Inter-governmental authority on development (IGAD) as a regional bloc is operating with a lot of impediments that delayed the organization from attaining greater economic integration. The objective of this study was to show the ways in which IGAD can actualize credible economic integration in the region, though the best is yet to come. Qualitative data collection approaches (interview and literature as primary and secondary data sources respectively) were employed. Finding of this study revealed that multi-level governance (MLG) model is the suitable approach to make IGAD successful in realizing greater economic integration. Decentralization of power, effective participation, designing specific objectives, sharing the lows as well as the highs, and establishing standing technical committee were the main strategies to effectuate MLG model on IGAD integration context. The major internal IGAD integration impediments were the presence of poor governance structure and weak leadership, the existence of weak Secretariat, the absence of annual meeting and the lack of cross-border institution. Whereas, the external hindering factors were the existence of longstanding political instability, armed conflicts and emergence of terrorist groups, lack of political determination, overlapping membership, similarity of import-export goods and the absence of uniformity among member states in undertaking responsibilities. In the nutshell, IGAD regional integration process is slow in its pace and needs urgent re-revitalization with the concept of MLG model. In order to make IGAD viable regional bloc re-revitalization of the IGAD governance structure with the concept of MLG model, having ordinary summit to address strategic agenda of the organization and drawing lessons from the EU integration process as the EU decentralized power along its layers of governance structure were recommended.
Key words: Horn of Africa, Inter-governmental authority on development (IGAD), multi-level governance, regional economic communities, regional economic integration.
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