African countries are increasingly focusing on promoting regional economic integration as a way to stimulate economic growth and expand local markets. Considerable progress has been made in expanding regional trade through regional bodies such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC). There are six other such Regional Economic Communities (RECs) that are recognized by the African Union as building blocks for pan-African economic integration. So far, regional cooperation in agriculture is in its infancy and major challenges lie ahead. This chapter will explore the prospects of using regional bodies as agents of agricultural innovation through measures such as regional specialization. The chapter will examine ways to strengthen the role of the RECs in promoting innovation. It adopts the view that effective regional integration is a learning process that involves continuous institutional adaptation.
Juma, Calestous. "Governing Innovation." The New Harvest: Agricultural Innovation in Africa. Ed. Calestous Juma. Oxford University Press, 2010, 166-203.