Table of Contents

  • The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) advocates for the promotion of international support for Africa’s priorities, across the peace, security and development nexus. As part of this effort, OSAA has been working collaboratively with the African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in undertaking global advocacy to mobilize international support for their collective peace and security, development and regional integration agenda.

  • The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) undertakes global advocacy in support of Africa’s priorities across the peace, security and development nexus. An important component of this work is aimed at mobilizing international support and partnerships to advance implementation of the key aspirations, goals, targets and flagship initiatives of the African Union (AU), which are contained in its framework documents on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and Agenda 2063. These frameworks, which serve as the fulcrum for OSAA’s work, are both strongly aligned with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. As such, a core component of OSAA’s advocacy also aims to promote coherence and synergy in implementation of these continental and global frameworks.

  • The AMU was established by the Treaty of Marrakech, signed 17 February 1989. The Treaty aims at “strengthening the ties of brotherhood which link Member States and their people to one another; achieving progress and prosperity of their societies and defending their rights; pursuing a common policy in different domains; contributing to the preservation of peace based on justice and equity; and working gradually towards free movement of persons and transfer of services, goods and capital among them”. AMU Member States are namely: Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia.

  • The Preferential Trade Area for Eastern and Southern Africa, which treaty was signed in Lusaka on 21 December 1981, was the precursor of COMESA. The treaty establishing COMESA was signed on 5 November 1993 in Kampala, Uganda and ratified a year later in Lilongwe, Malawi on 8 December 1994. Its twenty-one Member States4 are: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Libya, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

  • The EAC was originally created in 1967, dissolved in 1977 and revived in 1999, following the signing of its Treaty on 30 November 1999. The Treaty entered into force on 7 July 2000. Its members, referred to as “Partner States”, are Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

  • ECCAS was established in 1983. Its members are Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda and Sao Tomé and Principe.

  • ECOWAS was established in 1975 by the Treaty of Lagos, with a mandate to promote economic integration in all fields of activity of the constituting countries. ECOWAS envisions the creation of a borderless region where the population has access to its abundant resources and can exploit same through the creation of opportunities under a sustainable environment. In this respect, ECOWAS is working towards realizing its vision of an ECOWAS of people by 2020. Its 15-Member States are: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, the Republic of Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.

  • IGAD was established in 1996 succeeding the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) founded in 1986. Its members are Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.

  • The creation of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) in 1992 was preceded by two momentous events: the formation of the Frontline States in the 1970s which facilitated the liberation struggle and the campaign against the apartheid regime in South Africa; and its eventual transformation into the Southern Africa Development Coordination Conference (SADCC) in 1980, a forum that was conceived to foster cooperation amongst, and preserve the independence of, the original nine Member States. Today, SADC’s membership is comprised of sixteen Member States: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, DRC, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

  • As is clearly illustrated in the preceding sections, there are commonalities and shared challenges in the landscape of conflict prevention and peacebuilding in the various RECs. Evidently, their main objectives of advancing regional multilateralism and integration by deepening cooperation among their respective Member States in the economic, political and social spheres has evolved in response to conflict, violence and crisis situations that have emerged in their regions in the post-Cold War era. In this connection, almost all the RECs, except for AMU, have since established, institutionalized or consolidating their respective regional mechanism or architecture for conflict prevention, management and resolution to deal with the challenges confronting their respective region. While the RECs have all made significant progress in implementing and operationalizing their respective conflict prevention framework or architecture, the gains made have been uneven and varied from one REC to the other. In addition, several challenges remain, even as the landscape of conflict continues to evolve due to persisting, new, emerging and complex threats, root causes and actors.

  • For nearly three decades, since the end of the Cold War, Africa has witnessed a significant increase in the active involvement of its RECs in conflict prevention and peacebuilding, across all its five regions: north, east, west, central and southern. Initially envisioned as pillars for the achieving the economic cooperation and development and regional integration objectives of the African Union, the RECs have since evolved to play regional lead roles in peace and security broadly, and conflict prevention. Their engagement reaffirms the inextricable linkages between peace and security and development, demonstrating that one cannot be realized without the other.