regional bodies’ financial systems. Also, this brings out the price linkage mechanism within the regional financial market; the relations between the financial businesses have competition and cooperation. This study has presented a cooperative financial model as market promoting, government dominating, and governance and marketing.
a). FOR THE HEAD OF STATE AND GOVERNMENTS:
Regarding the IGAD Member States and their respective citizens, the study recommends the following initiatives for themselves and IGAD as a regional organization.
- The regional member states require a critical retreat to reconsider the type of regional organization they want to lead the region. By reconsidering past practices, renewing their commitments, and re-envisioning the regional organization by upgrading the establishment treaty to align with the African Economic Communities Treaty (Abuja Treaty) and restoring trust among all members in shared aspirations and regional core values such as maintaining democracy.
- To stabilize regionalism and regional cooperation and integration performance, the Member States should establish a legislative assembly and enforcement agency that will guide and govern the running of the regional institutions.
- Member states should commit to building stable and democratic governments by growing trust among themselves and reducing border conflicts and intrastate and interstate conflicts.
- At the inter-state level, Social and cultural exchanges among the Member states must take off. For example, verification of academic credentials to harmonize so that citizens can work in any member state without discrimination, and citizens should venture into cross-border investments.
- Member state citizens participate in what is being molded as the regional policy or agenda. The citizen’s buy-in assures ownership of the IGAD, a motivating factor that enhances the institution’s sustainability.
- Member states should collaborate on shared natural resources in terms of conservation.
b). IGAD As an Institution
The study recommends the below initiatives to undertake IGAD by itself, for Member States, and citizens:
- IGAD should facilitate the transformation of the nine transport corridors into Economic Development Corridors (EDCs) by sensitizing an interstate collaboration and establishing a feasible framework that can make it easy to access finance and maintain in the long run. The study proposes establishing a Regional Toll Agency (RTA) responsible for sustainable management and corridor construction.
- IGAD should tame its member states from belonging to other RECs when it forms a free trade area or customs union offering members preferential trade access to each other’s markets.
- To better finance its programs and organizational expenses, IGAD should promote equitable membership ownership of the organization.
- IGAD can make an economic aspect the glue for regional integration, and then member states will be attracted to the institution and pledge loyalty.
- IGAD should fast-track feasible harmonization of Fiscal and monetary policy for Member states.
6.4. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
- Research must be carried out on ways and means of attracting investments and developing and expanding trade in the IGAD region.
- Research is required to be carried out by IGAD and Member States, particularly in areas of reducing the fears, apprehensions, uncertainties, concerns, and doubts that investment, trade, and economic disparities may engender.
- On common trade and economic policies, while Kenya, Ethiopia, and Uganda continue to progress with implementing macroeconomic policies such as trade liberalization and free markets to attract more FDI, other IGAD Member States are not.
- Besides possibilities of building on the results of this research to deepen on one of the many aspects of the regional integration process in the IGAD region, other multiple issues for research are brought up through the unfolding events in the African political economy about Sustainable Development Goals.
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