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SID President Juma Mwapachu New Book On Regional Integration
On Saturday November 24, 2012 the Society for International Development President, Ambassador Juma V. Mwapachu, launched his book Challenging the Frontiers of African Integration: Dynamics of Policies, Politics and Transformation in the East African Community.
The launch was attended by many distinguished members of the Tanzanian government, civil society and private sector. The book was officially launched by the former Prime Minister of Tanzania and Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity, now African Union, Dr. Salim Ahmed Salim.
"This book is rich in information, data and analysis and provides a great deal of insight as well as foresight thinking. It's a must read for the political elite, civil society, private sector as well as scholars and students of integration." Dr. Salim said prior to launching the book.
The book is a collection of speeches, technical papers submitted at various conferences that Ambassador Mwapachu attended as well his thoughts and analysis during his tenure as Secretary General of the East African Community (EAC). This is a unique approach because, as Ambassador Mwapachu explains it is "the best way to capture the dynamic character of regional integration which, by its very nature, is not episodic but rather evolutionary in its process." During the launch of the book Dr. Salim echoed these words when he stated "Regional integration is a process and a challenging one at that. It requires full commitment, dedication and understanding of what is at stake." He hinted that doing so required immense patience and an ability to explain the process to both policymakers and citizens. "Ambassador Mwapachu, in his capacity as the EAC Secretary General was able to do this exceptionally well."
Indeed the book provides a wealth of information and context about the regional integration process and its history not only within the prisms of the East African Community but also African integration. One of the core tenets of the book is that African integration is an effective strategy in mitigating poverty and promoting inclusive economic prosperity. However, Ambassador Mwapachu does warn about the challenges facing integration including the zero sum game mindsets, sovereignty issues as well as the lack of understanding and knowledge about the process by both East African constituents and politicians. Despite these challenges, Ambassador Mwapachu remains optimistic, committed and confident that the regional integration process will continue on as long as East Africans are the ones driving it.
Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) also praised the book as it "gives the reader an appreciation of the leadership needed to create the impetus that is required. Economic integration is at the heart of the work of the African Development Bank and we very much welcome this publication."
For more information contact Ahmed Salim ([email protected])