• Regional Economic Communities as the Building Blocs of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement

      Ajibo, Collins .C; Nwankwo, Chidebe .M; Ekhator, Eghosa; University of Nigeria; University of Derby (MARVIS BV, 2021-06-16)
      The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) recognises the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) as the building blocs for continent-wide integration in line with the historical efforts reflected in the Lagos Action Plan of 1980 and the transitional plan of the African Union (AU) articulated in the 1991 Abuja Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (Abuja Treaty). The AfCFTA enjoins State Parties that are members of other RECs, which have attained among themselves higher levels of elimination of customs duties and trade barriers than those provided for under the Protocol, to continue maintaining this, and where possible improve upon, existing higher levels of trade liberalisation among themselves. While RECs are fundamental to the African integration experience and are considered the building blocs of AfCFTA, several challenges may emerge. This paper examines the prospects and challenges of RECs under the recently established AfCFTA regime.