Towards Conflict-sensitive Regional Integration in East Africa
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Regional integration and development in East Africa have been portrayed as inextricably linked. Integration involving investment in trade and transport corridors to move goods, services and people between coast and resource-rich hinterlands is seen as part of development and economic growth, even peace-building. However, top-down implementation and assumptions about development ‘trickle-down’ pose questions, including how growth ‘corridors’ might exacerbate violence. Equitable, sustainable and conflict-sensitive processes must start with a better understanding of socio-political context; focus more on local integration; and establish ways of tracking and monitoring development impacts over time.