Economic Community Of West African States
West Africa will miss a Dec. 31 deadline to sign a new trade partnership with the European Union and hopes to keep its preferential commercial privileges for up to two years while it negotiates, a West African official said.
Amidst controversy, trade liberalisation is fast gaining prominence in Sub-Saharan Africa as the December deadline for the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement draws near. This is attributed partly to the wave of globalisation, regional and bilateral agreements and mainly, pressure from the World Trade Organisation and the European Union.
The EU is doing almost everything possible, both legally and illegally, to get the EPA signed, according to Kwabena Okai Ofosuhene of the Abibimman Foundation in Ghana. “It is very unfortunate and sad that there are key elements within the ECOWAS Commission who are working secretly to enable the EU achieve this.”
The European Commission has approved a total of 44.8 million Euros to support regional integration in West Africa over a period of five years, from 2007 to 2011.
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Export Group (MANEG), an arm of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has listed the impediments to pro-export growth in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) sub-region.
The European Commission is pressing West African governments to negotiate a deal on trade before a WTO waiver on current trade perks expires on December 31, but acknowledged on Thursday a short extension may be needed.
The Federal Government has been called upon to take the lead in driving the Economic Community of West African States-Economic Partnership Agreement (ECOWAS-EPA) negotiations in order to guide the developing region towards effective regional integration and improved trade practices.
EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson admitted that if the EPA negotiation does not finish this year, there are options available which he termed as expensive and not so good.
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has made it clear that it is looking for partnership and development-centred agreements with the European Union and not one that will stifle and ruin their economies.
The executive members of the Gambia Social Forum have condemned the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) that is being negotiated between the European Union and ECOWAS member states. They say that these proposed free trade agreements would exacerbate the current agricultural crisis that farmers already face, increase poverty, and violate human rights.
West African countries said on Tuesday they had agreed to conclude a new trade deal with the European Union by the end of this year and drop demands for a two-year delay.
EPA negotiators from West Africa and the European Union meeting in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, from the 23 -26 January, failed to reach agreement on key issues regarding the results of the mid-term review of the EPA negotiations and the way forward.
Le Réseau des organisations paysannes et des producteurs de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (ROPPA). Cette organisation est en campagne contre les APE dans leur formule actuelle, et propose de ne pas les signer. Basiaka Dao est le président de la Confédération paysanne du Faso, membre du ROPPA. Il dit en quoi ces accords ne sont pas bons pour les agriculteurs et les économies des pays de la CEDEAO.
West Africa plans to ask the European Union for a two-year delay to a planned economic partnership agreement (EPA), leaders said at a summit on Friday, but the EU’s executive Commission ruled out a postponement.
The regional ministerial committee monitoring the negotiation of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between West Africa and the European Union has requested a three year extension of the 2007 deadline for the conclusion of the negotiations for a free trade area of the two economic blocs.
The Ministerial Monitoring Committee of the Economic Partnership Agreement, between West Africa and the European Community, have recommended to the sub-regional body to speed up the controversial partnership deal with the European Union.
The government of Cape Verde said Monday that it had abandoned the agreement established as part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and plans to negotiate directly with the European Union (EU) for an economic partnership agreement.
ECOWAS trade, foreign affairs and cooperation ministers today began the final lap of talks toward restructuring the body into a Commission.
Countries within the African region have been implored not to allow nations standards to continue to present technical barriers to the free flow of goods both within and beyond the borders of he Economic Community of West African States.