#DevTalks: A New Agenda for African Continental Integration

The Growth Lab's "Development Talks" is a series of conversations with policymakers and academics working in international development. The seminar provides a platform for practitioners and researchers to discuss both the practice of development and analytical work centered on policy.

In this conversation, Donald Kaberuka, former President of the African Development Bank (2005-2015), discusses the current state of growth in Africa, the need for debt relief, the role of multilateral organizations, specific capabilities for global competitiveness, foreign investments, infrastructure gaps, and more. 

Tim O'Brien, Senior Manager of Applied Research at the Growth Lab, serves as moderator. 


DISCLAIMER: This webinar transcript was loosely edited and there may be inaccuracies. 

Tim O'Brien: Well, everyone, welcome to the Development Talk series. My name is Tim O'Brien, I'm a senior manager of applied research at the Growth Lab at the Harvard Kennedy School. I'll be moderating this session called A New Agenda for African Continental Integration with Dr. Donald Kaberuka, former president of the African Development Bank. Dr. Kaberuka, welcome and thank you for joining us. So the first question I have for you is simply about the current state of growth in Africa. For many African nations, growth remains low in 2021, and current IMF and other forecasts don't project Africa as a whole to converge to its pre-COVID growth path and like many other regions. Can you talk to us about Africa today in the context of the pandemic? Do you think African economies have begun to recover from the COVID 19 crisis?

Dr. Kaberuka: OK, thank you. Thank you for the opportunity to share and apologize for the lights. As I said, I'm in Brussels. (Inaudible) Look, let me make two caveats, number one. Africa's 65 countries. And therefore, you have a whole variety of post-Covid recovery, depending upon a number of things. And so as he spoke about African recovery. Please bear in mind that I think to help countries and that would be different positions. And I suspect the recovery would be, but it is a number of countries with. The second caveat is that we cannot explain everything on Covid. In some cases, though, some preexisting vulnerabilities caused by internal or external factors. So it's going to be that things be happening in the next year. So this was my second. Now why do I say this? I'm saying this because I'm still confident that men of our countries are going to occur, but it will be a recovery. Which is probably is variable. It was in busts, I think some countries do better than others. And depending upon four factors. Fucking no one. The path of this let us. Shall we see another body? Let us know unless. I see that European countries are beginning to open up their economies to eliminate all these measures in the belief that maybe Omicron would be another variant. So that is issue number one issue number two would be gradual vaccination. Which, you know, in what you call Africa, is there a lot less than 10 percent? Now, some countries, including my own right on targets, WTO targets, but many other countries are building. So that could be the second, but. The third factor would be what does that mean to the global economy? And at the moment, a number of things are really impacting on the recovery path in all of them. You won't be surprised. It is a pleasure. Isolations the world over was struggling with supply chains and maybe less risk of inflation. I don't. And then the last one is the multilateral action, because we saw during the acute phase of COVID a little disjointed and not robust responses to what happened the economies, the global north, where trillions of dollars of stimulus, many of our countries don't have medical students. They did what they could, but I won't say the international response to music it with exception, I would say, of the International Monetary Fund that institutions like the Global Fund to see a much more robust action going forward so that that would be a synchronized recovery or simply recovering the North, but recovery in the global south as well.

Tim O'Brien: Can you tell us a little bit more about what more robust effort would look like? I know that early in the pandemic, you argued with others for the need for debt relief in Africa. Do you think debt relief is still needed? What's the economic case for debt relief or what are the broader ways that the multilateral response can be more robust?

