ASSILAH, MOROCCO - The Assilah Forum Foundation is organising a symposium on "Integration in  Africa: consensus and dysfunction" in Assilah, Morocco, from 29-30 June 2018.
The Symposium which will be inaugurated by the Senegalese President Macky Sall
will be followed on 1 July by the Tchicaya U Tam'si Poetry Award for African Poetry, This is the 11th edition of ther award. This biennial recompenses a poet from africa for his or her entire work.

The syposium will focus primirily on:

•    Beyond what is already known, what new paradigms, methodologies and approaches might contribute towards  a better African Integration?

•    How is it possible to work around, exceed and resolve the dysfunctioning: what solutions and what means?

•    What role can the cultures and civilisations of Africa play towards a future united Africa?

The idea of regional integration in Africa was and still is an ultimate objective for all the citizens of the continent and a good number of its politicians and intellectuals. It was also a great dream of its founding fathers and of the great African nationalists, a vision which led to the creation in 1963 of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU)  (Which became African Union in 2002) and other regional and sub-regional institutions.

Yet, despite the many achievements and evolutions on the continent, and the great hope brought about by the African Union (OAU), the process of integration still faces numerous challenges, obstacles, and dysfunction.

If we diagnose the idea of integration in Africa, the evaluations which emanate lead us firstly to reflect on and review its history, of all the processes initiated towards integration on the continent since the independences up to the present day in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of all these experiences. More qualitative scrutiny leads us to quite alarming facts given that this entire process has not achieved one iota of this Pan-African dream be it through economic integration which struggles to bring into existence accomplished real regional markets or sub-regional, or to achieve unions and community spaces, this time political, and capable of facilitating the ultimate dream.

Economic integration is still not there yet to bring into existence accomplished regional markets or sub-regional ones to facilitate the attainment of the ultimate dream.

It is now necessary to make new efforts and bring new reflections with paradigms and questions as to revive the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) towards more convergence in all of their policies. The situation is such because no real growth, no take-off of the continent will be achievable without wide, protected internal markets which are viable through their intrinsic strength of production and consumption. It is also urgent to be equipped with efficient political super-structures, systems of good governance adapted to the demands of an integration which turns its back on the bygone chauvinism and nationalism of the Jacobin nation states inherited from colonial powers. All these prerequisites for a successful integration must be anchored in a vision that can never be over-emphasised if Africa wants to move towards the conquest of its future and not undergo a future that had been planned for it. In other words, Africa must “decolonise its future”.

Today, if we are consistent with the aspirations of the African Union announced in the agenda for 2063 and if we note the predictions of the continent in terms of union and integration, it is obvious that we are still far from reaching the sought-after integration.