EPAs Threaten Another ’Scramble for Africa’ - Unionists

Mmegi/The Reporter, Gaborone

EPAs Threaten Another ’Scramble for Africa’ - Unionists

19 November 2007

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.

Addressing the gathering, the former president of Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU) Ronald Baipidi described the European Union’s impending Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) as a means of underdevelopment of Africa.

"The EU is coming back to deplete our resources," Baipidi said. "I do not like the animal we are creating," he added, in the event that ACP countries accepted the EPAs.

"Are we going back to the ’Scramble for Africa?’"

Baipidi said through the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the United States had already positioned itself to exploit the developing world similarly.

China was not spared the criticism of rapacity.

A delegate from Zimbabwe, Godfrey Kanyenze, said China had made its intentions for coming to Africa clear.

"China has made it clear that it wants to use Africa to get raw materials for its industries," Kanyenze said.

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