Regional economic communities (RECs) are regional groupings of African states. Their primary purpose is to facilitate regional economic integration between member states. The 1980 Lagos Plan of Action for the Development of Africa and the Abuja Treaty of 1991 proposed creating RECs with a view to regional and eventually continental integration. RECs have developed individually. Their roles and structures differ.
The highest mark on overall regional integration is scored by the East African Community (EAC). Although EAC is Africa’s leader, however, it only occupies a little more than half of the area of the graph. Even EAC has ample room to grow.
The lowest score for overall regional integration goes to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Balance between dimensions
The Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), followed by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), achieves the best balance between the dimensions of regional integration. The greatest discrepancy between dimensions is observed for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), whose scores range from 0.733 on the free movement of people dimension to 0.220 on the productive dimension.