African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) will hold its twentieth senior policy seminar from March 12-13 at the Lake Victoria Serena Hotel in Kampala, Uganda, hosted by the Bank of Uganda. Rt Hon. Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, Prime Minister, Republic of Uganda will be the Chief Guest at the opening of the Plenary. The welcoming remarks will be by Prof. Lemma W. Senbet, AERC Executive Director, and Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, Governor, Bank of Uganda will make the opening remarks. The conference will feature five presentations by thought leaders on the subject of regional integration.
Most African countries are embracing regional integration as an important component of their development strategies, primarily driven by the economic rationale of overcoming the constraint of small and fractioned economies working in isolation. Deepening regional integration in Africa is critical to maintaining economic competitiveness. Most assessment of the progress in regional integration in the continent has focused on market integration associated with trade in goods. Indeed many African markets are moving towards integration. Yet, regional integration, in its broadest terms, including goods, labor, and finance, is an important pathway for economic transformation and diversity.
“At the heart of regional integration should be integration of African finance in view of thin and low scale national financial systems. I look forward to heightened policy dialogue on financial integration, including prospects for integration of Africa into the global financial economy,” said Professor Lemma W. Senbet, AERC Executive Director.
Leading researchers will also share their ideas with distinguished senior policy makers, including Dr Bruce Byiers of European Centre for Development Policy, the Netherlands, titled “The Political Economy of Regional Industrialization Policies.” Dr Chuku, University of Uyo, Nigeria will present a paper on “Greasing the Wheels of Regional Integration: Infrastructure as a Catalyst for Trade, Innovation & Growth”. Prof Christopher Adam, Oxford Department of International Development, UK will focus on “The Fiscal Foundations for Deeper Regional Integration”.
AERC senior policy seminars are forums designed specifically to bring together senior policy makers from sub-Saharan African countries to exchange experiences and deliberate on topical issues pertaining to sustainable development of their economies. Participants in these seminars are drawn from the highest levels of government, including the presidency, ministers, governors of central banks, heads of civil services, permanent secretaries and heads of government agencies and parastatals.