Dr. Kaberuka: Let me let me qualify that. What was requested for and was delivered by the G-20 was not released. And suits the conservation standards, too. It was a moratorium, a moratorium which was a voluntary and temporary. It was understood that after the acute phase of these other countries to begin again to fulfill their responsibilities, many countries, by the way, do not take up the monetary. Because they were keen to ensure that is part of the recovery process, they need to have access to global capital markets. And you and I know that some rating agencies had no take and done little the initiative of the monetary office, let alone there, was no comparison. I covered all of the criticism. So, no, we never could definitively will call for it to seal a moratorium, which is a temporary and voluntary. Now, I want to emphasize that I did a number of countries who have issues that in this distress over the marginal districts. But it was not exactly linked to the event of those preexisting equipment, COVID evidently worsens the situation. And therefore, the solution there may include some of the Europe deputy secretary, but there was still a lot of reform in policy and policy reforms. These things have to go together. But you asked me what the robust action could be. I give you one which has been at the table for 18 months now with a little movement on the issue of the special drawing rights. The reserve assets of the International Monetary Fund. You recall this during the global financial crisis. A decision was made to increase the level of special drawing rights from around twenty four billion dollars close to 250 billion dollars. Very robust build a robust. This time around, for somebody of equal measure, now it is You know second to increase the special drawing rights. About 650 videos equivalent. But as you know, because of the way the the regulations work, that's going to be about a billion dollars, by the way, a large part of which was the middle income countries. So the majority of countries and smaller economies who would have it a little in terms of the estimates. And it is a proposal is being put on the table by the different parties to say there would be a lot of countries in the G20 who don't need those serious. We don't need them. That a part of those is recycled. But the mechanisms to be discussed to those countries, we need them. That would be a very bold decision, which is not technically difficult. There are some legal issues, but it's not the political will to say there's been this decision of the special drawing rights, but it is benefiting countries. What it does is it does recycle at least 200 billion dollars to low-income countries in low and middle-income countries to assist the recovery. Those kind of measures would be quite sensitive.

Tim O'Brien: And what about any other actions from other multilaterals? And what about the African Development Bank itself? What roles do you see from the other major institutions?

Dr. Kaberuka: So Regional Development Banks play a delicate role. They have knowledge on the ground. They have done quite a lot in assisting countries in this period. But, you know, also the cost of this is not the resource. This is not commensurate with the size of this crisis. So but the arguments on this zero, this is that, as you said, would via Africa's development assistance not the only ones, but the largest, not at least to the African Development Bank. And that's why I hope and expect that some decision in that direction will be taken.

Tim O'Brien: Great. Let's turn a little bit to the topic of the session on African Continental Integration. But I think that'll bring us back to some of the other components of recovery that you mentioned already. So as the global economy changes now the aftermath of COVID 19, supply chain issues, but also the move toward decarbonization, what's the specific capabilities for global competitiveness that you see emerging through African integration? I guess including, but not limited to through the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Dr. Kaberuka: So let me explain the logic of the contents of the search for. It's about deepening Africa's markets. It's about extending the diversity of those markets. Some economies are very small, small economies, kind of Crystal, but I think is in other parts of the world. The decision to come together, removing barriers to trade and investment is quite salutary. In order to see going into the next expenditure, you know, there are several stages of integration. They'll always see one is known as a preferential trade area. You see tariffs among members, but you don't completely eliminate the next one is a free trade where you remove trade barriers among the members. All right. You can move onto the customs union have with the next democratic move on to the monetary union and even the later full economic you know, including as such, now many Afghan regions have moved beyond the free trade in it. Some of them are common currency. Others have customs union other than monetary union, and therefore the African Continental Free Trade Area brings credence among all the five regions of those. Are the early stages like the preferential trade areas, those are moved to the United States, like the monetary union, one of the building or not. What building on something that exists. But none of it is between us, between the regions. And we know that tariffs are no longer the biggest problem. The weighted average among men of their countries today would be in the neighborhood of 15 percent. But the rebels say things like the payment systems and movement of people and obviously where markets a lot of men set off restrictions, which you know very well. And the idea is it's in this be few. It's going to move quickly to hopefully liberalization, which is preventable and including measures to safeguard those sectors which might be having some temporary concerns. You know, for example, today delayed one countries to sign it once the new issue of rules of origin issues of anti-dumping measures. The standard things you have to deal with in this kind of. And my hope and expectation is that quickly we get all these things in place. All right. Some more disco than others. A movement of people is very difficult, not simple enough for the world. But the low-hanging fruit is we launched about a month ago in April, the pan-African payment system, which is owned by the African in particular, but a hugely important step which enabled filling in national currencies without going initially to say the currencies. I hope and expect you can make progress, for example, on the premise systems and digital platforms. I'm hoping we can make progress on the single market, which would never bring down that was the trouble in Africa. Don Bowles put it this, so it's a question is never is whether it is in Europe, as you can see for other parts of the world. It's it was a lot of give and take, but at the end of the day, it will benefit. And so the single logic of this CAFTA is that it provides resilience with the Afghan economy needs six. And also in a quest to get investment from other parts of the world.

Tim O'Brien: One, I wanted to ask you more about this, last point of investments from other parts of the world. What's your hope in some of the sectors that are likely to emerge or trade relationships that are likely to become more promising? What's the nature of the types of investment that you hope that that integration can enable? And is it investment that then produces things that are sold to this larger, more integrated African market that then certain countries have had access to before? Or is it also about producing things in Africa that are then sold to the rest of the world? What's some of the scope of possibility that's in your mind?

