afrol News, 4 December 2007
Senegal opposes EPA
By staff writer
Senegal has joined Africa’s economic tigers [South Africa and Nigeria] to openly declare its refusal to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) with the European Union.
Senegalese President, Abdoulaye Wade, said his government would not endorse the agreements simply because they did not "defend Africa’s interests."
President Wade had been an arch-critic of the proposed new trade agreement between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP). He blamed the EU of employing a strategy of luring individual countries to sign separate agreements. Wade believed this would not guarantee the interests of these countries.
The agreement has been a subject of stormy negotiation between the EU-ACP. All negotiations are expected to be sealed before the year ends, but most of Africa’s regions are yet to agree on the new partnership terms.
The Economic Community of West African States postponed EPA talks last month. Sierra Leone is the only West African country that has so far expressed interest in signing the EU deal.
Some Southern and Eastern African countries signed temporal partnership agreemetns with the EU. However, most Africans opposed the agreement, accusing the EU of luring developing countries to sign an agreement that allowed them to directly compete with develope countries.
Delegates to the scheduled EU-Africa summit on 8-9 December in the Portugese capital Lisbon are expected to finalise discussions around the EPA.