Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)


What is the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)

The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) is to be the end result of the trade negotiations currently going on between African countries under the aegis of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU). When the agreement is signed. African countries are expected to open their borders for goods and products produced in the EU although they are supposed to reciprocate by also allowing African goods and products into their countries. Some African countries including Nigeria believe that signing the agreement will hamper Africa’s economic development. According to Nigeria’s Trade Minister, Olusegun Aganga, “ We must not be in a hurry to give away what we have and we must not sign an agreement without first of all carrying out a robust economic analysis of the overall impact the agreement will have on the region, our children and future generation”.


Reason for the Summit

The EPA is seen by some African countries as the way forward for their economies. However, some countries including Nigeria and Zambia are against signing the agreement saying it will amount to signing away the continent’s economic future. Because of the divergent views, there is a cogent need to organize a conference that will help:

  • Put the EPA on the front burner of national, and indeed continental, discuss – i.e create awareness about the agreement in Nigeria, throughout West Africa and Africa.

  • Enlighten ordinary citizens and business people about the agreement

  • Examine the pros and cons of the agreement as it affects the economies of Nigeria, the west African sub-region and Africa as a whole

  • Offer other alternatives to the agreement

  • Help our African Governments fine tune their policies towards the EPAs

  • Help ensure that African Governments get the best deal for the continent



 
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