Dr. Kaberuka: So Tim, you and I know this. Intra-African investment flows themselves are very, very poor. But many companies of African origin, African ownership, which have cross borders so badly that it encourages intra-Afghan investment itself. All right. This is important is affecting it for investment. You know, the second thing you and I know is that a. A lot of investments over the last five years in the many parts of Africa was going to mining oil and gas with the kind of stuff. All right. Now, that means it's going to be subject to vagaries organization in which the booms and busts. Right. So wait for it. The tricky issue is how do we join the global value chains at high levels? Was that not many economies operating at lower levels of the global village? This were the issues that. No, it could be the diesel space. It could be an ugly business. It's going to be in the consumer industry. It's going to be the health scare, but we have to be able to move up the global village. Now, it was beginning to happen in a number of countries, right, especially Indonesia. But now, as you can see, it could be itself as a look at some thinking around what we do is vexing my focusing my Fuxing Therapeutics diagnostics now for the continent, which in 20 foot would be quite a powerhouse demographic because it cannot be, it would not become part and parcel of the high levels of the global value chains. Those are the kind of business I'm talking about. It takes a number of things. It takes stability. You take security, it takes, kills, it takes the policy penalties in place. All those things are within the safety. And I am completely convinced that given up the megatrends, the demographics, the urbanization, the leapfrogging in some of these deviations in Africa will be once the safety is bliss, where the power to reckon with everything in terms of sequences will get.

Tim O'Brien: So, so that brings us to the obvious follow-up questions of what are some of the risks and constraints to these initial building blocks of the FDA being completed and put in place? What are some of the challenges that you see there need to be overcome for this powerhouse future?

Dr. Kaberuka: Look at how long it is taking the Europeans to get right. They begin to do a with their European coal and steel arrangements. They're moving into the digital realm, getting the economic community. Democrats must act and then rescinded the Treaty of Lisbon. But not all European countries belong to the European Union. Some in the Europe Union, others and the Union of Media. OK, and there are the kind of arrangements as other European countries, including the Free Trade Area, by the way, as you see, it's quite a long journey. Complicated economies are different. They have to be taken into account. They've always been a little zero-sum calculus as well. There'd be some fears to overcome. But whether it is Latin America, whether it is Europe, whether it is Asian, integration is the general, which is complex, we should not be. We should not underestimate the challenges that we face, especially when you talk about countries. I can look at how wrong it is in Europe. Look at the challenges that you know, even today. And therefore, I think building on what is the nominee in different parts of Africa, really in East Africa,  in SADC, especially those SADC, it was itself kind of a community where significant steps have been taken up. The customs union up to the monetary union of some countries was. So which is really what exists already, but not underestimating the challenges with this.

Tim O'Brien: And how about challenges in particular to some of the low-hanging fruit that you mentioned before payment systems, air travel mobility? What are some of the more immediate hurdles to get past there?

Dr. Kaberuka: So I mentioned the scheme, which a number of finance institutions have begun that are doing others in the first he took was good preparation. It's not easy, especially because different regions put in different arrangements of opinions and settlements. And therefore, it is one of these continental building skill-building what exists. So that takes it to the bank then that issues like the deprivation email that we all kind of need to get all the kids together. There's some school and policy issues which have to be addressed. What I'm telling you is that our central banks, different public institutions, and I wasn't being too hard on these issues, and I was impressed by how fight is going in such a short period of time. Just imagine three up in countries with different currencies. Consider opinions in real time using on currencies through the arrangements, but that's not going to save money. It will not only seem the need to go through all this, but over time it would even bring the informal trade into marriages, which, by the way, submitted to the. So even bring an informal fit into the formal structures, that's still a huge addition for the major foundations. So they low hanging fruit, but I'm not saying they're easy to operate on day one.

Tim O'Brien: In terms of mobility, not only of people but also of goods. How about transportation gaps, infrastructure gaps? What are the key gaps that relate to the fulfillment of the goals of integration? How should we be thinking about those issues?

