|Strong regional institutions are needed to bring African countries together to coordinate national level policy reforms, guide collective regional actions and provide the platform, impetus and commitment mechanism for deeper integration.
Africa Union Summit, Addis Ababa, Jan 2010Copyright: AP
Africa is home to a wide range of regional institutions. At the highest level, the African Union seeks to unify the continent through a process of political and economic integration. At the sub-regional level, Africa's Regional Economic Communities (RECs) comprise groupings of neighboring countries working together to tackle joint development issues, create free trade blocks and customs unions and ultimately form political unions. Many view the RECs as building blocks to the African Common Market. An array of regional technical bodies have also been formed to tackle sector or geographic specific issues such as river basin, power pool and transport corridor management.
Below is an interactive map of the 8 Regional Economic Communities officially recognized by the African UnionÂ -- click on titles of RECs to show/hide the areas with member countries. See full titles and website links at the bottom.