The European Union has raised concerns about the speed at which African countries are moving towards negotiating for a comprehensive trade deal with Europe, which is expected to fast-track economic integration in the region ahead of the December deadline.
The economic partnership agreements (EPAs) currently being negotiated between Europe and its former colonies in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions are not about equal partnerships but about enabling "big giant Europe to gain better access to African markets".
African Liberal parties, meeting in a General Assembly, that closed in Maputo on Saturday, have demanded that partnership agreements with the European Union should bring real advantages to Africa.
A part of the mass movement against the EU EPAs is drawing the conclusion that they have to find other partners in the fight against neo-liberalism. The coalition we need is an international one, of the working people and poor, that struggles against capitalism.
By offering itself to former colonies as a more attractive and respectful trading partner, China initiated Africa’s refusal to put up with the EU’s demanding policies.
Many free trade agreements have been signed and enacted into law by capitalist governments at the back of the working people. This is because the working people in Africa and other third world countries do not have political platform of their own.
The recent summit between African heads of states and the EU has shown that Europe has failed to move beyond their colonial-era past-times of economic and political bullying.
During the past several years, an increasing number of differences have arisen in the strategic partnership forged between China and the European Union. Among the many critical issues clouding the mutual agenda are differing policy approaches towards Africa.
Abdoulaye Wade, Senegal’s president, said at the closing of the Africa-Europe Summit: "It was said several times during the plenary session and it was said again this morning: African states reject the EPAs."
A row over new trade rules risks souring the mood at this weekend’s EU-Africa summit and underlines the problems Europe faces in forging new relations with its former colonies, according to analysts.
European and African civil society organizations will meet in Lisbon on 8 to 9 December, in parallel with European Union / African Union Summit.
The Head of Programmes of Third World Network, Mr Tetteh Hormeku has said that the European Union tactics of demanding from individual countries to sign the Economic Partnership Agreements on their own instead of doing so as a bloc was a major affront to regional integration.
Union leaders who met in Palapye for a two-day economic workshop on trade and related issues on Friday likened trade agreements that Botswana and other African countries are entering into with Europe as a new form of colonisation.
Full text of a statement issued recently by Church leaders concerned about new trade agreements being negotiated between Europe and developing countries
It feels great to watch those who once colonised Africa shift and fidget uneasily as they build up a case for “partnership” — if only the rules of the game were clear and genuine. But there is also the nagging thought: Will Africa play it right this time round?
Africa is in a catch-22 situation. The Economic Partnership Agreements will ensure continued tariff-free exports to Europe, but may kill domestic production.
The Delegation of the European Commission in Ghana has voiced out that its relationship with Ghana and Sub-Saharan Africa based on preferences and commodity trade has largely failed to deliver development and it was time to take the bold step to try something new, the Economic Partnership Agreements.
The proposed economic partnership agreements (EPAs), which are due to come into force beginning next year, may undermine the benefits of another European Union trade initiative, called Everything-But-Arms, for the sugar industry.
Concern over getting too little in return for what they are being asked to give up has led some African nations to say "no" to some proposals for new trade relations with Europe next year.
Civil society groups in Africa have called for the suspension of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations between the European Union (EU) and the 77 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries for at least three years to allow African governments to critically look through other regional initiatives they are already engaged in.