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Thursday, 29 July 2010

Delegates want raw material export ban

Participants at a meeting of the African Union’s Trade and Industry Commission  proposed that the continent adopts policies to discourage the export of raw materials to the developed world. During a media briefing at Munyonyo, Kampala, Ms Elizabeth Tankeu, the Trade and Industry Commissioner, said: “We have been exporting our raw materials to Europe since the colonial times when the Europeans came to Africa. They still come here for our resources but we have remained the poorest continent”. “The European Union through its Economic Partnership Agreements wants Africa to trade with them at zero per cent tariffs. They say they want reciprocal trade. But we are saying Africa still needs a lot in place for reciprocation to begin. We’re telling them we are not going to continue exporting raw materials.” Ms Tankeu said EU chiefs were recently at the AU Secretariat in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to negotiate opening up of new markets and standardisation of trade tariffs, and “we are saying we stand for development. Europe does not want restrictive agreements as regards development. We still have so much to negotiate about.”

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