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Military expenditure and security outcome convergence in African regional economic communities: evidence from the convergence club algorithm

Charles Shaaba Saba ORCID logo EMAIL logo and Nicholas Ngepah ORCID logo


This study investigates the degree of convergence in military expenditure and security outcome for the eight regional economic communities (RECs) of Africa spanning 1995–2015. We utilise the methodology of the Phillips and Sul convergence test to each of the region’s military expenditure and security outcome. The results of this study suggest that the convergence club of military expenditure and security outcome cannot be generalised across the RECs of African countries, and likewise for the overall convergence of the regions. The nonconvergence of the full sample and the presence of the different subgroup convergence clubs for both variables imply that RECs of African countries are characterised by individual factors which in turn determine an idiosyncratic course of their own path for defence and security policies. The empirics further confirm that the regions appear to have chosen dissimilar paths for their defence and security measures. Considering the cross-border and multiple security challenges facing the continent, this study recommend that African RECs harmonise their defence and security policies in order to achieve a convergence for a concerted security threats facing the regions.

JEL Classification: H560; O47; O55


We appreciate the Editor-in-Chief Prof Raul Caruso and the two anonymous expert referees for their insightful comments and suggestions that helped improve the quality of this paper. All remaining errors is ours and we take full responsibility of it.


Table 19:

List of selected African countries.

AlgeriaBurundiEthiopiaMadagascarMoroccoSierra Leone
AngolaCameroonGambiaMalawiMozambiqueSouth AfricaTunisia
BotswanaCôte d’IvoireKenyaMauritaniaRwandaSwazilandZambia
Burkina FasoEgyptLesothoMauritiusSenegalTogoZimbabwe
Table 20:

Africa’s regional economic bloc’s used for the study.

Africa’s regional economic blocksYear formedMember countries for this study
Arab Maghreb Union (AMU)1989Algeria, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia
Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)1998Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo and Tunisia
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)1994Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
East African Community (EAC)2000Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi
The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)1983Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad and Rwanda
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)1975Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)1996Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda
Southern African Development Community (SADC)1992Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe


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Published Online: 2019-10-09

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