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2009 AEC- Towards an EAC, COMESA and SADC Free Trade Area Issues and Challenges
The importance of regional economic integration as a means for accelerating and consolidating economic and social development has long been recognized by African decision‐makers and leaders including Kwame Nkrumah, Thabo Mbeki, George Patmore, and Muammar Gaddafi, to name a few. Hence the call for integration is well‐rooted in African history, though in most instances the initial aim was more to gain greater political influence and voice in the international arena. As the challenges of globalization and interdependence make their impact felt on the countries of the African region, including the possible marginalization of the African continent, the imperative of integration has took centre stage once again.