The idea of establishing a Centre for regional integration in Africa, was first conceived soon after Professor S. K. B. Asante’s appointment as Principal Regional Adviser and Coordinator of the United Nations Multidisciplinary Regional Advisory Group (MRAG) at the Cabinet Office of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in March 1991.  Earlier in the mid-1970s and 1980s, he had developed a great deal of interest in the study of Africa’s region –building and regional integration, following the establishment, in May 1975, of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Professor Asante received at the ECA on the subject of creating an African regional integration centre. Dr. Jeggan Senghor and Dr. Jide Balogun persistently encouraged him to establish an African regional integration Centre on his retirement from the service of the United Nations in August 1997.

Happily at the LECIAD, Professor Asante teamed up with two regional integration experts, Professor Lehlohonolo Tlou and Dr. Vladimir Antwi-Danso, Senior Research Fellow, to establish the Centre for Regional Integration in Africa, CRIA.