The 'idea of Africa' implies pan-Africanism, that is, a united Africa, working in concert towards a better future for a continent consisting of one billion people and 54 sovereign independent nation states. Since decolonisation, regional integration was proclaimed as the most efficacious way to reach this goal, the best way to enhance the continent's capacity to deal with the daunting and perennial challenges of underdevelopment, poverty-reduction, marginalisation and globalisation. Half a century since decolonisation, the ideal of regionalisation while still prevalent, remains by-and-large an unfulfilled aspiration. While a plethora of regional institutions came into being over the years, Africa is still in the phase of 'shallow integration' or intergovernmental cooperation. Supra-national decision-making, the touch-stone of regional integration, does not exist, even in limited form. The question raised in this article is wether ideologically inspired declarations about continental solidarity and inclusiveness alone, as epitomised by pan-Africanism, are sufficient pre-conditions for successful African integration given the divisions and plurality that exists among the 53 member states of the African Union. A new paradigm of African integration seems necessary. In this respect, Africa's subregional institutions, particularly the Regional Economic Communities, seem promising building blocks for authentic future regionalisation. There are also hopeful signs that as democracy takes firmer root across the continent, progressive economic growth continues in some states, civil society becomes more relevant and assertive, and the post-colonial ancient regime makes way for a new class of rational leadership, Africa will be better positioned in future to make regionalism work as, indeed, was the intention of the founding fathers of African Unity.