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PROJECT TOPIC: THE PROBLEMS OF REGIONAL INTEGRATION: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF AFRICA UNION AND ECOWAS

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION        Background to the Study

The philosophy of the African Unity which underpins the African relations with itself and with the rest of the World states that “We are all African”. It was adapted from the Pan African movement whose aim was advocating a return to Africa of all Africans. The philosophy was essentially pioneered by the Africans born outside Africa and driven by the black intellectuals of African descent in the diasporas, mainly in the US, Caribbean and Europe. The defunct Or- ganization of African Unity (OAU) was established on the basis of this philosophy.

It is observed that there were competing visions of unity and integration between the founding fathers, who were also the heads of new states in Africa. These visions got on the way to nego- tiations on the future of the independent Africa as it was established. However, a compromise was reached, that allowed the borders between the states to be retained as they were inherited from the colonial masters and the establishment of the OAU. Consequently, the OAU was to be a loose forum where issues concerning Africa could be articulated. They also agreed to adhere to the principle of non-interference with the internal affairs of member‟s states. Further the es- tablishment of the OAU was grounded on the assumption that it was a vehicle for promotion of economic interactions among the African states, in addition to the pursuit of formal regional cooperation and integration efforts. Ndongko W. A. (1985. p3) This was viewed as an indispensable and practical starting point not only for the building of mutual trust but also to act as the glue that would bind the states closely together. It was also to be the starting point for economic ties through cooperation and integration and thereafter pave the way for ultimate African political unity.


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