There is general consensus among scholars, policy makers, and political leaders that the best way for African countries to develop is through regional trade. Regional integration and trading blocs have been suggested as ways that African nations can use to achieve sustained development and increase their participation in the global economy. Therefore, there is a need to evaluate the interrelationship between African trading blocs and economic growth of the African continent. This paper analyzes this link using theoretical and empirical literature reviews. The key findings are that intra-Africa trade is still low, despite the existence of numerous trading blocs, and that few of these contribute to regional trade creation. Poverty rates are still high and GDP does not seem to be positively influenced by the trading blocs. Many social, economic, and political challenges also weaken African trading blocs and their ability to promote integration and trade. Addressing these hindrances would strengthen the continent’s trading blocs and enhance their positive impact on intra-African trade and economic growth.
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