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Treaty establishing the African Economic Community (AEC) - Part 1


Table of Contents

Preamble
Chapter I Definitions
Chapter II Establishment, Principles Objectives, General Undertakings and Modalities
Chapter III Organs of the Community
Chapter IV Regional Economic Communities
Chapter V Customs Union and Liberalisation of Trade
Chapter VI Free Movement of Persons, Rights of Residence and Establishment
Chapter VII Money, Finance and Payments
Chapter VIII Food and Agriculture
Chapter IX Industry, Science, Technology, Survey, National Resources and Environment
Chapter X Transport, Communications and Tourism
Chapter XI Standardisation and Measurement Systems
Chapter XII Education, Training and Culture
Chapter XIII Human Resources, Social Affairs, Health and Population
Chapter XIV Co-operation in Other Matters
Chapter XV Special Provisions in respect of certain countries
Chapter XVI Solidarity, Development and Compensation Fund
Chapter XVII Financial Provisions
Chapter XVIII Settlement of Disputes
Chapter XIX Relations between the Community and Regional Economic Communities, Regional, Continental Organisations and Other Socio-Economic Organisations and Associations
Chapter XX Relations between the Community, Third States and International Organisations
Chapter XXI Relations between Member States, Third States, Regional and Sub-Regional Organisations and International Organisations
Chapter XXII Miscellaneous Provisions


Preamble

We, the Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU);

1. The President of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

2. The President of the People's Republic of Angola

3. The President of the Republic of Benin

4. The President of the Republic of Botswana

5. The President of the Republic of Burkina Faso

6. The President of the Republic of Burundi

7. The President of the Republic of Cameroon

8. The President of the Republic of Cape Verde

9. The President of the Central African Republic

10. The President of the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros

11. The President of the People's Republic of Congo

12. The President of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire

13. The President of the Republic of Djibouti

14. The President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

15. The President of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

16. The President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea

17. The President of the Republic of Gabon

18. The President of the Republic of the Gambia

19. The President of the Republic of Ghana

20. The President of the Republic of Guinea

21. The President of the Republic of Guinea Bissau

22. The President of the Republic of Kenya

23. The King of Lesotho

24. The President of the Republic of Liberia

25. The Leader of the 1st of September Revolution of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

26. The President of the Republic of Madagascar

27. The President of the Republic of Malawi

28. The President of the Republic of Mali

29. The President of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania

30. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius

31. The President of the Republic of Mozambique

32. The President of the Republic of Namibia

33. The President of the Republic of Niger

34. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

35. The President of the Republic of Rwanda

36. The President of Sahrawi Democratic Arab Republic

37. The President of the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe

38. The President of the Republic of Senegal

39. The President of the Republic of Seychelles

40. The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone

41. The President of the Republic of Somalia

42. The President of the Republic of the Sudan

43. The King of Swaziland

44. The President of the United Republic of Tanzania

45. The President of the Republic of Tchad

46. The President of the Republic of Togo

47. The President of the Republic of Tunisia

48. The President of the Republic of Uganda

49. The President of the Republic of Zaire

50. The President of the Republic of Zambia

51. The President of the Republic of Zimbabwe

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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 endeavour;

RECOGNIZING 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;

HAVING REGARD 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, inter-alia, calls for the Creation of an African Common Market as a prelude to an African Economic Community;

CONSIDERING FURTHER 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 Twenty-fifth 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 integration;

NOTING the need to share, in a equitable and just manner, the advantages of co-operation 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:

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Chapter I
Definitions

Article 1
For the purpose of this Treaty

  1. "Treaty" shall mean the present Treaty;

  2. "Protocol" shall mean an instrument of implementation of the Treaty having the same legal force as the latter;

  3. "Community" shall mean the organic structure for economic integration established under Article 2 of this Treaty and constituting an integral part of the OAU;

  4. "Region" shall mean an OAU region as defined by Resolution CM/Res.464 QCXVI) of the OAU Council of Ministers concerning the Division of Africa into five (5) regions namely North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa;

  5. "Sub-region" shall mean at least three (3) States of one or more regions as defined in paragraph 1(d) of this Article;

  6. "Member States" shall mean a Member State of the Community;

  7. "Third State" shall mean any State other than a Member State;

  8. "Assembly" shall mean the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU as provided for in Articles 7 and 8 of this Treaty,

  9. "Council" shall mean the Council of Ministers of the OAU as provided for in Articles 7 and 11 of this Treaty;

  10. "Pan-African Parliament" shall mean the parliamentary assembly established under Articles 7 and 14 of this Treaty;

  11. "Commission" shall mean the Economic and Social Commission of the OAU as provided for under Articles 7 and 15 of this Treaty;

  12. "Committee" shall mean any specialised technical committee established under Articles 7 and 25 of this Treaty or in pursuance thereof;

