The Economic Partnership Agreement has never made much sense for Tanzania

The EPA issue has once again re-emerged when, in early July, Tanzania informed East African Community( EAC) members and the European Union (EU) that it would not be able to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between European Union (EU)  and the six EAC member states.

Soufriere Hills volcano erupting in 1995. Credit: National Science Foundation/public domain

Antigua Partners with EU for Emergency Docking Port

The scars on the pilings adjacent to the new Emergency Ferry Docking Facility here are still visible, graphic evidence of the devastation caused by Hurricane Luis when it hit Antigua and Barbuda in 1995.

Namibia is looking to diversify its beef exports to countries in the global South in order to lessen its dependency on the lucrative EU market. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

TRADE: Europe Puts Foot Down on EPAs

Botswana and Namibia are set to lose preferential access to the European Union, which wants African, Caribbean and Pacific countries to sign controversial free trade agreements within two years or face potential loss of market access to the 27-member EU bloc.

European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

Namibia Wants to Conclude Talks and Sign EPAs

European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht made a pit-stop in Windhoek to appease concerns over a troublesome economic partnership agreement (EPA) ahead of the Africa-European Union summit in South Africa.

Farmers fear that their produce will not be able to compete with those by EU subsidised farmers.  Credit: Wambi Michael/IPS

East Africa Wants to Trade Beyond the EU

The East African Community (EAC) and European Union head back to negotiations on Monday to resolve the controversy over the delay in signing an economic partnership agreement between the two trading blocs.

Few fisheries products reach landlocked countries in the region because of infrastructure development and trade barriers.  Credit:  Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

TRADE: Southern Africa Has its Work Cut Out

Southern Africa has moved forward with regional economic integration, but challenges remain, say trade experts.

Chief Economist of the World Trade Organization Patrick Low says preferential trade agreements are less about tariffs. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

TRADE: Africa Still the Odd One Out

While globally trade agreements are more and more about linking production chains between countries and continents, Africa remains locked in a struggle to overcome the colonial legacy of fragmentation, trade experts say.

A cavalier attitude has seen South African businesses and services spreading across the continent.  Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

TRADE: Free Trade in Africa, For Better or Worse?

It is not certain that an African free trade area will further regional integration or deepen the existing inequality between countries.

The status of Namibia's fishing industry and the country's 200 nautical miles Economic Exclusive Zone remains a sticking point with the EU. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

TRADE-NAMIBIA: No Progress on Access to European Markets

Weariness surrounds the negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) regulating trade access between Southern Africa and the European Union (EU).

CARIBBEAN: Key Committee Pushes Forward Trade Pact with Europe

The inaugural meeting of the Trade and Development Committee (TDC) of a sweeping trade pact between Caribbean nations and the European Union is being hailed as a success by regional diplomats.

CARIBBEAN: EU Trade Pact Brings Both Setbacks and Opportunities

In his first address to the board of governors of the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Warren Smith, the new president of the region's premier lending financial institution, warned of insecurities engulfing Caribbean economies.

TWN's Sanya Reid Smith: The Istanbul LDC conference sent out a message that LDCs should not be pressured or advised to liberalise imports.  Credit:

TRADE: Istanbul Conference “a Setback” for Poor Countries

Some of the decisions taken on trade in the Istanbul Plan of Action are likely to disadvantage poor countries while others are so vague as to be meaningless, says Abdoulaye Sanoko, counsellor at the mission of Mali to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva.

Caribbean Struggles to Make Complex Trade Deal with EU a Reality

When Caribbean journalists met in Antigua in late March to discuss the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that was signed between the European Union and the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries in 2008, they were told that the absence of tax treaties, foreign exchange controls and language barriers were among the factors preventing the full implementation of the accord.

Yemen's young protesters in Sana

YEMEN: Youth Want New Faces and a New Modern Country

Yemen’s young anti-government protesters have learnt a vital lesson about the world of politics during their seemingly endless revolution - betrayal is inevitable.

Mali's Abdoulaye Sanoko: "We don't want to conclude the Doha Round at any cost." Credit: Isolda Agazzi/IPS

TRADE: “A Doha Round Collapse Is a Betrayal of Poor Countries”

"It would be bad news for poor countries in Africa if the Doha Round of trade talks fails. This round was meant to rebalance the rules of world trade in favour of developing countries. We have put a lot of resources and hopes into this process and a collapse would be a big betrayal for us."

Dominican Republic Seeks Greater Autonomy for CARIFORUM

The first public hint that something was amiss within the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) bloc came last week from Belize's foreign minister, Wilfred Elrington, when his country hosted the 18th meeting of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Council of Ministers, the second highest body within the 15-member regional grouping.

El Hadji Diouf: South Africa will try to trump its IBSA partners when it comes to market access in Africa. Credit: Isolda Agazzi/IPS

IBSA States Do Not Always Have Common Positions on Trade Issues

"IBSA what?" is the question you most often get in Geneva when enquiring about the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) dialogue forum, established in 2003 between these three multicultural democracies and emerging markets "to contribute to the construction of a new international architecture".

West African activists demonstrating at the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, earlier this year. Credit: Isolda Agazzi/IPS

TRADE: African NGOs Oppose Human Rights Clause in EPAs

Part of the delay in the finalisation of the economic partnership agreements (EPAs) is due to the so-called non-execution clause that gives the EU the power to take steps against its African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) trading partners if they violate human rights, democracy and good governance principles.

Caribbean Tourism Officials Seek Concessions from Europe

Caribbean officials gathered in Brussels for the region's annual tourism summit, the first to be held in Europe, are urging their biggest development partner to draft policies supporting the lifeblood sector and ease restrictions such as Britain's Air Passenger Duty (APD), which they say are holding back its growth.

An activist's t-shirt with the names of companies. EPAs seek to give European companies free access to African markets. Credit: Servaas van den Bosch/IPS

SOUTHERN AFRICA: A Region of Winners and Losers, Not Partners

As Southern Africa prepares itself for another year of economic partnership agreement (EPA) negotiations with the European Union, trade analysts say any deal should be about more than just liberalised trade.

"Africa is not poor, but empoverished by Europe and its good pupils", according to demonstrators at the World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal. Credit: Isolda Agazzi/IPS

TRADE: Civil Society Ensuring Development Stays on EPA Agenda

In an unusual move, West and Central African civil society organisations have participated in the negotiations between their countries and the European Union on the economic partnership agreements (EPAs). The organisations stress developmental concerns while assisting under-resourced African governments with trade expertise.

Next Page »

sarah adams books