The Women, Peace and Security Network – Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) wishes to congratulate the Centre for Regional Integration in Africa (CRIA) on the day of its inauguration.With economies growing throughout the region and new security threats crystallizing, what an important time it is on the African continent for an organisation focused on regional integration to be operating.

WIPSEN-Africa's own work on gender, peace and security in Africa has shown time and again the important role of regional co-operation in addressing address the multitude of security threats facing countries, communities and individuals. However the absence of research and capacity on the issue of regional integration, particularly as it relates gender no doubt limits the ability of women to reap the social, economic and political benefits that may come from further regional integration. We therefore look forward to future co-operation with CRIA knowing that it will not only enhance the effectiveness of our own work, but will contribute to a more prosperous, peaceful and equitable continent.