This chapter explores various meanings of national integration in Africa. It examines the ways that central institutions -- army, bureaucracy and party -- have tried to provide ideas and formulas for dealing with communal cleavages in society. The chapter focuses on the institutions of the state as they define meanings of integration and are involved in the process of group identification because this focus has been relatively neglected in favor of attention given to communal groups themselves. The colonial and the independent African states have intervened in important and frequently deliberate ways to form and reform group identities and relationships. Of all the institutions of rule in Africa, it has been political parties that have been most sensitive to cleavage and conflict and have tried to design formulas for handling communal and class cleavages. Ethnicity and class must be understood situationally, that is, in specific social, political, economic and spatial contexts.