The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) agenda of the European Commission (EC) clearly illustrates the masquerade of its disdainful approach towards Africa in an accelerated disregard for the EU’s coherence policy.
EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson spoke of a "significant development" at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministerial meeting held in Botswana yesterday.
Government’s refusal to sign the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) has thrown a challenge to the private sector, which had put too much trust on the Cotonou Agreement by regarding European markets as the only export destination.
Namibia and South Africa were the only two southern African countries that did not sign Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) for a new trade deal with the European Union on Friday.
You are right that this should not be a poker game. Maybe it’s time for reflection so you could realize who is actually playing poker with the livelihoods you are trying to help, writes Wallie Roux.
The fate of the Meatco researcher, who got suspended for expressing a sceptical opinion on the EU-SADC Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations in May, is yet to be decided.
Both the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and the fast-tracked Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) seem to reflect less a genuine desire in fairer trade for the true benefits of the African economies than securing access to relevant markets and mainly the exploitation of relevant natural resources in the interest of the European Union and the USA, said Executive Director of the Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation, Dr Henning Melber.
Between 2004 and 2006, the Naimibian government made more than N$200 million in dividends alone from fixed telecommunication lines, provision of bulk communication infrastructures, and on mobile phone services. Liberalising the sector through the EPA with the EU may poke a hole to its bulging purse. Namibia is also worried that the inclusion of a New Generation clause may hamper the country’s expansion programme into SADC market.
Trade negotiations between Southern Africa and the European Union are progressing slowly and some sectors might not even be agreed on by the end of the year, when the signing of the trade agreement is to take place.
Namibia has opposed attempts by the European Commission to have South Africa expand its markets access for EU products beyond the Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA).
The international community is rallying behind the suspended Wallie Roux with a European parliamentarian calling upon Meatco “to reconsider the suspension” of the economist.
The undersigned organisations would like to express their serious concern with regard to Mr Wallie Roux, internationally renowned economic analyst with Meatco Namibia, who has been suspended and faces a disciplinary hearing (with the possible result of his dismissal) for publishing articles critical of the negotiations with the European Union (EU) over the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA’s).
Namibia will, as from tomorrow, host the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Integrated Committee of Ministers (ICM) meeting.
When European campaigners suggest that a free trade deal could harm the poor, they typically encounter a frosty reaction from civil servants in Brussels. Still, no one tries to muzzle them.
An opinion piece by Meatco’s market researcher and trade advisor about the on-going Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations between the European Union and SADC had the meat industry crying foul last week and saying such views could throw the industry into jeopardy.
The end of the World Trade Organisation waiver for Cotonou trade preferences at the end of this year will cost Namibia hundreds of millions, considering that the country’s agricultural and fish exports are built on the preferences.
Market researcher at Meatco, Wallie Roux, yesterday criticized the European Union’s haste to have the Southern African Development Community-Economic Partnership Agreement (SADC-EPA) signed by the end of the year. "This is the biggest successful public relations stunt pulled by the EU," he observed.
Civil society organisations and the business community in southern Africa have called for review of trade policies in order to deepen regional integration.
Namibia’s Minister of Trade and Industry has been instructed by Cabinet to table a trade agreement between southern Africa and the European Union in the National Assembly for ratification.
Namibia and Zambia have signed two agreements — one on political consultation between their foreign affairs ministries and another on the establishment of a dry port facility at Walvis Bay.