Dr. Kaberuka: Look, infrastructure isn't for the challenge because it costs money, but I won't tell you that the spending that's going to build, I saw huge progress in all regions of Oaxaca, maybe except to the Manresa area and maybe some places in the mountains. But other parts of Africa, when they do with it, is for transport, for power, for about optics or this that improved dramatically bring down the cost of the business. It would. No, that will continue. But I mentioned a single earmark. Go see where market does not require a lot of it. But those efforts exist, but our planes applied to them using different levels of freedom is in the agreement. So there are some things it doesn't require a lot of effort, but any video feeds to. If today it was agreed that the power approves, which you know very well, what do you think is not only possible for kinds of energy security, but the chances that to bring down is in the process? And this is about infrastructure that is more than investments. It is about the police of criminals. It's about the financial capability of the national figures. It's about regulation. It's about that is how it ends the subsidy. So many things we can do in the policy space or off with weaponry. They had the infrastructure. And again, I want to mention that I think a lot of this happened to me, and I'm certain that in the context of the free trade area, we're going to need to do more.

Tim O'Brien: And can you tell us a little bit about the key roles are that the African Development Bank plays in this project? So you mentioned your time briefly in relation to infrastructure? What are some of the key roles?

Dr. Kaberuka: Look, it's a long time ago I left the African Development Bank so I can't speak for the institution. I don't have the mandate, but I can speak as a former leader of that institution because it's going to play a very important role in the space of bringing down the cost of doing business in Africa and bring down the cost of doing business in this region. Institutions are very, very close. And that's going to be the bank has built itself for this place. And I hope that its shareholders continue to associate it did more so that the African people with subregional development assistance remember the occasion of the African Development Bank, which was the colonial powers lift of 55 countries, but several currencies, borders and and the political decision. It is a be complicated to open up the Pandora's box of those borders. Well, it was accelerating federation. There are the great institutions which can bring down the cost of doing business. Spain is a great open and I want to salute the forefathers of organizations for that kind of person that will continue during this crisis. Some of the organization studied have been physicians. Visiting clubs have been asking organizations African Center for Disease Control State Laboratories, now the creation of the African Medicines Agency. That's kind of a decision. But senior positions in all of this under the umbrella of the upcoming union that's gunning these Afghan institutions that are quite a simple stuff can develop advanced African Export-Import Bank, African CDC, the earbuds, the medicine agency in the context of this governmental free trade area, which I need those institutions to be strong, robust and resilient.

Tim O'Brien: So what about the potential losers of integration? I mean, there's a lot of benefits that you've laid out. But with trade, the trade component, at least there's always some winners or losers. How do you think about that and how do you think about ensuring that those who those businesses or otherwise who might be harmed, transform and benefit as well?

Dr. Kaberuka: Look, well, I don't like the term winners and losers, everybody, everybody's a winner. It is zero-sum calculus. Is it on calculus? Everybody's a winner. No, I'm not talking about that. Every single sector, every single enterprise win within some enterprises, which operates inefficiently, but we cannot compete as input. So mixed up. OK, that would be with it. OK. That means some business now up to the idea that is a normal process of right? No. The CFD does not have 100 percent. It is a sequence liberalization recognizing some of those designations. Providing for. If they organize those, the suctioning and the very strong anti-dumping measures because of fears by some countries that certify the exports and actually end up in their countries, undermining their own industries. But I do believe this experience has proven that even within Africa, not even within the community, there is no reason everybody is a winner. All right. Rabbi, we agree on the sequencing, timing and his images.

Tim O'Brien: I'd like to ask you, just were you surprised at the level of support and unanimity in You know unity across African nations in regards to AfCFTA? I mean it. It struck me as unique in how many countries have signed on. Did that surprise you?

Dr. Kaberuka: No, it surprised me. It was in a sense that the leadership of one, the countries I'd been waiting for such measures is, I would say, many regions are going even farther than the free trade area that the customs union, that monetary union, the economic union that wouldn't even know they should bring grievance among the regions of some at the beginning. Others, much say. But I do not see any hesitation. I just saw some countries wanting to have clarity on some of the risks which you just mentioned how it goes up versus how the was different political, the voters on the rules of origin or not dumping on it because it was breaking the rules. Some of the things ones that have been explained right? All countries able to find except one, I believe.

Tim O'Brien: Great. So I think we're going to turn to participant questions soon. I wanted to pick up on vaccination again. You had mentioned it a little bit. You mentioned a little bit about vaccine manufacturing and your initial responses about COVID 19. One of the key pathways forward. Can you talk a little bit more about the vaccination challenge in Africa and other developing countries, how two systems need to improve globally locally? Help us understand this challenge a little better.

