Why Economic Partnership Agreements Undermine Africa's Regional Integration

Steve McDonald, Stephen Lande, and Dennis Matanda

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are legally binding bilateral contracts between the European Union and individual African countries. Once signed, EPAs warrant that within a decade, about 80% of that country’s market should open to European goods and services.

To their credit and through commendable negotiation dexterity, negotiators from various African countries have managed to exclude a number of subsidized agricultural products and sensitive industries from the negative elements of EPA stipulated market liberalization.
But this is as much a pyrrhic victory as any, since prematurely opening markets translates into African agricultural and non-agricultural production finding it very difficult to compete with the most likely cheaper, perhaps better quality and even larger supply of goods and services from European countries.



EPA Article.pdf1.27 MB

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