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Morocco, the most economically integrated country in Africa

Morocco is one of the best performing country at the Africa Regional Integration Index. The Kingdom ranks fourth as the most economically integrated country in the continent.

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Compiled by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Union and the African Development Bank Group, the second edition of the African Regional Integration Index ranks Morocco fourth in terms of regional integration.

Released last week, the index ranks African economies based on five criteria, namely trade integration, productive integration, macroeconomic integration, infrastructural integration and the free movement of people.

The index grants Morocco a score of 0.430 points. As one of the countries with the highest performances, it ranks behind South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda.

Macroeconomic integration

For the year 2019, Morocco ranks the best when it comes to macroeconomic integration. «Morocco, leads its peers on macroeconomic integration», wrote the authors of the index, adding that the country «has a near-perfect score on this dimension (0.941) and has the most bilateral investment treaties in force».

Morocco is also 4th in Africa in terms of infrastructure integration, with a score of 0.530 which places it behind South Africa, Egypt and the Seychelles.

The kingdom also ranks 8th in Africa in terms of productive integration. This index takes into account the shares of intraregional imports and exports as well as the complementarity index of merchandise trade. The country is however 39th for trade integration and 48th for the sub-index relating to the free movement of people.

Freedom of movement for people, AMU's key weakness

The second edition of the Index of regional integration in Africa is also interested in the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA). The union described as the smallest regional economic community in Africa, with only five members, remains «moderately integrated», with an average score of 0.488.

Its greatest weaknesses lie in the freedom of movement of people and its moderate score in terms of commercial integration (0.481). «As for the other three dimensions, AMU’s score on trade (0.481) is moderate: as much as its members may trade outside of Africa, their exports within the region are low. AMU’s score for productive integration averages about the same (0.449)», the index reported.

Within AMU, Morocco comes second behind Tunisia for Regional Integration, 3rd for trade integration (behind Tunisia and Algeria), second for productive integration (behind Tunisia), 1st for macroeconomic integration, 3rd in terms of infrastructure integration (behind Tunisia and Libya) and fourth for the free movement of people (behind Mauritania, Tunisia and Algeria).

In general, the Index shows that the level of general integration for continent remains low, with an average score of 0.327 in 2019, the report explains.

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