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The African Union, the African Economic Community and Africa's Regional Economic Communities: Untangling a Complex Web

The African Union, the African Economic Community and Africa's Regional Economic Communities:... ∗ I. INTRODUCTION In 2007 and 2008, the African Union (AU) adopted two protocols that are significant for economic integration in Africa. These are the Protocol on the Relations between the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities [Protocol on Relations]1 and the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights [Protocol on the African Court of Justice].2 The former aims at addressing a difficult problem with Africa’s economic integration, which is the existence of multiple regional economic integration organisations with overlapping memberships, and no clear principles of co-ordination among them. The latter establishes a court with jurisdiction over issues that potentially encompass those arising under the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community [AEC Treaty].3 The AEC Treaty is the foundation of an attempt to create an economic community covering the whole of Africa – a continent with 53 sovereign states. If successful, the African Economic Community will be the largest economic integration organisation (in terms of membership) in the world. The adoption of the Protocol on Relations and the Protocol on the African Court of Justice provides an auspicious moment to examine a fundamental question: what is the relationship between the AU, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

The African Union, the African Economic Community and Africa's Regional Economic Communities: Untangling a Complex Web

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2010
Subject
Recent Developments – Actualités; African Studies
ISSN
0954-8890
eISSN
1755-1609
DOI
10.3366/E0954889009000528
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

∗ I. INTRODUCTION In 2007 and 2008, the African Union (AU) adopted two protocols that are significant for economic integration in Africa. These are the Protocol on the Relations between the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities [Protocol on Relations]1 and the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights [Protocol on the African Court of Justice].2 The former aims at addressing a difficult problem with Africa’s economic integration, which is the existence of multiple regional economic integration organisations with overlapping memberships, and no clear principles of co-ordination among them. The latter establishes a court with jurisdiction over issues that potentially encompass those arising under the Treaty establishing the African Economic Community [AEC Treaty].3 The AEC Treaty is the foundation of an attempt to create an economic community covering the whole of Africa – a continent with 53 sovereign states. If successful, the African Economic Community will be the largest economic integration organisation (in terms of membership) in the world. The adoption of the Protocol on Relations and the Protocol on the African Court of Justice provides an auspicious moment to examine a fundamental question: what is the relationship between the AU,

Journal

African Journal of International and Comparative LawEdinburgh University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2010

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