  13. "Court of Justice" shall mean the Court of Justice of the Community constituted under Articles 7 and 18 of this Treaty;

  14. "Secretariat" shall mean the General Secretariat of the OAU provided for in Articles 7 and 21 of this Treaty;

  15. "Secretary-General" shall mean the Secretary-General of the OAU as provided for in Article 23 of this Treaty;

  16. "Customs Duty" shall mean protective customs duties and charges having equivalent effect, levied on goods for their importation;

  17. "Export Duties and Taxes" shall mean export duties and charges having equivalent effect, levied on goods for their exportation;

  18. "Customs Duties and Taxes" shall mean all duties and taxes as defined in paragraphs (p) and (q) of this Article;

  19. Non-Tariff Barriers" shall mean barriers which hamper trade and which are caused by obstacles other than fiscal obstacles;

  20. "Intra-Community Trade System" shall mean the system under which advantages are accorded to the goods referred to in Paragraph 1, Article 33 of this Treaty;

  21. "Goods in Transit" shall mean goods being transported between two Member States or between a Member State and a third State and passing through one or more Member States;

  22. "Barter Agreement" or "Compensatory Exchanges" shall mean any agreement under which goods and services imported into a Member State may be paid for in full or in part by direct exchange of goods and services;

  23. "Fund" shall mean the Solidarity, Development and Compensation Fund of the Community established pursuant to Article 80 of this Treaty; and

  24. "Person" shall mean a natural or legal person.

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Chapter II
Establishment, Principles, Objectives, General Undertaking and Modalities

Article 2
Establishment of the Community

THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES hereby establish among themselves an African Economic Community (AEC).

Article 3
Principles

THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES, in pursuit of the objectives stated in Article 4, of this Treaty solemnly affirm and declare their adherence to the following principles:

  1. Equality and inter-dependence of Member States;

  2. Solidarity and collective self-reliance;

  3. Inter-State co-operation, harmonisation of policies and integration of programmes;

  4. Promotion of harmonious development of economic activities among Member States;

  5. Observance of the legal system of the Community;

  6. Peaceful settlement of disputes among Member States, active co-operation between neighbouring countries and promotion of a peaceful environment as a pre-requisite for economic development;

  7. Recognition, promotion and protection of human and peoples' rights in accordance with the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights; and

  8. Accountability, economic justice and popular participation in development.

Article 4
Objectives

1. The objectives of the Community shall be:

  1. To promote economic, social and cultural development and the integration of African economies in order to increase economic self-reliance and promote an endogenous and self-sustained development;

  2. To establish, on a continental scale, a framework for the development, mobilisation and utilisation of the human and material resources of Africa in order to achieve a self-reliant development;

  3. To promote co-operation in all fields of human endeavour in order to raise the standard of living of African peoples, and maintain and enhance economic stability, foster close and peaceful relations among Member States and contribute to the progress, development and the economic integration of the Continent; and

  4. To coordinate and harmonize policies among existing and future economic communities in order to foster the gradual establishment of the Community.

2. In order to promote the attainment of the objectives of the Community as set out in paragraph I of this Article, and in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Treaty, the Community shall, by stages, ensure:

  1. The strengthening of existing regional economic communities and the establishment of other communities where they do not exist;

  2. The conclusion of agreements aimed at harmonising and co-ordinating policies among existing and future sub-regional and regional economic communities;

  3. The promotion and strengthening of joint investment programmes in the production and trade of major products and inputs within the framework of collective self-reliance;

  4. The liberalisation of trade through the abolition, among Member States, of Customs Duties levied on imports and exports and the abolition, among Member States of Non-Tariff Barriers in order to establish a free trade area at the level of each regional economic community;

  5. The harmonisation of national policies in order to promote Community activities, particularly in the fields of agriculture, industry, transport and communications, energy, natural resources, trade, money and finance, human resources, education, culture, science and technology;

  6. The adoption of a common trade policy vis--vis third States;

  7. The establishment and maintenance of a common external tariff;

  8. The establishment of a common market;

  9. The gradual removal, among Member States, of obstacles to the free movement of persons, goods, services and capital and the right of residence and establishment;

  10. The establishment of a Community Solidarity, Development and Compensation Fund;

  11. The granting of special treatment to Member States classified as least developed countries and the adoption of special measures in favour of land-locked, semi-land-locked and island countries;

  12. The harmonisation and rationalisation of the activities of existing African multinational institutions and the establishment of such institutions, as and when necessary, with a view to their possible transformation into organs of the Community;

  13. The establishment of appropriate organs for trade in agricultural and cultural products, minerals, metals, and manufactured and semi-manufactured goods within the Community;

  14. The establishment of contacts and the promotion of information flow among trading organisations such as State commercial enterprises, export promotion and marketing bodies, chambers of commerce, associations of businessmen, and business and advertising agencies;

  15. The harmonisation and co-ordination of environmental protection policies; and

  16. Any other activity that Member States may decide to undertake jointly with a view to attaining the objectives of the Community.

