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.
Where the free movement of persons is concerned, Sao Tome and Principe is well integrated. On the other hand, the country’s low level of trade integration, low productive integration – in particular in trade in intermediate goods – and its weak performance in the dimension of financial and macroeconomic integration could significantly impede its integration at the regional level.
The country must therefore focus on improving its production conditions, so that it be harmoniously integrated into intra-African relations.
- Tenth in ECCAS (score: 0,26). 27th in CEN-SAD (score: 0.17).
- Best performing country in ECCAS is Cameroon (score: 0.66).
How Sao Tome and Principe Ranks Within CEN-SAD
Compare Sao Tome and Principe's Dimension Scores
How Sao Tome and Principe Ranks Within ECCAS
Compare Sao Tome and Principe's Dimension Scores
Analysis of Sao Tome and Principe's Performance Across Dimensions
Free movement of persons: For this aspect of the African regional integration index, countries are rated according to two indicators: the share of ratified protocols on the free movement of persons in the regional economic communities, and the number of other African countries whose nationals are allowed to enter visa-free or with a visa on arrival. As a signatory to the treaty establishing the Community of Sahelo-Saharan States (CEN-SAD), Sao Tome and Principe is bound by paragraph 2 of article 1 of that treaty, providing for the free movement of persons and freedom of residence. As a member of ECCAS, it has also ratified articles 4 and 40 of the Treaty Establishing the Economic Community of Central African States and the Protocol on Freedom of Movement of Persons and Rights of Establishment of Nationals of Member States, set out in annex VII to the Treaty. Since 2002, the ECCAS Treaty has also provided for the separate passage of ECCA nationals at airports, ports and other points of entry. Sao Tome is fully implementing the protocols on the free movement of persons. The number of other African countries whose citizens can enter visa-free or with a visa on arrival is limited to 10, however.
Trade integration: The index includes several indicators of trade integration, including the average tariffs on intra-community imports and intra-community imports and exports of goods. Trade in services is not included, owing to the lack of data on this type of trade in Africa. The country applies customs tariffs of approximately 5 per cent, which is on the low side. Intra-ECCAS imports by Sao Tome and Principe account for some 12 per cent of its GDP; the country’s exports to other ECCAS countries make up only 0.2 per cent of its GDP.
Productive integration: For this dimension, the index uses indicators on intra-regional trade in goods based on the nature of these goods and how they complement one another. In terms of production, Sao Tome and Principe demonstrates a low level of regional integration. Its complementarity rating is 27 per cent, insufficient, for example, for the country to be part of a regional value chain. Added to which, its share of exports (0.3 per cent) and imports (0.08 per cent) of intermediate goods show a very low level of intra-regional trade.
Infrastructure: At the infrastructure level, the country has a relatively low ranking – seventh in ECCAS and twenty-fourth in CEN-SAD.
Financial integration and macroeconomic policy convergence: The index includes only one indicator on financial integration, which measures the number of other countries in the same regional economic community with which the currency in question is shared or convertible. Given that Sao Tome and Principe is not a member of the CFA zone, the country has a low score for this indicator compared to the other member countries of ECCAS and CEN-SAD. Information on the convergence of macroeconomic policies is available elsewhere on this page and in the standalone report on the Index.
- Free movement of persons: first in ECCAS (score 0.7). Ranked twenty-fourth in CEN-SAD (score: 0.18).
- Trade integration: eleventh in ECAS (score: 0.001). Cameroon is the best performing country in ECCAS (score: 0.98). Ranked joint twenty-eighth in CEN-SAD (score: 0.000).
- Productive integration: seventh in ECCAS (score – 0.18). Burundi is the best performing country in ECCAS (score: 0.28).
- Infrastructure: seventh in ECCAS (score: 0.40). The Congo is the best performing country in ECCAS (score: 0.69). Ranked twenty-fourth in CEN-SAD.
- Financial integration and macroeconomic policy convergence: tenth in ECCAS (score: 0.01). Gabon is the best performing country in EC-CAS (score: 1). Ranked twenty-third in CEN-SAD (score: 0.28).
This material is reproduced from the ECA Country Profile on Sao Tome and Principe published in April 2016, from the box on the Africa Regional Integration Index.