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Regional Economic Communities (RECs)

The Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are regional groupings of African states. The 1980 Lagos Plan of Action for the Development of Africa and the 1991 Abuja Treaty proposed the creation of RECs as the basis for wider African integration. Each with their own role and structure, the RECs aim to facilitate regional economic integration between members of the region and through the wider African Economic Community (AEC), established under the Abuja Treaty. They are increasingly involved in coordinating African Union Member States’ interests in wider areas such as peace and security, development and governance. This map shows how many and which RECs each African country belongs to. The African Union recognises eight RECs: the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Community of Sahel–Saharan States (CEN–SAD), 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), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

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