The Africa regional integration index is designed to measure the extent to which each country in Africa is meeting its commitments under the various pan-African integration frameworks, such as Agenda 2063 and the Abuja Treaty.
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.
Overall, Egypt appears to be performing well in most dimensions of regional integration included in the index, although ensuring the free movement of persons and facilitating intra-regional trade via land corridors represent two areas in which the country could make further progress.
- Twelfth in CEN-SAD (score: 0.39). Fourth in COMESA (score: 0.51).
- Best performer in COMESA is Kenya (score: 0.57).
How Egypt Ranks Within COMESA
Compare Egypt's Dimension Scores
How Egypt Ranks Within CEN-SAD
Compare Egypt's Dimension Scores
Analysis of Egypt's Performance Across Dimensions
Free movement of persons: Egypt’s performance in the dimension of free movement of person can be significantly improved. Seven other African countries are allowed to enter Egypt visa-free or with a visa on arrival, which places the country joint forty-third in Africa for this indicator (source: International Air Transport Association, McKinsey and national websites). At the time this country profile was being drafted, Egypt was yet to ratify protocols on free movement of persons of the regional economic communities of which it is a member (ECA, African Development Bank and African Union Commission, 2012; ECA, African Union Commission and African Development Bank, 2013; ECA and African Union Commission, 2015).
Trade integration: Egypt appears to have made strong progress towards removing tariff barriers to intra-community imports: its average applied tariff on imports from CEN-SAD and COMESA is just 0.1 per cent (United Nations Statistics Division, 2015; ITC, 2015). Egypt also scores well in terms of trade facilitation, ranking eighth in Africa on the indicator on the ease of trading across borders from the World Bank “Doing Business” index. In addition, Egypt ranks second highest in terms of its trade complementarity with the rest of the continent, behind only South Africa, which suggests a high degree of specialization between Egypt and its neighbours.
These efforts are not reflected, however, in the actual volume of intra-community trade as a share of GDP. Since Egypt has low intra-regional tariffs, high complementarity with the rest of the continent and low costs of trading with the world, its level of intra-regional imports as a share of GDP in both CEN-SAD and COMESA suggests that the non-tariff costs of trading within the region may be higher than those with the rest of the world. This may be due to the high costs of transporting goods overland between Egypt and the rest of Africa, which in turn suggests that, in order to boost intra-regional imports, Egypt may need to focus on trade facilitation and infrastructure in the land corridors that connect it with the rest of the region (national sources; United Nations Statistics Division, 2015; UNCTADStat, 2015).
Egypt has a higher share of intra-community exports relative to GDP. Its level of intra-CEN-SAD exports as a share of GDP places it eleventh among the 18 CEN-SAD members for which data were available and its level of intra-COMESA exports as a share of GDP places it ninth among the 17 COMESA members for which data were available (national sources; United Nations Statistics Division, 2015).
Productive integration: Egypt appears to have strong forward integration with the rest of the region. It exports more intermediates by value to CEN-SAD than any other CEN-SAD member for which data are available, and has the fifth highest volume of exports of intermediates to COMESA members. In terms of imports of intermediates, Egypt ranks ninth among CEN-SAD members and fifth among COMESA members. Given the size of the Egyptian economy relative to others in the region, this suggests that the country needs to improve its backward integration with regional value chains so that it is at least as strong as its forward integration (United Nations Statistics Division, 2015).
Infrastructure: Internet bandwidth per capita in Egypt is the ninth highest in the continent, according to the latest data (from 2013), at around 2 megabits per second per person. This will support communication by Egypt with other African countries, including through trade in services. Egypt also has the fifth highest net electricity production capacity per capita, at 0.3 megawatt hours per capita per year. Access to electricity is essential for the industrial sector, the development of which promises to encourage intra-African trade (national source; United Nations Statistics Division, 2015a).
- Free movement of persons: twenty-eighth in CEN-SAD (score: 0.03), eighteenth in COMESA (score: 0.03). Best performer in COMESA is Seychelles (score: 0.70).
- Trade integration: second in CEN-SAD (score: 0.82), second in COMESA (score: 0.9). Best performer in COMESA is Zambia (score: 1).
- Productive integration: sixth in CEN-SAD (score: 0.43), first in COMESA (score: 0.76).
- Infrastructure: Ninth in CEN-SAD (score: 0.33), fourth in COMESA (0.51). Best performer in COMESA is Seychelles (score: 0.71).
- Financial integration and macroeconomic policy convergence: twenty-first in CEN-SAD (score: 0.32), eleventh in COMESA (score: 0.35). Best performer in COMESA is Seychelles (score: 0.5).
This material is reproduced from the ECA Country Profile on Guinea published in April 2016, from the box on the Africa Regional Integration Index.