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HomeTourism and economic integration on the African continent

Tourism and economic integration on the African continent

Tourisme et intégration économique du continent Africain

1st edition of the international congress of the desert economy

La 1ère édition du congrès international sur l'économie du désert

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Published on Monday, December 18, 2017


The ultimate purpose of the International Congress on Desert Economy - Dakhla (ICDED), annually co-organized by the National School of Business and Management (ENCG) of Dakhla-Morocco  and the Regional Council of Dakhla Oued Eddahab, is to be a scientific and multidisciplinary platform on desert economy, in order to contribute effectively to the good governance and in the sustainable development of desert regions, by stimulating meetings between all stakeholders on a global scale, with a view to fostering cooperation and partnership, among desert countries (Africa, the Gulf States, Australia, the United States of America ...), with the aim of creating a conducive environment to the exchange of experiences, expertise and innovation, around themes related to desert economy, such as:  Tourism, agriculture, renewable energy, raw materials, transportation and logistics, sea and fishing, technology, the cultural and intangible heritage, nature and environment ...


15-16 Feb 2018


In general, the importance of regional economic cooperation and integration for accelerating and consolidating economic and social development has long been recognized by African decision-makers. Unity, cooperation and integration of Africa were long-standing aspirations of many African leaders and nationalists. Therefore, the ambition for integration is well-rooted in African history, although, as in other regions, the initial goal was more to gain greater political influence and voice in the international scene.

As the challenges of globalization and interdependence made their impact felt on the countries of the African region, including the possible marginalization of the African continent, the imperative of integration took centre stage once again. The Organization for African Unity (OAU) was founded in 1963 or the African Union (AU) created in 2002 to integrate African economies, solve conflicts within and among African countries, bring development, and improve the standard of living of Africans. Several African subregional groupings were subsequently formed.  In 1967, the East African Community (EAC) was established, which subsequently collapsed in 1977 before it was revived in 2000. In 1975, the Economic Community of States of West Africa (ECOWAS) was created. In 1980, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was set up. In 1989, the five Maghreb countries formed their Union (UMA), which never saw the light of day. In June 1991, the Abuja Treaty was signed, which provided for the creation of the continent-wide African Economic Community (AEC) by 2027.

Regionalism in Africa had been pursued for two reasons. The first was to enhance political unity at the pan-African level. The second was to foster economic growth and development. Regionalism, especially regional market integration, had been a way to help solve the structural problems that the African economies were confronted with.

The first edition of the International Congress on Desert Economy, intends to show that the promotion of tourism in Africa could play a considerable role in the regional integration of the continent, and will argue that strengthened intra-African integration is essential for development. Previous regional initiatives in Africa, which mainly focused on political issues, were largely seen as not having delivered much to uplift the economic conditions of its members nor ensured sustained growth.

This edition, dedicated to the role of tourism in the integration of the African continent, is current for three reasons.  First, at a time when Africa is experiencing changes in international cooperation, through its involvement in a large number of external partnerships (multilateral, regional and bilateral), based on a win-win approach, and must take advantage of the continental tourism opportunities. These partnerships needs to exploit opportunities within the continent, and could help it achieve higher economic growth rates and development objectives. Second, with the current financial and economic crisis affecting African economies through decreases in official development assistance (ODA), imports and investments, the intensification of intra-African trade offers one development strategy for trade diversification. Third, regional integration could lead to, inter alia, pooling resources and enlarging local markets for stimulating production, trade and investment. Currently, the potential of intra-African tourism and investment has not been fully exploited, as seen in the low proportion of intra-African trade to total exports.

Much has been written about regional cooperation and integration in Africa. Some strands of current literature on intra-African integration deal with institutional aspects of integration. The African Union (which replaced the Organization of African Unity) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa have published successively three reports on Assessing Regional Integration in Africa (ARIA I, ARIA II, and ARIA III). These reports provide in-depth analyses of progress towards fulfilling the objectives of Africa’s regional integration in broad and thematic areas. The African Development Bank has produced a number of reports which revisit the issues of regional integration and cooperation in Africa, including the African Development Report 2000: Regional Integration in Africa. The African Development Bank report discusses the major potential benefits underpinning the rationale for regional integration in Africa, which reflects the desire to deal, in one way or another, with the perceived growth-retarding constraints inherent in small markets. Several recent scholarly studies, including by African scholars, have assessed the record of regional integration in Africa. The African Economic Research Consortium in the late 1990s sponsored a comprehensive study on “Regional integration and trade liberalization in sub-Saharan Africa”.

This study provided an evaluation of regional integration in sub-Saharan Africa. It concentrated on economic and trade aspects as the principal field of integration. Most of these studies have focused on trade gains in the area of goods. Intra-African tourism, investments as well as trade in services and migration, which are gaining importance, have not been explored in such detail.

Author Guidelines

In order to submit an abstract, please follow these steps:

  • Create an account.
  • Submit your abstract by selecting "Submit" before December 25, 2017.

  • Wait for the committee's response.

If you receive a notification of acceptance, send the full version before January 8, 2018.

Abstracts should follow the instructions provided below. After the abstract submission has been successfully completed, authors will receive a confirmation e-mail.

Oral and poster submissions should be in Word format and include:

1. The header:

  • The title of the communication;
  • Type of communication (oral or poster);
  • The number and title of the selected axis (among the four major axes);
  • The first name and the last name ;
  • Function and institutional affiliation;
  • Keywords (3-5).

2. The abstract text:

  • The problem;
  • The objectives;
  • The methodological framework;
  • Preliminary results (if possible).

3. A brief bibliography (2-4 references).

The overall document (the header + the abstract text + the bibliography) must not exceed two pages maximum, less than 500 words (excluding spaces) (Format: A4 21 × 29, Font: Times New Roman, font size: 12, line spacing: 1.5, spacing: before 0pt and after 6pt, margins: normal 2.5). For the header, the font size is: 14.

For poster communication: A portrait A0 poster, size: 1189 mm x 841 mm.

Oral communications

Oral interventions will be in French or Arabic or in English, for a period of 15 minutes, followed by a discussion of 5 minutes.

Poster communications:

Parallel sessions will be organized during the congress. Each poster will be presented during one of these sessions, in a short presentation, about 5 minutes, in front of the scientific committee members.

Final full papers:

More details on the final format of accepted full papers will be communicated later, in agreement with the editor.


  • Dakhla, Kingdom of Morocco


  • Monday, December 25, 2017


  • économie, désert, tourisme, intégration économique, Afrique


  • Aailal Elouali
    courriel : economydesert [at] gmail [dot] com

Information source

  • Hassan Ramou
    courriel : repsidt [at] gmail [dot] com


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Tourism and economic integration on the African continent », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Monday, December 18, 2017, https://doi.org/10.58079/z4s

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