The index, which is a joint project of the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission and the Economic Commission for Africa, covers the following dimensions: free movement of persons, trade integration, productive integration, regional interconnections and infrastructure, and macroeconomic policy convergence.

Headline Findings

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  • Fourth in ECCAS (score: 0.50). The best performer in ECCAS is Cameroon (score: 0.66).
  • Twenty-second in CEN-SAD (score: 0.30).

CEN-SAD

How Central African Republic Ranks Within CEN-SAD

Country is a high performer – score is higher than average of countries
Country is an average performer – score is within the average of countries
Country is a low performer –score is below the average of countries
Average score across REC member countries

Compare Central African Republic's Dimension Scores

Trade Integration
Regional Infrastructure
Productive Integration
Free Movement of People
Financial & Macroeconomic Integration

ECCAS

How Central African Republic Ranks Within ECCAS

Country is a high performer – score is higher than average of countries
Country is an average performer – score is within the average of countries
Country is a low performer –score is below the average of countries
Average score across REC member countries

Compare Central African Republic's Dimension Scores

Trade Integration
Regional Infrastructure
Productive Integration
Free Movement of People
Financial & Macroeconomic Integration

Analysis of Central African Republic's Performance Across Dimensions

Free movement of persons: African countries are given ratings based on two indicators for this aspect of the Africa regional integration index: the proportion of protocols ratified within the regional economic communities on the free movement of persons, and the number of other African countries whose nationals are allowed to enter visa-free or with an entry visa. The Central African Republic produced unsatisfactory results with regard to this aspect. According to the sources consulted, it allows the nationals of only four other African countries to enter visa-free or with an entry visa. The Central African Republic has ratified the relevant ECCAS instrument (ECA, AfDB and AUC, 2012; ECA, AUC, and AfDB, 2013; ECA and AUC, 2015). 

Trade integration: The index includes a number of indicators of trade integration, including average tariffs on imports within the regional economic communities, the ease of cross-border trade (from the World Bank’s Doing Business report), and imports and exports of goods within the regional economic communities. Trade in services is not included owing to a lack of data on intra-African trade in services. The review of these indicators has shown that the Central African Republic imposes high customs duties on imports from CEN-SAD, with an average tariff of 17 per cent according to the latest available data. It applies a zero tariff on imports from ECCAS (UNSD, 2015; ITC, 2015); The Central African Republic has also obtained poor results in terms of the ease of transporting goods across borders, and occupies the penultimate position, above South Sudan. Although the Central African Republic is a landlocked country, it is striking that all other landlocked countries in Africa (except South Sudan) achieve better results in this area.

Trade between the Central African Republic and the other regional economic communities of which it is a member is also weak. Imports to the Central African Republic from CEN-SAD account for only 0.2 per cent of its GDP, with its imports from ECCAS making up only 0.8 per cent of its GDP. Similarly, its exports (excluding re-exports) to the rest of CEN-SAD correspond to approximately 0.2 per cent of its GDP, with exports to ECCAS also worth approximately 0.2 per cent of GDP. Like most African countries, the trade of the Central African Republic does not greatly complement the trade of members of the same regional economic community, which indicates that its production is not sufficiently specialized to integrate into regional value chains.b The Central African Republic is among the lowest-ranking 15 African countries on the UNCTAD trade complementarity index.

Productive integration: Like most African countries, the trade of the Central African Republic does not greatly complement the trade of members of the same regional economic community, which indicates that its production is not sufficiently specialized to integrate into regional value chains.** The Central African Republic is among the lowest-ranking 15 African countries on the UNCTAD trade complementarity index.

This index also measures productive integration by examining intra-regional trade in intermediate goods. Given its low level of trade integration, the Central African Republic is poorly integrated with the other regional economic communities of which it is a member. It had imported the equivalent of only 0.2 per cent of its GDP in intermediate and capital goods from CEN-SAD in 2013, ranking second from last among the members for which data were available, and far behind Côte d’Ivoire, for which the equivalent statistic is 13 per cent. Similarly, imports of intermediate and capital goods from ECCAS accounted for only 0.7 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2013, behind Sao Tome and Principe (13 per cent), Chad (3 per cent) and Congo (2 per cent). The Central African Republic is also poorly integrated with regard to exports of intermediate and capital goods. Exports of intermediate and capital goods from the Central African Republic to CEN-SAD countries represented only 0.25 per cent of its GDP in 2013, far behind Côte d’Ivoire and Niger, where they represented 10 per cent and 8 per cent of GDP respectively. At the level of ECCAS, that indicator is estimated at around 0.4 per cent of GDP for the Central African Republic in the same year, in comparison to 1.6 per cent for Cameroon. Nevertheless, productive integration is often weak in Africa, and the Central African Republic is always ranked close to the continental average in terms of its overall performance in this area (UNCTAD, 2015; ECA and AUC, 2015a).

Infrastructure: The Central African Republic is poorly integrated with the rest of the continent in terms of infrastructure, as it is ranked in the lowest third of African countries in that area. According to the most recent available data (2013), the Internet bandwidth per capita in the Central African Republic of approximately 0.01 megabits per second per person is the fourth lowest in the continent. Internet bandwidth is important for international communication, both within Africa and beyond, including to support trade in services. The net electricity production capacity per capita in the Central African Republic is the eighth lowest in Africa. 

  • Free movement of persons: Second in ECCAS (score: 0.66). Sao Tome and Principe is the best performing country in ECCAS (score: 0.7).Twenty-second in CEN-SAD (score: 0.27).  
  • Trade integration: Sixth in ECCAS (score: 0.52).Cameroon is the best performing country in ECCAS (score: 0.98).Twentieth in CEN-SAD (score: 0.18).
  • Productive integration: Ninth in ECCAS (score: 0.07). Burundi is the best performing country in ECCAS (score: 0.84).Twenty-sixth (joint) in CEN-SAD (score: 0.00).  
  • Infrastructure: Fifth in ECCAS (score: 0.37). Angola is the best performing country in ECCAS (score: 0.66).Twenty-seventh in CEN-SAD (score: 0.01).  
  • Financial integration and macroeconomic policy con-vergence: Fourth in ECCAS (score: 0.89). Gabon is the best performing country in ECCAS (score: 1). Tenth in CEN-SAD (score: 0.94). 

References

(1) This is calculated as the average of the following quantities: the trade complementarity of the Central African Republic with CEN-SAD and its trade complementarity with ECCAS.