African Journal of
Political Science and International Relations

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Pol. Sci. Int. Relat.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1996-0832
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJPSIR
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 389

Full Length Research Paper

Southern African Customs Union (SACU): A viable building block for the African economic community

George Chikondi Lwanda
South Africa Institute of International Affairs, Southern Africa. 
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 06 November 2010
  •  Published: 31 July 2013


The AU, in April 2006, passed a resolution on the rationalisation and harmonisation of Regional economic communities (RECs). A moratorium and suspension of recognition of RECs followed in July. Eight RECs were consequently identified as the building blocks to the African economic community (AEC). Interestingly, in Southern Africa, the youngest REC, the EAC has been identified as one of AEC’s building blocs whilst Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the oldest and only functioning customs union was not. This paper highlights the benefits of identifying SACU as one of the AEC building blocs and goes on to urge a re-think in this regard.


Key words: Regional integration, trade, SADC, Africa Union, regional economic communities.