Article 5
General Undertakings

1. Member States undertake to create favourable conditions for the development of the Community and the attainment of its objectives, particularly by harmonising their strategies and policies. They shall refrain from any unilateral action that may hinder the attainment of the said objectives.

2. Each Member State shall, in accordance with its constitutional procedures, take all necessary measures to ensure the enactment and dissemination of such legislation as may be necessary for the implementation of the provisions of this Treaty.

3. Any Member State, which persistently fails to honour its general undertakings under this Treaty or fails to abide by the decisions or regulations of the Community, may be subjected to sanctions by the Assembly upon the recommendation of the Council. Such sanctions may include the suspension of the rights and privileges of membership and may be lifted by the Assembly upon the recommendation of the Council.

Article 6
Modalities for the establishment of the Community

1. The Community shall be established gradually in six (6) stages of variable duration over a transitional period not exceeding thirty-four (34) years.

2. At each such stage, specific activities shall be assigned and implemented concurrently as follows:

  1. First Stage:

    Strengthening of existing regional economic communities and, within a period not exceeding five (5) years from the date of entry into force of this Treaty, establishing economic communities in regions where they do not exist;

  2. Second Stage:
    1. At the level of each regional economic community and within a period not exceeding eight (ii) years, stabilising Tariff Barriers and Non-Tariff Barriers, Customs Duties and internal taxes existing at the date of entry into force of this Treaty; there shall also be prepared and adopted studies to determine the time-table for the gradual removal of Tariff Barriers and Non-Tariff Barriers to regional and intra-Community trade and for the gradual harmonisation of Customs Duties in relation to third States;

    2. Strengthening of sectoral integration at the regional and continental levels in all areas of activity particularly in the fields of trade, agriculture, money and finance, transport and communications, industry and energy; and

    3. Co-ordination and harmonisation of activities among the existing and future economic communities.

  3. Third Stage:

    At the level of each regional economic community and within a period not exceeding ten (10) years, establishment of a Free Trade Area through the observance of the time-table for the gradual removal of Tariff Barriers and Non-Tariff Barriers to intra-community trade and the establishment of a Customs Union by means of adopting a common external tariff.

  4. Fourth Stage:

    Within a period not exceeding two (2) years, co-ordination and harmonisation of tariff and non-tariff systems among the various regional economic communities with a view to establishing a Customs Union at the continental level by means of adopting a common external tariff.

  5. Fifth Stage:

    Within a period not exceeding four (4) years, establishment of an African Common Market through:

    1. The adoption of a common policy in several areas such as agriculture, transport and communications, industry, energy and scientific research;

    2. The harmonisation of monetary, financial and fiscal policies;

    3. The application of the principle of free movement of persons as well as the provisions herein regarding the rights of residence and establishment; and

    4. Constituting the proper resources of the Community as provided for in paragraph 2 of Article 82 of this Treaty.

  6. Sixth Stage:

    Within a period not exceeding five (5) years:

    1. Consolidation and strengthening of the structure of the African Common Market, through including the free movement of people, goods, capital and services, as well as, the provisions herein regarding the rights of residence and establishment;

    2. Integration of all the sectors namely economic, political, social and cultural; establishment of a single domestic market and a Pan-African Economic and Monetary Union;

    3. Implementation of the final stage for the setting up of an African Monetary Union, the establishment of a single African Central Bank and the creation of a single African Currency;

    4. Implementation of the final stage for the setting up of the structure of the Pan-African Parliament and election of its members by continental universal suffrage;

    5. Implementation of the final stage for the harmonisation and co-ordination process of the activities of regional economic communities;

    6. Implementation of the final stage for the setting up of the structures of African multi-national enterprises in all sectors; and

    7. Implementation of the final stage for the setting up of the structures of the executive organs of the Community.

  7. All measures envisaged under this Treaty for the promotion of a harmonious and balanced development among Member States, particularly, those relating to the formulation of multi-national projects and programmes, shall be implemented concurrently within the time period specified for the attainment of the objectives of the various stages outlined in paragraph 2 of this Article.

  8. The transition from one stage to another shall be determined when the specific objectives set in this Treaty or pronounced by the Assembly for a particular stage, are implemented and all commitments fulfilled. The Assembly, on the recommendation of the Council, shall confirm that the objectives to a particular stage have been attained and shall approve the transition to the next stage.

  9. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding paragraph, the cumulative transitional period shall not exceed forty (40) years from the date of entry into force of this Treaty.

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