Regional Integration in Africa


Making African Trade Work


sustainablecapable of being supported or upheld; pertaining to a system that maintains its own viability by using techniques that allow for continual reuse; using methods that do not cause long-term harm to the environment
prioritythe state or quality of being earlier in time, occurrence, etc. the right to precede others in order, rank, privilege, etc.; precedence
merchandise trade goods which add or subtract from the stock of material resources of a country by entering (imports) or leaving (exports) its economic territory
retain to keep possession of; to continue to use, practice, have, hold in place
stancea mental or emotional position adopted with respect to something
domestic/ international policydomestic policy is a type of public policy overseeing administrative decisions that are directly related to all issues and activity within a state’s borders
international (foreign) policy pursues general objectives that guide the activities and relationships of one state in its interactions with other states
security concernsanxiety or worry related to all the measures that are taken to protect and safe a place, people, institutions, property  or measures taken as a precaution against theft or espionage or sabotage etc.
preventioneffectual hindrance, obstacle, or impediment
encroachto trespass upon the property, domain, or rights of another, esp. stealthily or by gradual advances
cohesivenessthe quality of being structured or organized in a unified way, with close or strong internal connections between people, ideas, or other elements
cloutвлияние, авторитет, мощь, вес
profound глубокий, основательный, фундаментальный
impact воздействие, влияние
bolsterподдерживать, укреплять
insulateотделять, обособлять, изолировать
pivotal основной, центральный, кардинальный
facilitateсодействовать, способствовать, облегчать, продвигать
evolveразвивать, развертывать
stance позиция, установка
reinforceукреплять, усиливать, подкреплять
  1. grapple with 
  2. under pressure
  3. an impact on
  4. faced with
  5. insulated against 
  6. respond to
  7. at scale
  8. praise for
  9. discriminate against 
  10. integral to
  11. give rise to 
  12. at risk
  13. commitment to
  14. vision for 
  15. stance on 
a clear age gap on the issue
compared with a smaller share
more likely to favor
the survey explored the public’s views about 
In regard to the negative consequences, 
substantial majorities
no statistically significant difference by age 

At a time when large powers and global trends are reshaping the regional environment, the only way for ASEAN countries to advance their interests effectively is by working together.

ASEAN has undergone an impressive turnaround in the past five decades.

The benefits of free and open trade are being questioned, international institutions are being challenged, new geopolitical powers are rising.

ASEAN members will feel the effects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution acutely.

The working-age population in the bloc is increasing by 11,000 people daily and will continue to grow at this rate for the next 15 years.

The demographic expansion is happening just as many existing jobs will be substituted by intelligent automation and AI.

Faced with these disruptive shifts, ASEAN must strengthen its community. 

Indeed, the bloc has long been praised for its “open regionalism,” whereby it pursues economic integration among member states without discriminating against non-ASEAN economies. 

With the architecture of global governance being challenged, ASEAN members must make their voices heard if they want a world that supports their interests.

Individually, Southeast Asia’s countries carry little weight; collectively, however, they represent almost a tenth of the world’s population and nearly 5% of its GDP.

Historically, ASEAN has played a pivotal role in facilitating regional relationships, giving rise to the notion of “ASEAN centrality” in Asia.

In 1993, the bloc established the ASEAN Regional Forum – now with 27 members – to foster dialogue on political and security concerns. 

It established the East Asia Summit, currently with 18 member states, in 2005.

Today, however, the geopolitical context is evolving

Unless ASEAN remains united as a bloc, it will lose its ability to convene regional actors, mediate disputes, and shape principles of international behavior and interaction.

But a reassessment is needed if ASEAN is to speak with a strong voice on regional matters, rather than allowing dissenting voices within the group to prevent the adoption of collective positions.

Given that existing global institutions are being challenged, and given the rise of Asia in global affairs, ASEAN must reinforce its ability to influence the debate.