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Pan African ‘Stop EPA peoples’ forum’ in Accra

Third World Network, Ghana

Pan African ‘Stop EPA Peoples’ Forum’ in Accra

Press Release

22 June 2007

ACCRA, Ghana-(TWN-Af)-22 June, 2007—The Africa Trade Network (ATN) and the Economic Justice Network (EJN) will host a two-day Pan African ‘Stop EPA Peoples’ Forum’ in Accra from June 29-30.

The forum, which coincides with the 2007 summit of the African Union (AU) in Accra, will be held at the Ghana Institute of Journalism and brings together hundreds of civil society actors ranging from trade unions, women’s organizations, farmers, students to economic justice campaigners from across Africa.

The peoples’ forum will focus on such critical issues as: ‘EPAs, African unity and regional integration’, ‘EPAs in Africa: Social and human rights’; EPAs, HIV/AIDS’ and ‘EPA’s anti-development and anti-democratic chains - from resistance to alternatives’.

It will take the form of panel discussions, teach-ins, signature collection and a mass rally will be preceded by a public demonstration to present African civil society’s position on the Economic Partnership Agreement to the Government of Ghana, which is the current chair of the AU.

Principally, the forum seeks to mobilize and concentrate pressure on African and ACP governments to take positions against the inimical process and content of the EPAs which if ever signed with the European Union will consign African countries to under-development and deepen the unbridled exploitation of Africa.

The two-day meeting also seeks to engage a critical mass of strategic African civic and political constituencies and networks in active opposition to the EPAs.

The EPA as currently formulated and championed by the European Union will destroy remaining local businesses, workers, farmers and social services in Africa and other ACP economies.

The EPAs will further open up the local market to European imports to the detriment of domestic economy and the well-being of Africans.

* ATN is a coalition of Pan African civil society groups involved in trade issues. The Economic Justice Network (EJN) is a coalition of civil society groups in Ghana.