1610 Working Group News on Trade – October 2016

  1.  New African economic partnership enters into force, critics still unconvinced


An Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU, Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa and Lesotho entered into force yesterday (10 October), but its impact on the region’s development remains controversial. The deal liberalises trade between the five African nations and the EU, superseding the non-reciprocal 16-years-old Cotonou Agreement, which is set to expire in 2020. The deal is set to have only a limited impact in reducing poverty, despite it being one of the stated objectives of the EU.


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      2.   USA pressures ECOWAS countries to reject EU’s EPA


The United States of America is impacting its influence in West Africa to halts its Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with European Union, in retaliation to the failed talks between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA) on the TTIP. Reliable Information from sources of Government of Ghana indicates that, the USA governments through aid organisations in West Africa have increase its resource allocation to civil society organisation and pressure groups to intensify its campaign for a total rejection of EU’s EPA agreements with ECOWAS.


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      3.   Why East Africa should reject EPA deal with Europe

Europe is in crisis, and yet countries in East Africa are ready to sign on a poorly understood trade agreement with the EU whose overall impact will be disastrous for years to come. EPA will favour trade in the direction of Europe and stunt African progress. Tanzania has hesitated and called for public debate. Tanzania should provide the bold leadership required in the region to reject the EPA. If the agreement is signed, it endows EPA implementation with a degree of supra-nationality which EAC governance itself does not possess.


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