The role of communication in Africans regional integration: a case study of the African union
The world is currently witnessing a renaissance of regionalism and integration schemes. Regionalism has become popular as states seek closer economic and political ties. Communication plays an important role in achievement of strategic goal in organizations, firms, countries, economic blocs and regional bodies such as the African Union. In addition communication is a key success factor in fundraising and improving public relations, and as result communication help organizations/countries to map influence networks and to elicit feedback to update the existing strategies. The African Union was premised on the idea that a process of integration within the continent may enable African countries and peoples to find their rightful role in the international community. The AU is aspiring to achieve a common vision of a united and strong Africa and to build a strong partnership between governments and civil society. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of communication in Africa’s regional integration. It was guided by the following objectives: To examine the role of communication in enhancing regional integration in Africa, to evaluate communication channels and strategies adopted by the Africa Union and its member states and to establish means through which African Union can improve regional integration through communication 10% of the AU officers working at Kenindia Business Park, Westland’s, offices. The sample was selected by use of simple random sampling. To test for validity and reliability the researcher used test-retest method which involves administering the same instrument twice to the same group of respondents at two separate times in two weeks interval between the first and the second test. Data collected was mainly quantitative in nature and was appropriately analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study established that African Union ways of communication to its members was still unable to enhance regional integration as expected. It was noted that Africa ranks last in terms of intra-regional trade after Europe, Asia and North America according to a 2011 WTO report. The study found that Natural resources dominate Africa’s economy, leaving other sectors neglected and underdeveloped due to lack of coordination and improper communication. Poor communication on political and economic factors also contribute to Africa’s poor performance vis-à-vis the free flow of goods and services. The study established that the poor quality of road networks is one of the main hindrances to the movement of goods in Africa. The study concludes that communication is a necessary condition for trade and regional overall economic and social development since it provides the physical links between the various countries and forms a major component of the costs of trade, the global competitiveness of every country and thus its development prospects, aspirations of its people and integration with other countries.