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Thursday, 19 April 2012

Africa fears becoming a perpetual raw materials supplier

Several weeks ago we raised awareness of some of the declarations made by Benjamin W. Mkapa, the former president of Tanzania and Chairperson of the South Centre, on EPA negotiations with the East African Community. Mr Mkapa expressed doubts over whether or not these were driven by European interests.  This week, he goes deeper and presents the three possible scenarios for EU-EAC negotiations and the consequences thereof.  According to his analysis, the elimination of tariffs on 80 per cent of trade, restrictions on the use of export taxes and quantitative restrictions, as well as the standstill clause will result in nothing less than Africa becoming a perpetual supplier of raw materials.
His criticism is also levelled at EU agricultural subsidies, which the EU has thus far not indicated any willingness to abolish, and which, in the words of Mr Mkapa, “constitutes major unfair competition against African producers of milk, poultry, pork, beef, cereals, etc.”
As the EPAs would lead to an 80% liberalization of trade, he warns of the prospective wave of European products flooding African regional markets, which could also harm the development of the regional trade and integration, which represent an opportunity “for Africa to diversify and develop”.

Source: Deccan herald