The Index 2016 report covers Member Countries from the eight Regional Economic Communities (RECs) recognized by the African Union. The Dimensions and Indicators chosen for the Index are based on the Abuja Treaty and its operational framework. Regional integration is cross-border and multi-dimensional. Indicators that have a cross-border interaction, and where verified, quality data is available, have been used to make up the Index.

Future Editions of the Index will grow in scope as more data becomes available.

Dimensions & Indicators

Index makeup diagram

The Five Dimensions & Indicators

Trade Integration

  • Level of customs duties on imports
  • Share of intra-regional goods exports (% GDP)
  • Share of intra-regional goods imports (% GDP)
  • Share of total Intra-regional goods trade (% total intra-REC trade)

Regional Infrastructure & Interconnection

  • Infrastructure Development Index: transport; electricity; ICT; water and sanitation
  • Proportion of intra-regional flights
  • Total regional electricity trade (net) per capita
  • Average cost of roaming

Productive Integration

  • Share of intra-regional intermediate goods exports (% total intra-regional exports goods)
  • Share of intra-regional intermediate goods imports (% total intra-regional imports goods)
  • Merchandise Trade Complementarity Index: total absolute value of the difference between share of imports and share of exports of RMC in a REC

Free Movements of People

  • Proportion of protocols ratified by a country
  • Proportion of countries whose nationals do not require a visa
  • Proportion of countries whose nationals are issued with a visa on arrival

Financial & Economic Integration

  • Regional convertibility of national currencies
  • Inflation rate differential (based on the Harmonized Consumer Price Index)

Rankings & Scores

RECs can be compared on overall integration scores and on scores in each of the five Dimensions. As the Index recognizes and uses the RECs as the building blocks for the African Economic Community, based on the Abuja Treaty, there are no overall country rankings 1.

As some countries are members of more than one REC, they have multiple rankings/scores. To see the distance they have to travel overall, as well as in particular Dimensions, countries can be compared against the average scores of the top performing countries in a REC. For a REC with six or more countries, the reference is the average of the top four countries. For a REC with less than six countries, the reference is the average of the top two countries.

1 In subsequent editions of this effort, a full index that ranks the 54 counties will be provided.

A country’s classification within a REC shows (with a 95% confidence interval) when a country is a:

  • High performer (green) – score is higher than average of countries
  • Average performer (amber) – score is within the average of countries
  • Low performer (red) – score is below the average of countries
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