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Regional Trade Blocs in Africa / African Market Groups African countries have been experimenting

with regional trade blocs for half a century. There are now nine trade blocs on the African continent.
Many countries are members on more than one group. Although the number of trade groups in impressive
progress toward the establishment of meaningful trade blocs has been slow. Many of these groups have
been dormant for years. Significant political turmoil in several African nations has persistently impended
any meaningful progress. Also, deep suspicion of free trade exists in several African countries. The
argument most frequently heard is that because these countries have less developed and less diversified
economics they need to be protected by tariff barriers from unfair foreign competition. Given the
prevalence of this argument it has been hard to establish free trade areas of customs unions. African
Market Groups includes:
AfroMalegasyeconomicUnion(Benin,BurkinaFaso,Cameron,CentralAfricanRepublic,Chad,Congo,CoteD
Evore,Gabon,Mali,Mauritania,Niger,Senegal and Togo.
East African Customs Union (Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia).
Union of Arab Maghrebs (Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania )
Economic Community of west African countries (Benin,Burkinafaso,Cape verdi,cote
devour,Gambia,Ghana,Guniea,Gunea-Bissau,iberia,Mali,Mauritania,Niger,Nigeria,Senegal,Sierra Leone
Togo) .
South African Development Community ( Angola, Botswana Congo, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi,
Mauritius ,Mozambique, Seychelles, S. Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe)
The major African market groups are discussed herein under: East African
Community (EAC) The most recent attempt to reenergize the free trade
movement in Africa occurred in early 2001. When Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania
member states of the East African Community (EAC) committed themselves to relaunching their block, 24 years after it collapsed. The three countries, with 80
million inhabitants, intend to establish a customs union, regional court, legislative
assembly and eventually a political federation.