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Assessing Regional Integration in Africa: Towards an African Continental Free Trade
Friday, June 1, 2012

African Union Heads of State and Government have adopted and are pursuing regional integration as an overarching continental development strategy. The vision at the continental
level is to achieve an African Economic Community (AEC) as the last of six successive stages that involve the strengthening of sectoral cooperation and establishment of regional free trade areas (FTAs), a continental customs union, a common market, and a monetary and economic union. The rationale behind this phased approach is that the integration vision should be first consolidated at regional level, through creating and strengthening the regional economic communities (RECs), which would eventually merge into the AEC.

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