n Africa Insight - Beyond the Rhetoric - a theoretical analysis of the effects of neopatrimonialism on the integration process in Africa

Volume 45, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


The Organisation of African Unity marked its fiftieth anniversary in 2013 and, despite its transformation into the African Union and the continued rhetoric from African leaders about the need for further integration, attempts to progress towards the goal of economic and political integration have been ineffective. This paper shows that integration has been ineffective in Africa namely because of the lack of political will to push integration further. The reason for this is the prevalence of neopatrimonialism on the continent, which creates a situation wherein leaders need access to a nation's resources to remain in power. Economic and political integration will, inevitably, result in a loss of financial or political capital, which will then result in a lack of resources available for the client, who has used these resources to maintain the patronage base.

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