No observer of the African economic scene could fail to be struck by the multiplicity of economic co-operation groupings. While these represent simple institutional structures that are within the administrative capacity of the African States and offer useful training for more sophisticated endeavours, they are more expensive to maintain than large multi-purpose inter-governmental organizations. While it would be unrealistic to attempt such a creation on a continental scale now, larger groupings each consisting of all the countries in each of the four sub-regions (East, West, North and Central) would nevertheless represent a significant advance. In certain cases, this stage could be reached by the admission of new members and diversification of objectives. Such larger multipurpose groupings could at once command greater attention from the international community and prove more economical to run. Besides, they could set the countries of the region more firmly on the path to a continental economic community. This calls for more determined efforts on the part of the African countries to overcome the difficulties that have stood in the way of trade expansion and economic co-operation, and energetic endeavours to design, negotiate and implement long-term meaningful commitments among themselves. At the same time international support would be required; action likely to be prejudiced to African efforts of co-operation should be discouraged, and positive policies and measures to facilitate such co-operation should be adopted.