Sustainable Regional Integration: WAI-ZEI Project

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The WAI-ZEI Research Cooperation on "Sustainable Regional Integration in West Africa and Europe" is a bi-regional research project that WAI conducts together with the Center for European Integration Studies (ZEI) at the University of Bonn (Germany) between 2012 and 2016. The cooperation between the two institutes already started in 2008. The project deals with the challenges of the West African regional integration process in the fields of politics, economics and institutional capacity development, taking into account a comparative perspective. The German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is supporting the research cooperation which contributes to a better partnership between Africa and Europe.


  • Regional integration and policy formulation processes.
  • Economic integration and regional trade.
  • Institutional capacity development for regional integration.


Since the start of the ZEI-WAI cooperation in 2010, research workshops for a working group of European and West African scholars, as well as staff exchanges between ZEI and WAI have been conducted with the goal of elaborating innovative research results on regional integration and to support the academic and administrative establishment of WAI as a research institute.

The WAI-ZEI cooperation encompasses

  • Joint analysis of selected policy fields by equally represented bi-regional groups of researchers.
  • Joint policy advice for West African regional decision-makers on the basis of the elaborated research results.
  • A joint publication program.
  • Supporting WAI in the field of research project management.
  • Joint organization of a public Mid-Term and Final Conference.
  • Support for WAI library.
  • Establishment of databases and monitoring instruments.
  • Training of West African post-graduates at ZEI and parallel establishment of an Africa-specific “Master in African Regional Integration” in cooperation with WAI, UNU-CRIS and the University of Cabo Verde.



Prof. Dr. Djénéba Traoré
Prof. Dr. Ludger Kühnhardt

Ablam Benjamin Akoutou
Ilva Ifland
Sara Irina Baptista Spínola
Rike Sohn