There is a widely held belief that a borderless global economy brings numerous advantages including economic growth, development and welfare maximization. Globalization equally drives (and is driven by the activities of) large corporations involved in cross border operations. While corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a tool with which integrated developed economies ensure corporate behaviours remain within public interest confines, the regional integration agenda in Africa appears focused on liberalization of trade and investment at all costs. This article examines CSR in regional integration discourse, especially within the European Union, extracting important lessons for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). It unifies the ultimate agenda of both CSR and African regionalism in achieving sustainable development. Advising against misconstruing CSR as an unnecessary trade barrier, the article demonstrates why and how CSR values can be mainstreamed into AfCFTA discourse towards ensuring inclusive growth in Africa and improving the global competitiveness of domestic businesses.