African Economic Community

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  members of AEC pillar blocs
  states signatories to the AEC Treaty, but not participating in any of the pillars

The African Economic Community (AEC) is an organization of African Union states establishing grounds for mutual economic development among the majority of African states. The stated goals of the organization include the creation of free trade areas, customs unions, a single market, a central bank, and a common currency (see African Monetary Union) thus establishing an economic and monetary union.

Pillars[edit]

Currently there are multiple regional blocs in Africa, also known as Regional Economic Communities (RECs), many of which have overlapping memberships. The RECs consist primarily of trade blocs and, in some cases, some political and military cooperation. Most of these RECs form the "pillars" of AEC, many of which also have an overlap in some of their member states. Due to this high proportion of overlap it is likely that some states with several memberships will eventually drop out of one or more RECs. Several of these pillars also contain subgroups with tighter customs and/or monetary unions of their own:

These pillars and their corresponding subgroups are as follows:

Pillars Subgroups
Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)
Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA)
East African Community (EAC)
Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS/CEEAC) Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC)
Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA)

West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ)

Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
Southern African Development Community (SADC) Southern African Customs Union (SACU)
Arab Maghreb Union (UMA)

Pillar membership[edit]

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CEN-SAD
Founding states (1998):

Joined later:

COMESA
Founding states (1994):

Joined later:

Former members:
ECOWAS
Founding states (1975):

Joined later:

Former members:
UEMOA-94: UEMOA state from 1994

UEMOA-97: UEMOA state from 1997
WAMZ-00: WAMZ state from 2000
WAMZ-10: WAMZ state from 2010

EAC
Founding states (2001):

Joined later:

ECCAS
Founding states (1985):

Joined later:

Former members:
CEMAC-99: CEMAC state from 1999
SADC
Founding states (1980):

Joined later:

SACU-70: SACU state from 1970

SACU-90: SACU state from 1990

IGAD
Founding states (1986):

Joined later:

UMA 1
Founding states (1989):
  member states; year of joining
  member states; year of joining; cooperation in the framework of the bloc stalled
  candidate states; year of application

1 The Arab Maghreb Union does not participate in the AEC so far, because of opposition by Morocco

Somaliland Cape Verde Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic South Sudan Liberia Guinea Sierra Leone Ghana Nigeria Gambia Ivory Coast Benin Guinea-Bissau Senegal Togo Burkina Faso Niger Morocco Tunisia Libya Mauritania Algeria Egypt Somalia Comoros Eritrea Sudan Djibouti Ethiopia Uganda Rwanda Burundi Democratic Republic of the Congo Kenya São Tomé and Príncipe Chad Cameroon Central African Republic Republic of the Congo Gabon Equatorial Guinea Angola Mozambique Namibia South Africa Botswana Swaziland Zimbabwe Mauritius Zambia Malawi Seychelles Madagascar Tanzania Lesotho Community of Sahel-Saharan States Arab Maghreb Union Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa East African Community Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries Southern African Development Community Southern African Customs Union Economic Community of Central African States Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa West African Economic and Monetary Union Liptako–Gourma Authority Mali Economic Community of West African States Intergovernmental Authority on Development African Union Mano River Union West African Monetary Zone
Euler diagram showing the relationships between various multinational African organisations.vde
REC pillars of the African Economic Community.
  COMESA
  EAC
  ECCAS
  ECOWAS
  IGAD
  SADC
  UMA
Active REC pillars of the African Economic Community.
  COMESA
  EAC
  ECCAS
  ECOWAS
  SADC

Other blocs[edit]

Other trade blocs in Africa not part of the African Economic Community.
  GAFTA
  CEPGL
  COI
  LGA
  MRU

Other African regional blocs, not participating in the AEC (their members can be part of other regional blocs which do participate), are the following.

Their membership is as follows:

GAFTA 1 CEPGL COI LGA MRU
2005 membership:

Joined later:

1976 membership: 1984 membership: 1970 membership: 1973 membership:

Joined later:

1 Only African GAFTA members are listed.
GAFTA and MRU are the only blocs not currently stalled.

Goals[edit]

The AEC founded through the Abuja Treaty, signed in 1991 and entered into force in 1994 is envisioned to be created in six stages:

  1. (to be completed in 1999) Creation of regional blocs in regions where such do not yet exist
  2. (to be completed in 2007) Strengthening of intra-REC integration and inter-REC harmonisation
  3. (to be completed in 2017) Establishing of a free trade area and customs union in each regional bloc
  4. (to be completed in 2019) Establishing of a continent-wide customs union (and thus also a free trade area)
  5. (to be completed in 2023) Establishing of a continent-wide African Common Market (ACM)
  6. (to be completed in 2028) Establishing of a continent-wide economic and monetary union (and thus also a currency union) and Parliament
  • End of all transition periods: 2034 at the latest