Dr. Kaberuka: So let's begin with the challenge of doing this symbol. Is that science and the private sector provide a solution? In terms of vaccines, in terms of deftness, in terms of therapeutics, but in rich countries, they to. So to speak. Beyond even then, it's. In private, companies were more keen to fulfill those orders and commitments than make sure the vaccines were equitable. All right. The situation has improved, but not is one would need to deploy the vaccines to the level needed. I really want to feel that when it comes to issues of justice, the refugees export bans hoarding by these countries, right, did not help. Those of us who believe in free trade. I do believe that we have not learned from this lesson, but that when there's a crisis, right? Global systems don't work happens. And therefore, it is only normal that countries look at making a significant level of therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccine. Right now it's not is. It's complicated. The technologies is setting them up. But you see countries like Senegal, Rwanda, South Africa, Tunisia, Ghana out. In the beginning, we can see this new technologies not simply with vaccines, but for other forms of vaccine India. Again, the free trade area really provides a very good base to do that. Was Missouri able to get these vaccines in testing them among themselves and regretful? And then it's inefficient. These things are the beginning if countries are working with different. It's a technology that in the issue of intellectual property rights, which is also a discussion that are in different arrangements pending when that kind of which is resolved. But it cannot be this in the future. And there will be that African countries face the same problem that this this type of almost becoming the last mile of vaccination.

Tim O'Brien: I want to ask you just one more question, then we'll turn to all the questions that are coming in through the Q&A and keep them coming, and that's on in your role as U.N. Secretary General's high-level panel on internal displacement. You know, it's clear that African integration can be an enabler to solving so many problems economic and otherwise public health. Is there a connection here with the challenges of internally displaced people? And if not, what are some things that are at the forefront of the UN on addressing internal displacement?

Dr. Kaberuka: OK. So when the Sec. General asked me and it didn't get any for my EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, which had to be sorted, said No. One. The numbers of internally displaced in the world that the historical high. A total of 17 million people. That is high. And let me also emphasize this is an internally displaced, this is still in their own countries that move across borders. They've insisted that because of conflicts or because of climate or because of both. But they're still within their borders. They're not refugees that would cross a border. So the second reason see, the mission was that even though the numbers of, I don't know, it's pretty high. The world is not giving it enough attention is the issue of refugees and illegal migrants, which of course, is both. But there are protocols and international treaties on how you deal with the refugees. But there's no such a thing to do with intelligence, this business. So number one, the number that is why. No deal. The issue is not receding at and when it does receive attention. Is this solicitation from the Department of Humanitarian Possibilities assistance? Not as a development issue. And therefore, one has to give it both a mandate and say a development site and integrity was in thinking about what it means for the system, would government we give a proposal to the opposition, which is study I think is a hugely with additions from countries, but it is Colombia from countries. But it is the Philippines, from Myanmar, from Syria, from Yemen, from the Syrian region and from some countries in the Gridley. So it's an issue of huge importance globally, not simply for low-income countries. And I do believe that the proposals would give to the general on how to ensure the intelligence business comes back on again. Right. It is the one of refugees and migrants. And second, that it is looked at from the viewpoint of governments and conflicts and also from the viewpoint of development and humanitarian needs. So it's up to six you know now to get the information for. But I do believe that in 2022, unless we begin to focus on the issues of IGP, as I said, this is what it is. Colombia is Haiti, Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Philippines. It is very hard, but Cuba is use in some of those countries.

Tim O'Brien: Thank you for that. So I see that Ricardo has joined now, so let me hand the floor over to him for as many questions as he'd like to ask.

Ricardo Hausmann: Welcome, Donald to this group. It's great that you're doing this for us. Thank you very much for your wisdom and your friendship all these years. I want to start with a brief comment and ask you a question on that. I think that whenever African countries, whether it's because of an export boom, more or aid or an ability to borrow whenever sort of like a foreign exchange constraint gets lifted it has capacity to grow. And whenever the foreign exchange constraint binds again, then things slow down. You mentioned the word leapfrogging. I want to see, given your experience and your knowledge of the region and what you think is happening. What are the most promising opportunities that are there that you think countries should get organized to exploit out there? There's obviously a, you know, decarbonization is, is, is a challenge, but it may open opportunities, digitalization in other things. You mentioned urbanization, demographic change. What are in your mind in the best cards that countries in the region have right now to play in terms of our growth agenda?

