Assessing Regional Integration in Africa V

Towards an African Continental Free Trade Area

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This publication comes at a time of renewed enthusiasm for shortening the period of the vision of the Abuja Treaty. The publication’s overall objective is to provide analytical research that defines frameworks for African governments, the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities, towards accelerating the establishment of the African Common Market through: the speedy removal of all tariff and non-tariff barriers, obstacles to free movement of people, investments and factors of production in general across Africa, and through fast-tracking the creation of an African continental Free Trade Area.




Regional integration in Africa is not a new phenomenon. Initiatives on the continent date back to when the South African Customs Union (SACU) was set up in 1990 and before that the East African Community (EAC) in 1919. The 1970s saw a surge in launching regional economic communities (RECs)—the African Union (AU) recognizes eight. In recent years, African countries have vigorously pursued an integration agenda as a collective development and transformation strategy.


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