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Thursday, 12 October 2017

African agriculture in the grips of free trade

For the first time in ten years, famine is no longer in retreat across the world, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). This disaster can in part by explained by climate change and armed conflicts. But it is also the result of free trade agreements, which impose a lifting of cross-border restrictions that is destabilising for local agriculture. The winds of free trade are blowing across the African continent. On the one hand, the European Union is stepping up its pressure on African countries to finalise the signature of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), and to end non-reciprocal trade preferences: in order to retain the exemption from tariffs on their exports to Europe, Africans will have to remove 80% of those applying to imports from the Single Market. On the other hand, the African Union is launching negotiations to create a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). On 16 June 2017 in Niamey (Niger), African trade ministers eventually already decided to eliminate 90% of tariffs between the countries of the continent.

Source: Le Monde diplomatique