Dr. Kaberuka: Ricardo, thank you very much for their kind words. But together, it's hard to explain this to you because you explain very well in your schools isn't how about your students? And when your complexity issues and what these economies have to balance, it's no wonder you write about our economies having been basically subject to booms and busts in cycles. That is it. However, I wondered if you recall, that's just because it's a particular before the global financial crisis. Some of the fastest-growing economies in Africa were not competitive. In fact, when you look at numbers side by side. The fastest-growing economies, I should add a little bit in terms of oil, gas and minerals. Well, those risks in those subsoil possibilities. Hugely volatile growth over the years. This is, as you said to me, something that if you look at the structure of the growth of those countries of origin, it was interesting to see how they are related to the megatrends happening in Africa, which is demographically Dunham's young population. Second, population moving from rural areas, urban areas. Which means the demand for literally everything in a new format. And certainly this issue of input of simple technologies like the mobile. What does Mitt in terms of inclusion, which does mean terms of delivery of citizens in my country? It does made a huge difference, for example, in health the delivery. So I believe what you see, what are the mega trends in Africa in the next four individuals? And these are some of those I've mentioned and what they mean in terms of training skills development so that it can provide the response to the U.S. mission to which are principally the green economy, right? The green economy. We don't know what to do to cities like this in the past. We have to make sure it's a given that Africa together literally Billericay really in its services. So this is that Africa is rich in some of the commodities. Would you be critical in this transition to electric vehicles and stuff like that that we managed this? This is different from what I've done in the past. So I think that we have many missions, the green economy and these are absolutely right. But it means that this in what it takes, if that happens next time you visit my country to be able to see the investment the country's made for a good investment, good regulations. Training people is what is making the country able to attract better players in the abilities of the diesel face. So you might have to agree that the green economy and the needs of its.

Ricardo Hausmann: Thank you. And let me return it back to Tim O'Brien.

Tim O'Brien: Thank you. OK, so there are a lot of great questions in the Q&A, so I'll just go through as many as we have time for. So let me first read one from Daniel Ofosu, who's a mid-career MBA at the Kennedy School. And his question is to what extent do you think historic national borders have contributed to the slow growth of intra-African trade? Going forward, do you believe that the CAFTA has the requisite enforcement power to ensure that African economic regions cooperate fairly on trade issues?

Dr. Kaberuka: No, the fragmentation of our economies and notes that have been in a break on with bits of growth diagnostic. No doubt about. I'm not saying that large economies in Africa have done better than what they call fulfillment, but some of the large economies have done it over a long period of time, if not better than smaller economies, but could have done better things together. And this I'm saying that's when you look at parts of Africa which have been moving up steadily on the ladder of integration. Tough enough for me, right? The rate of growth in the subcontinent is much, much higher than, say, in central Africa or New Mexico. This is a great. In the North African country's economic trade is about less than maybe seven percent or even lower than the simple some parts of Zimbabwe. So you could see the link between countries, a move that has high up in population and the impact on economic growth. But would it be easy? No, not at all. Because of the records of ethical and sometimes political questions. Is it enough? So the answer is yes. Fragmentation of government equals. We need to be to work on it. I think this is a very good starting point.

Tim O'Brien: OK, next question comes from Jasmine Hugo, who is a graduate student at Cornell and I believe of Ethiopian descent, which is one country that's not participating in Vasey, and her question is about regional economic communities. She says, Thank you for this informative talk. What will happen to the existing regional economic communities and other African regional trading agreements under AfCFTA?

Dr. Kaberuka: OK. So for a long time, we've suffered this thing we call the spaghetti bowls of. Appreciate you funding every country, maybe some kind college, more than one, two, three, four economic configurations. One of the beauties of the city that killed cities over this and for this book was harmonizing regulations. When I was in college, these etc. So I think the city's answer to these spaghetti bowls I can having several organizations, those with severe neighbors, especially countries like mine, which no, you have to get on to organizations where all your neighbors belong to. So that is the answer. Now what will happen to those organizations? The CFD doesn't mean that existing organizations should be rebuilt, so the country-specific builds on existing institutions. And it was. It's where they are moving it further than this year, a trend that is accelerated further. So some institutions in the long run, in the long run, it may evolve in different directions. But the idea of this shift is not to scrap existing institutions is to build on the.

Tim O'Brien: I have another question here that asks about the relationship of integrated, more integrated Africa with the rest of the world, and that's from Noah A. Should the AfCFTA prioritize working towards a continent-to-continent free trade agreement with the EU or focus on intra-African opportunities? He also asked, what should we expect from the Brussels summit?

