The European Union, the East African Community, and the Continental Integration of Africa - Potential and Challenges

Butare, Rwanda

27-28 September 2018

Jointly organised by:

The Protestant Institute for Arts & Social Sciences (Rwanda)

The University of Bradford (UK)

The University of Kigali (Rwanda)


With the cooperation of:

The University of Burundi (Burundi)

Gulu University (Uganda)

The United States International University - Africa (Kenya)

The Uongozi Institute for African Leadership and Sustainable Development (Tanzania)

The University of Lancaster (UK)

The University of the Peloponnese (Greece)

Deakin University (Australia)


Supported by:

The European Union's Jean Monnet Programme

The East African Community (EAC) (tbc.)

The EU Delegation in Rwanda

The EU Delegation to the EAC

The Rwanda Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and EAC

The Inter-University Council for East Africa (tbc.)

The Chinese Embassy in Rwanda (tbc.)


The EU-EAC Network

This international conference will be part of the Jean Monnet Eurafrican Dialogues in Rwanda, themselves part of a series of events organised by the Jean Monnet Network 'The European Union, Africa and China in the Global Age - Sustainable Development through Tripartite Cooperation and Regional Integration: The Case of the East African Community (EU-EAC)'. This research and training project is a major Jean Monnet activity supported by the European Commission. It brings together academic partners and institutions from the EAC countries, Europe and China. It aims at improving EU-Africa cooperation and contributing to building sustainable societies in Africa in coordination with the European Union and China. The Rwanda event aims to put emphasis on patterns of integration in a comparative perspective. Ample time will be devoted to engage in debate between academics, policymakers and the audience.



The conference will explore the context of African integration in general, and the possibly more advanced model of regional integration of the East African Community (EAC) in particular. It intends to provide a comparative perspective with the European model of integration and will adopt a multidisciplinary approach. It will also investigate the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) signed in 2015 which brings together three of the eight regional economic communities of Africa (EAC, COMESA and SADC), as well as the role played by the African Union in underpinning the convergence of African states. To this end we invite proposals that analyse aspects linked to this overarching approach.


The conference will explore particularly, though not exclusively, the following themes and their relevance for African integration:


Regional vs. continental integration in Africa: lessons from Europe?

European integration as a model for Africans: potential and limitations

The East African Community (EAC) as a model for other African regions;

How to make integration work: challenges and obstacles to (East) African integration;

How can the EU most effectively contribute to integration in (East) Africa?

The role of the African Union in bringing African countries closer together;

China and African integration: does China want an integrated Africa?

Will China's Belt and Road Initiative promote economic integration in Eastern Africa?

The TFTA and the growth potential of a rising intra-African trade;

EU-Africa trade relations;

Africa as a potential economic bloc in the 21st Century;

Integration and conflict management in Europe and Africa;

Water management, conflicts and integration;

Sustainable development policies in Africa;

Interregional interactions (EU-EAC; EU-AU; EAC-ECOWAS; EAC-SADC etc.)

Migrations and demography: the tip of the iceberg? A European obsession?

The African youth between past and future;

The role of education in promoting integration: An African Erasmus?

Institution-building in Africa;

Democracy, fundamental rights and law: European and African perspectives;

The impact of Brexit on Africa and EU-Africa relations.



The conference aims to have a balanced participation of both African and non-African attendants. Participation will include research scholars, analysts, policy makers and practitioners.


Abstract proposals of 300 words maximum should be sent by 22 July 2018 to  and .


A selection of best papers will be published in the Routledge Handbook Series The European Union in the World (subject to approval).

During the conference meals, coffee breaks and social activities will be covered by the Jean Monnet Network. There will be no conference fee for paper presenters. Each participant will need to pay for travel, accommodation and visa costs. Help will be provided in finding accommodation.

For further information, please contact Jean-Marc Trouille at or Penine Uwimbabazi at .

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2018-09-27 2018-09-28 The European Union, the East African Community, and the Continental Integration of Africa - Potential and Challenges Butare, Rwanda | Protestant Institute for Arts & Social Sciences (PIASS) Jean-Marc Trouille and Penine Uwimbabazi true YYYY-MM-DD
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