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.
After calling off negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with five Southern African countries last month, the US has indicated its intentions to negotiate new trade arrangements with several African countries including Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique and Ghana.
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.
Empirical studies conducted on the impact of the proposed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on Ghana has shown that the country is ill prepared and would face detrimental effects if it decides to join now.
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.