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The African Union and the Regional Economic Communities



By
Yohane Mbeeya Moono
An Alumni of the Zambia Institute of Diplomacy and International Studies

The Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are regional groupings of African states. The Regional Economic Communities have developed individually and have differing roles and structures.
Generally, the purpose of the Regional Economic Communities is to facilitate regional economic integration between members of the individual regions and through the wider African Economic Community (AEC), which was established under the Abuja Treaty (1991). The 1980 Lagos Plan of Action for the Development of Africa and the Abuja Treaty proposed the creation of RECs as the basis for wider African integration, with a view to regional and eventual continental integration. The Regional Economic Communities are increasingly involved in coordinating African Union Member Statesโ€™ interests in wider areas such as peace and security, development and governance.

The Regional Economic Communities are closely integrated with the African Unionโ€™s work and serve as its building blocks. The relationship between the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities is mandated by the Abuja Treaty and the AU Constitutive Act, and guided by the: 2008 Protocol on Relations between the Regional Economic Communities and the African Union; and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in the Area of Peace and Security between the African Union, Regional Economic Communities and the Coordinating Mechanisms of the Regional Standby Brigades of Eastern and Northern Africa.

The African Union has 8 Regional Economic Communities and one Regional Body related to the vision of the African Union. Thes organizations have different member countries and the bases of their Secretariats where activities in line with the African Union vision are carried out. These organizations are as follows

1. Arab Maghreb Union (UMA) with the Headquarters in Rabat, Morocco ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ. The members are: Algeria ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟ, Libya ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡พ, Mauritania ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท, Morocco ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ and Tunisia ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ณ

2. Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa ( COMESA) with the Headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฒ. The members are: Burundi ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎ, Comoros ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฒ, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฏ, Egypt ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Eritrea ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ท, Ethiopia ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น, Eswatini, Kenya ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช, Libya ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡พ, Madagascar ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Malawi ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ผ, Mauritius ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บ, Rwanda ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผ, Seychelles ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จ, South Sudan , Sudan ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฉ, Uganda ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Zambia ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฒ and Zimbabwe ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ผ.

3. Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) with the Headquarters in Tripoli, Libya ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡พ. The members are: Benin ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฏ, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Central Africa Republic, Comoros ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฒ,Cote D’Ivoire, Djibouti ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฏ, Egypt ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Eritrea ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ท, Gambia ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฒ, Ghana ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ, Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ณ, Guinea Bissau, Kenya ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช, Liberia ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ท,Libya ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡พ, Mali ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฑ, Mauritania ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท, Morocco ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ, Niger ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ช, Nigeria ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณ, Sierra Leone, Somalia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ด, Sudan ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฉ, Togo ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Tunisia ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ณ.

4. East African Community (EAC) with the Headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟ. The members are:Burundi ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎ, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช, Rwanda ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผ, South Sudan, Tanzania ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟ and Uganda ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฌ.

5. Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) with the Headquarters in Libreville, Gabon ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆ. The members are: Angola ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ด, Burundi ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎ, Cameroon ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ, Central Africa Republic, Chad ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฉ, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆ and Sao Tome and Principe.

6. Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)with the Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ. The members are: Benin ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฏ, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฒ, Ghana ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ, Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ณ, Guinea Bissau, Liberia ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ท, Mali ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฑ, Niger ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ช, Nigeria ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Senegal ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณ, Sierra Leone and Togo ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฌ.

7. Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) with the Headquarters in Djibouti in the Republic of Djibouti ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฏ. The members are: Djibouti ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฏ, Eritrea ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ท, Ethiopia ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น, Kenya ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช, Somalia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ด, South Sudan, Sudan ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฉ and Uganda ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฌ.

8. Southern African Development Community (SADC)with the Headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ผ. The members are: Angola ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ด, Botswana ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ผ, Democratic Republic of Congo,Eswatini, Lesotho ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ธ, Madagascar ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Malawi ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ผ, Mauritius ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บ, Mozambique ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฟ, Namibia ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฆ, Seychelles ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จ, South Africa, Tanzania ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟ, Zambia ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฒ and Zimbabwe ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ผ.

The other Regional Body with works related to the works of the African Union is the International Confernce on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) with the Headquarters in Bujumbura, Burundi ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎ. The members are: Angola ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ด, Burundi ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎ, Central Africa Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช, Rwanda ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผ, South Sudan, Sudan ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฉ, Uganda ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฌ, Tanzania ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟ and Zambia ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฒ.

The African Union together with all the Regional Economic Communities are driven by the vision of An Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.

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Published by MyWritings

A Writer, A Diplomat in Waiting, Climate Change Advocate and a Football Administrator

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