Regional Economic Communities
The Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are regional groupings of African states and are the pillars of the AU. All were formed prior to the launch of the AU and
have developed individually and have differing roles and structures.
The purpose of the RECs 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). This Treaty, which has been in operation since 1994, ultimately seeks to create an African Common Market using the RECs as building blocks.
The AU recognises eight RECs namely:
• Community of Sahel–Saharan States (CEN–SAD)
• Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)