Dr. Kaberuka: Oh, that's interesting. Yes. Yeah. No. You know, look at the history of other parts of the world. Look at the history of Europe, it's a threat at all twice in the last century. But once the war Second World War was over, the Europeans said, let's look for other ways of working together. So beginning with the two countries, which when the steel and coal community, then the EEC, and then after the Treaty of Lisbon and they it's a good thing for the countries, the source of the in the East and Europe. No, it has not been easy for them. No one says it will be for that, but this inflated needs priority for Afghan country is to build the continental markets. Its diversity is the movement of capital, of labor, of services as much as we can. That is what makes African countries able to defend external shocks. Is it to negotiate better treaties, arrangements with other parts of the world? If you have to look at the debate about EPAs with the EU economic partnership agreements and the confusion that it creates, i.e. exports of Africa, negotiating a separate agreement with the EU didn't work very well either, because it does not bring to this logic. So the logic now is let us open up the rest of the world, but let us this will open up among ourselves deep in our markets. I love this regulation of facts and then negotiate with other parts of the world is one of possible because that too is very important.

Tim O'Brien: Another question from Bruno S. is what role should universities and research and development play in the African Union's economic development? And Bruno is a student at the Harvard Extension School.

Dr. Kaberuka: So let's talk about education as a whole, not simply universities. And then we can talk about that and talk about intellectual property and business. You know, since you are a student on those issues, I want to look at the development of the prisons in the world. We have the design system in China alone in the last two years. And try to link that to the level of investments in education, both at home and abroad. But it. Some of these success countries realize that it's not hard enough, but leaders of its good Vermont also invest, and then they just get educated abroad, bring back the skills and the networks they have. Now, I do believe the key issue in our system of education will be the quality that exists. Was we have done better in putting a rising number of children at school, girls and boys, increasing the number of universities? It is a number of taking dozens, but it's vitally important not work on issues of ensuring that equality that exists is what exactly would enable us to get into the R&D space and everything that is the post-industrial vision from nanotechnology to big data. This is about for me providing this opportunity for all children. What school? Good school? And at the end of it is running. By the time when they leave an exit, they have the skills that are required for the economies of the future. This is how I see things from this.

Tim O'Brien: If I could build on the question a little bit, we think a lot about the interactions between universities, research universities and the industries that are around them and the role that universities play in the basic R&D that then feeds those industries and the interplay between the two. From that perspective, what do you think about the. What do you think about those type of relationships in across Africa? Are they are they growing in some places? What's the role of universities in this in the future of African integration in?

Dr. Kaberuka: So whether it's through head to listen to this, universities, polytechnics and institutions which provide skills of the people, we're not investing enough. In other words, you know, you and I know that out of India, around the world, these subsidies open in different forms, including subsidies given to universities. And therefore, it would be like. But the question. That's the key issue is the it's really important that it exists, and that means investing in the quality of education that kids get at school and in the universities. And along the way, figuring out a way to combine public money and private money, ensure that we invest more in R&D. I mean, at the moment, outside of Africa and Morocco, the level of invest in R&D. And this requires the public money, public money. And of course, the institutions of higher learning as well.

Tim O'Brien: We are in the process here. I'm speaking to you from a university in the United States of always in the countries where we work, trying to engage more with the universities located there and in more collaborative ways of researching especially the questions that are that matter more to local researchers. Have you seen some promising models of this type of relationship between global universities and local university cities? What are your thoughts in this area?

Dr. Kaberuka: For example, here in my own country, Rwanda, there is an interesting model. Actually, two. One at the Carnegie Mellon University, which opened a campus together and provides master's degrees to in the area, and they've done a bit of it. You know, that is a kind of cooperation which shows results is African Leadership University. This is the Afghan Institute of Mathematics. So, yes, there are possibilities of having those centers of excellence combining. But for me, the acid test is how well that works to build local capacities in Africa, because remember, this is the pulling. No. If you'd fancy an expense in an Afghan country that makes maybe because you got maybe $6000. And to some Western countries, then maybe the foot doesn't. If you send them to America or Europe, you may end up being 20 times. Which means a country is against them, and therefore the key would be how quickly can build the capacity that will going to get more people into the had anything similar. But if that happens by indigenous growth, it's better if it happens by cooperating with external intrusions. That is also what is developed.

Tim O'Brien: Thank you. So I have a few different questions here about the relationship between the FDA and agriculture in particular. One question is about how the agreement will affect domestic agriculture and how to ensure adequate protection for farmers in competitive markets. Another question is actually asking about how the EU has a common agricultural policy and that that's played a role in integration in the EU. Do you speak a little bit about the particular role that agriculture plays and how integration affects agriculture? Look.

