The Impacts of Regional Integration in Central Africa

Statement of Your Research Problem or Area of Inquiry

This dissertation will be aimed at examining the impacts of regional integration in Central Africa. The main focus of this research will be on its effects on trade, migration, and border control. Overall, the origins of this integration can be traced to the early sixties, when the first free trade agreements were concluded; on the basis of these agreements the Economic Community of Central African States was formed (IMF 2006). At the given moment, the effects of this policy are still debated by economists and sociologists. The most important question is whether Central African countries act as partners or competitors.

Theories or Prior Research Related to the Problem or Area of Inquiry

This issue has been examined in many studies. The researchers primarily focused on the free trade agreements adopted by the governments of Central African states, and their role in attracting new investors (Yang & Gupta 2007). For example, such scholars as Yang and Gupta tried to determine if the liberalization of international policies did revitalize economic life in this region. Similar research has been done by Ronald Pourtier (2003) who examined the current integration projects in Central Africa. It should be noted that this research discussed the influence of these policies on the demographic situation in this region. The analysis of regional integration is primarily based on various theories of free trade which postulate that elimination of trade barriers and liberalization policies are vital for successful functioning of the economy and infrastructure.

Goals, Purpose and Potential Significance of Your Research

The main goal of this study is to investigate the economic impacts of this process on central African countries. There are several objectives for this study. First, it is necessary to analyze the relations between the adoption of international trade agreements and intensity of trade in this region. Secondly, this dissertation will determine the extent to which this partnership affected migration in this region. Finally, this study will discuss the implications of this policy for border control. This study can have significant implications for policy-makers. Its findings can tell whether the policies are effective and how they can be improved.

Research Design and Methodology

This study will be based on the combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods. First, I will rely on ANNOVA in order to measure the relations between such independent variable as regional integration, particularly the adoption of free trade agreements, and the dependent variables like the intensity of trade and migration in this region. This study will rely on the econometric data of the last ten years. Furthermore, I will also rely on such qualitative method as interview in order to see how regional integration affected the lives of urban population in Central African countries. Finally, it will be necessary to do a review a literature review to examine the effects of regional integration in border control.

The Research Population

This research will focus on the urban population. In particular, it is necessary to choose those people who are more aware of regional integration and who take more active part in this process. In this case, one can speak about scholars, traders, or those individuals who seek employment. The cluster sampling will be particularly helpful for the purpose of this study. This approach will enable me to find the respondents more quickly (Lehtonen & Pahkinen 2004, p. 70).

Examples of research data that might be collected

It is necessary to gather econometric and qualitative data. First, I will need to find the information related to the intensity of trade, for instance, one can look at the historical records of import and export in the central African countries. This data will show the relations between such variables as integration and trade. Secondly, I need to look at the longitudinal data about the GDP of these states. Thirdly, it is vital for me to look at demographic data, especially the movement of labor force between these states. Another type of data will be primarily related to the opinions of people affected by regional integration.

Other Information about the research proposal

This is the main strength of this study is that it will explain the economic and demographic effects of regional integration and show how they are related to the lives of individuals.

Reference List

  1. International Monetary Fund (2006). Central African Economic and Monetary Community: Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes – FATF Recommendations for Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism. NY: International Monetary Fund.
  2. Lehtonen, R. & Pahkinen, E. (2004). Practical methods for design and analysis of complex surveys. NY: John Wiley and Sons.
  3. Pourtier, R. (2003). Central Africa and the cross-border regions: reconstruction and integration prospects. DAC Journal, 4(4), 43-109.
  4. Yang, Y., & Gupta, S. (2007). Regional Trade Arrangements in Africa: Past. Performance and the Way Forward. African Development Review/Revue Africaine De Developpement, 19(3), 399-431.
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