Regional Economic Communities (RECs)

According to the Lagos Plan of Action for the Development of Africa (1980) and the treaty to establish the African Economic Community (also known as the Abuja Treaty) from 1991, the creation of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) was suggested to increase regional African integration. The memberships of several of these communities overlap and there is cooperation between various RECs. In Accra, Ghana in 2007, a protocol was adopted to facilitate the harmonisation of policies between the AU and RECs.

The AU currently recognises eight RECs:

  • The Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)
  • The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
  • The East African Community (EAC)
  • The Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)
  • The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
  • The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
  • The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)
  • The Arab Maghreb Union (UMA)