Dr. Kaberuka: Who can do this with? Them in the thoughts above. Do you find that? Let's be with him. Is it worth it a minute from this like Vietnam? In other parts, the fine features imported from China. In many of the parts, you find the still important things from European countries. What? Alison Kosik, he was the bureau because the subsidies. So part of the solution. As come from an agreement that we deliver on market distorting agricultural subsidies. That's not to provide opportunities for us, Gantt chart. It's really not is this this deal for this important role for them? If you're in the Mississippi and Alabama. Let us discuss. Is that something they should be doing in this entry? The European Council will be subsidizing their farmers at the Riverside Stadium. Maybe the safety was necessary in the 70s, but you see this is said enough. So there are those issues in the global agricultural policy, which is a necessary complement. What we do nothing. But I do believe that the shift is very good news for African families into a critical new stuff can come with any protection. Andres Velasco There might be some temporary system improvements, which, by the way, is provided for in the safety net. But overall, I think the more open our markets up to all our farmers so that farmers and country consider Peru B and C and D, and not simply a true liberal, by the way, but also a value added. So I buy the thesis that I fully see if this is the best news for Afghanistan once the long time provided, provided those distortions in the global markets are dealt with as.

Tim O'Brien: I have a rather specific question here from Sonya Turley, which which is would you support the inclusion of the African Union in the G20, given that the EU is also the member? Would that help to increase the legitimacy of both EU internally and externally?

Dr. Kaberuka: So is it right? That's a continent's lack of figure was left out of the discussions about the future of the world that it was. I happen to have attended the first G20 in London, followed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and because everybody realized the injustice of this. It was on to ensure that it's some voice from the Afghan side. So, so that's the puzzles that it's hard. It is a large economy, but it was bombed. You that the African Union, the the Shia Fiscal Union, also attends but is against. Equally, the head of the president who chairs the Independent, the Freedom Dividend Program. But these are evil arrangements. It is important to formulate. So that when it all goes and is it further conflict, Bangladesh should be out given its population weight? So maybe we should think of other informal arrangements. That is so many since 1945, that was the G7, the G7 plus one G8 in the G20. And we have found the combined effectiveness and legitimacy. At the beginning, the G20 was probably very effective at minimizing the damage posed by the global financial crisis, but its legitimacy questioned by those of us what it's done. So would I call for inclusion, but hopefully to make current arrangements a binding, not simply voting you is guests. They find a way of putting more countries there. Be concerned that more countries will be less effective decision making. But I don't think even the current arrangements, a number of decisions have been difficult to implement. But in spite of the fact that there are only 20 countries who control 80 percent of the global economy, I think ability to want to find the sweet spot between effectiveness and legitimacy is very fundamental.

Tim O'Brien: Well, it's been a real privilege to to hear your answers to all of these questions, you've been able to answer everything thrown at you, it quite quickly and compellingly. So I just want to leave the last few minutes. If you'd like for you to share any any thoughts that you'd like to leave us with anything that you wish we be asked about. It's like to have the last word to you.

Dr. Kaberuka: All I want to say, Well, we begin by thanking you, but also saying that without the present. Reference represents the fifth one is how badly the world is prepared to deal with this kind of. It's the money we almost based on of HIV aids. You and I know that because AIDS has been in the global north almost as it is in 1995. Deliver mortality from that particular, and then it's big enough, OK? But drugs which would have been had to do with HIV aids in the Renaissance became available at the price of food, one that you will find in this place and in the region and found between classes last second. And therefore, we need to think about this pandemic because this pandemic was life. But as. Dealt a blow to the economies of many low income countries, even those not. Now that we are the better the future, that would be the other epidemics. But if you don't always come under epidemics, become a race because of failures in governance. Or is it politics? I do believe that the biggest economy what's in this going forward is how to prepare for the next pandemic in a manner which is effective. And if we don't solve it to address global health security both for the governments in the global south with the kind of responses now we have huge levels of global inequity and that has been damaging for the economies. And this is what we're discussing.

Tim O'Brien: OK, well, I want to thank you on behalf of the growth lab and everyone who tuned in, and this has been a wonderful chance to learn a community about the possibilities of African integration and various other issues. And I see that it's gotten dark over there, so we'll let you go and always appreciate your time and your wisdom. Thank you.

Dr. Kaberuka: Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you for your time.