As the December 2007 deadline was approaching, the European Commission realised that it would not get what it badly wanted: to close a deal with all African regions on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) ‐ basically free‐trade pacts.
African governments came under fire for ‘‘blindly’’ negotiating the controversial economic partnership agreements (EPAs) and not making an effort to educate ‘‘ordinary people’’ on what they were negotiating.
The politicians, who gather in Geneva for World Trade Organisation (WTO) meetings and in Brussels for EPA talks, should know that they are there on behalf of their citizens and not themselves, said Rangarirai Machemedze, director of the Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI). SEATINI helps to build African capacity in world trade talks.
A member of the European Parliament has told the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) ‐ European Union (EU) joint parliamentary assembly meeting this week in Port Moresby that free trade deals initialed between the EU and Pacific countries must be changed to reflect the development needs of the region.
Coalition of West African Regional Civil Society, made up of Trade World Network (TWN), based in Accra, Ghana, National Association of Nigerian Traders, Abuja, Labour Unions, farmers’ groups, etc, has stressed that the region’s development should be the sole purpose of the EU‐ACP Economic Partnership Agreement
Cote d’Ivoire became the first country in Africa to sign a ’stepping stone’ economic partnership agreement with the European Union this week, prompting fears that the accord will prevent the country from developing closer ties with its neighbours.
La libéralisation des produits pharmaceutiques dans le cadre de l’Accord de partenariat économique (APE) avec l’Union européenne divise le Nigeria, soucieux de protéger son industrie et les pays de l’Union économique et monétaire ouest‐africaine (UEMOA) a révélé à Dakar, Cheikh Sadibou Seck, directeur du commerce extérieur du Sénégal.
As the Economic Partnership Agreement “EPA Implementation Brainstorming Meeting”, continued yesterday, it was made clear that Antigua and Barbuda needed to establish a “services coalition”. The view was expressed by Ramesh Chaitoo, head of the Services Trade Unit for the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery (CRNM).
With this document sir John Kaputin, Secretary‐general of the Acp group of states, underlined that “promoting human security and development" is extremely relevant. “There is no greater challenge to the ACP Family today, than the quest for guaranteed human security coupled with tangible development for the benefit of the entire ACP population of 700 million people. The recent events such as the global financial crises, oil price increase, escalation in food prices, hurricanes and droughts orchestrated by climate change, all point to the need for high‐level dialogue and concerted joint actions”.
In pursuit of the broader objectives of the African Union to accelerate economic integration of the continent, with the aim to achieve economic growth, reduce poverty and attain sustainable economic development, the Tripartite Summit of the Heads of State and Government of then Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC) and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) met in Kampala, Uganda on 22nd October 2008. The Tripartite Summit agreed on a programme of harmonisation of trading arrangements amongst the three RECs, free movement of business persons, joint implementation of inter‐regional infrastructure programmes as well as institutional arrangements on the basis of which the three RECs would foster cooperation.
San Bilal and Aurelie Walker, by ECDPM, drafted a background note for the 6th Summit of the ACP Heads of State and Government, held in Accra, September 22 2008. The Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA), they explained, has provided the framework for cooperation between the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group and the European Union (EU) based on three major pillars: political dialogue, development support and economic and trade cooperation. This paper discusses the impact of the EPA negotiations and conclusion of (interim) agreements on the cohesion and role of the ACP Group in the future. It also considers two other important dates in the CPA which also call the ACP Group to examine its future role: the CPA revision in 2010 and the CPA expiry in 2020.
The European Commission issued a Communication to the Council, the European parliament, the European economic and social committee and the Committee of the regions about the process of regional integration for development in ACP countries. The proposed approach to EU support to regional integration for Acp development is to focus on the basis of each regions' strategic development plan and a dialogue resulting in the joint assessment of challenges, and should be focused as appropriate on regional specificities and needs.
Partnership for Change project has two thematic focus connected to the heart of development policies and the struggle against poverty. MDGs and EPAs, central themes of the project, were indeed both created as development policies: the first one, with the aim of committing governments in the South and in the North on punctual development objectives to be reached by 2015, the second one, proposing economic agreements of free trade as an access point to development for many ACP countries.
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