Fostering Regional Integration in Africa: Lessons from Manantali Energy Project (Mauritania, Mali & Senegal)


Regionalism has been a long-standing objective of international development assistance at least since the 1960s. However it is only since the early 2000s that international organizations have significantly increased their assistance to operations designed to foster regional integration as a means to achieve tangible national and regional development goals. These operations address challenges that are common to a group of countries and whose resolution is essentially beyond national responsibilities and capabilities. Existing evidence suggests that financing arrangements, coordination of integration operations, and sustaining their results represent a challenge and requires strong political commitment as well as proactive and effective governance to overcome collective disincentives to cooperate. The country demand for a regional operation needs to be based on an extensive preparation that provides a sound analysis of the rationale, the political economy and the costs and benefits of the operation. This paper aims to illustrate challenges—coordination failure, free-riding problem, cost-benefit estimation—standing in the way of integration projects and how they were dealt with in the case of Manantali energy project, considered as a successful integration project. Lessons for future projects are drawn from the case.

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Gakusi, A. , Delponte, L. and Houetohossou, S. (2015) Fostering Regional Integration in Africa: Lessons from Manantali Energy Project (Mauritania, Mali & Senegal). Open Journal of Social Sciences, 3, 91-102. doi: 10.4236/jss.2015.33016.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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