On Wednesday, June 21st, 2023, a group of staff members from NCP consisting of Koné Rahamatou, Kouami Carlos, Boua Marie-Grace, and Tai Grace Pauline, accompanied by Dr. Tony Karbo, attended a course/conference on Globalization and Regional Economic Integration: Implications for Sustainable Development in Africa at Ephrata University. The course/conference was organized for members of the National Institute for Security Studies from Nigeria.
Dr. Joseph Grah, the co-founder of the University of Ephrata, inaugurated the conference with a warm welcome and an introduction to the role and mission of his university. NISS Study Tour Team Leader Mr. Adeleke Ayodele Saheed, representing the National Institute for Security Studies of Nigeria, then introduced NISS. Following that, Dr. Grah proceeded to introduce the seminar panelists, which included himself and Dr. Tony Karbo.
The course/conference revolved around several key questions:
- How does globalization impact regional economic integration efforts in Africa at bilateral and multilateral levels?
- Is globalization a positive or negative phenomenon for regional economic integration efforts in Africa?
- Is Africa leveraging globalization for the benefit of member states and the continent?
- What role can the African Continental Free Trade Agreement play in ensuring African economies benefit from globalization?
- How can Africa transition from primary (raw materials)-based economies to industrial production to enhance competitiveness in the global marketplace?
- What emerging technologies can Africa access to improve regional economic integration and support sustainable development initiatives?
- Does governance in Africa have positive or negative effects on economic development in the region?
- What are the linkages between globalization, regional economic integration, and sustainable development in Africa?
Dr. Grah delivered his intervention by highlighting the security situation in Côte d’Ivoire, specifically the country’s border areas. He also discussed the implications of immigration, agriculture, and political instability, emphasizing how these factors have contributed to the current state of security. Dr. Grah further mentioned a personal experience at a South African airport where he was denied entry due to a missing vaccination card, illustrating the lack of empathy between Africans in certain situations. He concluded by urging for the promotion of peace, love, and reconciliation in the continent.
Dr. Tony Karbo’s intervention focused on whether globalization is a positive or negative phenomenon for regional economic integration efforts in Africa. He questioned whether we are still in an era of globalization or experiencing a rise in strong nationalism. He explained that while the initial aim of globalization was to encourage countries to be open and engage in free trade, the current landscape has shifted. Countries now seek to protect their own products and gain advantages in imports, indicating a sense of strong nationalism that hinders collaboration and openness promised by globalization.
Following the interventions, members of the National Institute for Security Studies posed various questions regarding regional integration in Côte d’Ivoire, the state of security, and the measures taken by the country to ensure safety for its population.
After the conference, both panelists, Dr. Grah and Dr. Karbo, were given souvenirs on behalf of the NISS commandant for their contributions to peace and security in Côte d’Ivoire.