Stages progress[edit]

as of September 2007

  • Stage 1: Completed, only Arab Maghreb Union members and Sahrawi Republic not participating. Somalia is participating, but no practical implementation yet.
  • Stage 2: Steady progress, nothing factual to check.
  • Stage 3:
  Regional blocs - pillars of the African Economic Community (AEC)
Activity CEN-SAD COMESA EAC ECCAS ECOWAS IGAD SADC UMA
CEMAC Common UEMOA WAMZ Common SACU Common
Free Trade Area stalled progressing 1 fully in force fully in force proposed for 2007 ? fully in force proposed stalled fully in force progressing 2 stalled
Customs Union stalled proposed for 2008 fully in force fully in force proposed for 2011 ? fully in force proposed for 2007 stalled fully in force proposed for 2010 stalled

1 Members not yet participating: DR Congo (in talks to join), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Seychelles (in talks to join), Swaziland (on derogation until SACU gives permission for Swaziland to join the FTA), Uganda (to join very soon)[1]
2 Members not yet participating: Angola, DR Congo, Seychelles [2]

  • Stage 4: no progress yet
  • Stage 5: no progress yet
  • Stage 6: no progress yet

Overall progress[edit]

Activities
Regional bloc Free Trade Area Economic and monetary union Free Travel Political pact Defence pact
Customs Union Single Market Currency Union Visa-free Border-less
AEC proposed for 2019 proposed for 2019 proposed for 2023 proposed for 2028 proposed for 2028  ?
CEN-SAD proposed for 2010
COMESA in force 1 proposed for 2008  ? proposed for 2018
EAC in force in force proposed for 2015 proposed for 2012 proposed  ? proposed for 2015
ECCAS CEMAC in force in force  ? in force
Common proposed for 2007 ? proposed for 2011 ? proposed proposed proposed  ? in force
ECOWAS UEMOA in force in force proposed[4] in force
WAMZ  ? proposed for 2012
Common proposed 2 proposed for 2007 proposed[5] proposed in force 1 proposed proposed in force
IGAD
SADC SACU in force in force de facto in force 1  ?
Common[3] proposed for 2008 3 proposed for 2010 proposed for 2015 proposed for 2016
UMA

1 not all members participating yet
2 telecommunications, transport and energy - proposed
3 sensitive goods to be covered from 2012

African Free Trade Zone[edit]

The African Free Trade Zone (AFTZ) was announced on Wednesday October 22, 2008 by the heads of Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC).

In May 2012 the idea was extended to also include ECOWAS, ECCAS and AMU.[6]

See also[edit]

African Economic Community
Pillars
regional
blocs (REC)
1
Area (km²) Population GDP (PPP) ($US) Member
states
in millions per capita
AEC 29,910,442 853,520,010 2,053,706 2,406 54
ECOWAS 5,112,903 300,000,000 752,983 2,500 15
ECCAS 6,667,421 121,245,958 175,928 1,451 11
SADC 9,882,959 233,944,179 737,335 3,152 15
EAC 1,817,945 124,858,568 104,239 1,065 5
COMESA 12,873,957 406,102,471 735,599 1,811 20
IGAD 5,233,604 187,969,775 225,049 1,197 7
Other
African
blocs
Area (km²) Population GDP (PPP) ($US) Member
states
in millions per capita
CEMAC 2 3,020,142 34,970,529 85,136 2,435 6
SACU 2,693,418 51,055,878 541,433 10,605 5
UEMOA 1 3,505,375 80,865,222 101,640 1,257 8
UMA 2 5,782,140 84,185,073 491,276 5,836 5
GAFTA 3 5,876,960 166,259,603 635,450 3,822 5
1 Economic bloc inside a pillar REC

2 Proposed for pillar REC, but objecting participation
3 Non-African members of GAFTA are excluded from figures

  smallest value among the blocs compared
  largest value among the blocs compared

During 2004. Source: CIA World Factbook 2005, IMF WEO Database

References[edit]

  1. ^ "SADC, COMESA and the EAC: Conflicting regional and trade agendas". Institute for Global Dialogue. October 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  2. ^ "African integration is great but has its hurdles". New Vision. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  3. ^ "SADC, COMESA and the EAC: Conflicting regional and trade agendas". Institute for Global Dialogue. October 2008. Retrieved 7 May 2011. 
  4. ^ WT/COMTD/N/11
  5. ^ WT/COMTD/N/21
  6. ^ Africa free trade zone in operation by 2018