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Tuesday, 01 September 2009

Africa: EPA - a Carrot for Africa

The Europeans are mounting pressure on African countries to sign the controversial Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). But experts have warned against it. They argued that it favours Europe only and that economic development in Africa must be allowed to kick-off out of internal evolution. But the news filtering out is that the West African sub continent is about to sign the deal. Nigeria’s Director of Trade in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Mr. Badejo Abikoye told Daily Trust that negotiations are ongoing and that all parties have agreed to sign a 'partial' agreement which will dwell only on trade in goods. Although Nigeria is reported to have rejected the EPA, the Director of Trade however said it has no choice but to accept it and sign the agreement. But experts caution against it, arguing that it would further deepen the underdevelopment of the region. Experts who spoke to Daily Trust say the idea is obsolete as the countries in Africa need investors who will invest in Energy/Power and not tobacco; infrastructure and not EPA, manufacturing sector and not importation. Africa, they say, needs investors that will champion the industrialisation of the continent. Their ground is that African goods cannot compete in the European market because of low products standard. They also point to the fact that the continent has not maximised the advantages accruable from the American business policy of the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA).
Source: allafrica.com