Olamuyiwa Oluwafemi Solomon, Dr. Kiven James Kewir, Cross Border Insecurity and Regional Trade in COMESA, ASIO Publication of Thesis & Dissertation (ASIO-PTD), 2016, March, 1(1): 01-147.
ARTICLE TYPE: Dissertation
dids/doi No.: 02.2016-61128823
dids link: http://dids.info/didslink/03.2016-36824297/
Regional trade integration in Africa co-exists with endemic insecurity, particularly cross-border insecurity. It can be argued that insecurity in general will deter trade, but it seems this influence is little explored in literature and cross-border insecurity is not viewed as one of the factors hindering regional integration and trade. This study set out to examine the extent to which cross-border insecurity affects regional trade integration in COMESA. A qualitative research design was used. A systematic review of literature and semi-structured interviews were employed as the methods of data collection. The traditional theories of international trade begin with the Theory of Absolute Advantage, which is one of the masterpieces of Adam Smith (1776, Scottish) in his “Wealth of Nations.” Next, there is the Theory of Comparative Costs or Advantage (David Ricardo, the Prince of Economists, 1817 in the Treaty of Economy and Taxation). We interviewed a total number of ten (10) stakeholders working within the AU Border Program of the AU Peace and Security Department and in the AU Trade and Industry Department at AU Headquarters at Addis Ababa and experts at COMESA Headquarters at Lusaka, Zambia and at COMESA Liaison Office in Addis Ababa. The study found out that free trade combined with poor border management was a recipe for the promotion of cross-border insecurity. The study arrived at two main findings: first, that cross-border insecurity not only has negative impact on regional trade but has other far reaching devastating macroeconomic and human consequences on individuals and cross-border communities and; second, that despite this, there was disagreement as to whether cross-border insecurity should be treated as a prominent factor hindering regional trade or not. This formed the basis for the debate in this study. General, bottom-up, bilateral and multilateral strategies were found to be pertinent in finding solutions to cross-border insecurity. This led to three (03) major policy recommendations: enhanced COMESA multilateral security and better border management programs and practices; bilateral engagement and; community empowerment. With respect to the debate, we suggested as area for future research, that more research should be done in this domain in other RECs in order to further clarify the impact of cross-border insecurity on economic integration in Africa.
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