Economic Community Of West African States
The European Union (EU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have decided to negotiate an agreement to regulate their trade relations under the new World Trade Organization (WTO) Compatible Framework.
Karl Falkenberg, Deputy Director-General of Trade at the European Commission, says its is not worth having an Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and ECOWAS if the Agreement did not enshrine Free Trade Agreement-style full reciprocity between the parties and liberalised rules for Investment.
Nana Akomea, Chairman of Ghana’s Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade, called for regional integration between ECOWAS countries as the way forward to economic development. An Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and ECOWAS, as provided for in the Cotonou Agreement, would only cripple Ghana’s feeble agricultural sector and other local industries.
Below is an x-ray and analysis of how the EU-ACP EPA is capable of throwing to oblivion the development dimensions and objectives of Nigeria’s National Economic and Development Strategy.
The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), currently negotiated being between African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACPs) and the European Union are set to further reduce incomes of farmers and agric-related employees by 50-60%, anti-EPAs campaigners have said.
Oxfam yesterday urged West African nations not to mortgage their future by signing on to the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) being negotiated with the European Union.
ECOWAS Trade Ministers have rounded off a one-day appraisal meeting on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union with an agreement on pre-conditions to be fulfilled before the beginning of the second phase of the negotiations.
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the civil society have called for a shift in the commencement date of Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), from January 2008 to a more appropriate and realistic date. They said this became necessary in view of the apparent unpreparedness of Economic Community of the West African State (ECOWAS), little or lack of public awareness on EPA process and the little involvement of non-state actors.
While the ECOWAS governments and the European Commission are still agreeing the road map for the negotiations, EPAs have not been discussed fully with local stakeholders.