Thursday, May 12, 2011

Reasons by 51 Member States for Establishment of African Economic Community (AEC)

Many Africans are unaware that alongside what is now the African Union(AU) is what is the "African Economic Community". Signed in Abuja, Nigeria (and known as the Abuja Treaty) of 1991, it came into force on 12 May, 1994--exactly seventeen years ago today.

In reality, 3 June will be 20 years since it was established, probably shifting the celebrations of 12 May up to 3 June to make it truly a Pan-African celebration!

According to the Republic of South Africa's official website, "since May 1994, the OAU has been operating on the basis of the OAU Charter as well as the AEC Treaty, and the organisation is now officially referred to as the OAU/AEC". It remains unclear whether that now means under the AU that the AEC is an AU/AEC...


MINDFUL of the principles of international law governing relations between States;
BEARING IN MIND the principles and objectives set forth in the Charter of the
Organisation of African Unity;

CONSCIOUS of our duty to develop and utilise the human and natural resources of
the Continent for the general well-being of our peoples in all fields of human

the various factors which hinder the development of the Continent
and seriously jeopardise the future of its peoples;

HAVING REGARD to the various resolutions and declarations adopted by our
Assembly in Algiers in September 1968, in Addis Ababa in August 1970 and May
1973 providing that the economic integration of the Continent is a pre-requisite for
the realisation of the objectives of the OAU;

to our decision taken in Libreville in July 1977 endorsing the
Kinshasa Declaration adopted by our Council of Ministers in December 1976
concerning the establishment of an African Economic Community, objective to be
attained in successive stages;

CONSIDERING the “Monrovia Declaration of Commitment on the Guidelines and
Measures for National and Collective Self-reliance in Economic and Social
Development for the Establishment of a New International Order” and which, interalia,
calls for the Creation of an African Common Market as a prelude to an African
Economic Community;

the Lagos Plan of Action and the Final Act of Lagos of
April 1980 reaffirming our Commitment to establish, by the year 2000, an African
Economic Community in order to foster the economic, social and cultural
integration of our Continent;

FINALLY CONSIDERING our Declaration made on the occasion of the Twentyfifth
Anniversary of the OAU and, in particular, the reaffirmation of our
commitment and our determination to take the necessary steps to accelerate the
establishment of the proposed African Economic Community;

NOTING that the efforts already made in the sub-regional and regional sectoral
economic co-operation are encouraging and justify a larger and fuller economic

the need to share, in a equitable and just manner, the advantages of cooperation
among Member States in order to promote a balanced development in all
parts of the Continent;

Have decided to establish an African Economic Community constituting an integral
part of the OAU
and hereby agree as follows (...)

Read the full document here:


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