CIVIL SOCIETY PERSPECTIVE ON THE 11TH WTO MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE

1.Introduction

The 11th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has been penciled for the 10th – 13th December, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This gathering of trade ministers from the 164 Member States of the WTO comes amid serious concerns from the global citizenry with regards to the growing inequalities and impoverishment of marginalized communities as a result of the evolving global economic architecture, including multilateral trade governance.

Civil society organisations from around the world have raised their concerns regarding the determined push by developed countries and their allies in the developing world to have  a negotiating mandate on issues such as e-commerce at MC11 while deliberately putting on the back-burner the mandated issues under the WTO Doha Development Round and the need to change existing, imbalanced WTO rules which are evidently constraining developing countries’policy space for job creation and development ; including their capacity to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This brief provides a summary of the issue specific concerns of the civil society organisations based on the deliberations in Geneva and other Mini-Ministerial meetings (e.g the Marakesh Mini-Ministerial involving 35 Member states) which aim at shaping the final agenda for the MC11.

2.Proposals regarding E-Commerce

The proponents of e-commerce would like to get an explicit mandate at MC11 to negotiate new multilateral rules on e-commerce which would include inter-alia; prohibiting requirements to hold data locally; to have a local presence in the country; no border taxes on digital products; prohibitions on regulating cross-border data transfers; and even prohibitions on requiring open source software in government procurement contracts.

Civil society organisations querry the economic rationale of excluding digitally traded goods from contributing to the national fiscus while traditionally traded goods normally do so. Privacy and data protection are fundamental human rights which cannot be abandoned in the interests of trade. Additionally, having binding WTO rules to allow transnational corporations to transfer data around the world without restrictions would deny countries and citizens the right to benefit from their own data and intelligence as well as restrict implementation of appropriate data privacy and consumer protection measures.

While civil society organisations support efforts by developing countries to bridge the digital divide, transfer technology and obtain financing for infrastructure and ICTs, the WTO is not the proper forum to negotiate these issues and therefore there should be no new mandate on e-commerce at MC11.

3.Proposals to limit the scope and effects of public interest regulation in the context of GATS.

The proposed rules on Domestic Regulation in the context of WTO GATS negotiations seek to limit national disciplines in the following areas :

  • Qualification requirements and procedures
  • Licensing requirements and procedures, and,
  • Technical standards.

The open ended and vague terminology used in the proposals are designed to minimise sovereign governments’ regulation and maximise the lobbying power of transnational corporations. Giving the WTO jurisdiction on labour, tax, environmental or safety laws would severely undermine the regulatory sovereignty of countries. This will also run contrary to the SDGs thrust on expanding access to and quality of many public services such as telecommunications and financial services which are supplied by the private sector. Therefore, no disciplines should be agreed in the area of Domestic Regulation at MC11.

4.Fisheries Subsidies

The focus of negotiations in this area is to tackle the problem of overfishing due to subsidies provided by governments to fisheries. In this area there is a clear mandate for a pro-development and pro-environment outcome. What is worrisome is the insistence of developed countries on rules in this area that have the potential to undermine the development aspirations of developing countries. Protecting the policy space of developing countries and their ability to support small-scale and artisanal fishers must be at the heart of any outcome.

 Thus, the developmental and economic policy space of developing countries must be maintained while those nations that have contributed most to the problem of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and overfishing must agree to eliminate harmful subsidies. Civil society organisations maintain that the management of fisheries resources must be maintained outside the WTO.

5.Agricultural rules must prioritize food security and food sovereignty.

The huge amounts of domestic subsidies in the developed countries have the effect of distorting agricultural trade and harm other countries’domestic producers .They  result in overproduction and artifically depress world prices adversely impacting farmers’ livelihoods in countries which should benefit from agricultural trade or produce for domestic consumption. Thus, a major outcome in Buenos Aires should be to reduce the amount of subsidies under the domestic support pillar.

Developing countries should also be able to increase tariffs to protect their domestic production from import surges arising from  subsidisation through recourse to the Special Safeguard Mechanism (SSM). However, use of this instrument is being fiercely resisted by developed countries. A workable outcome on SSM at the upcoming Ministerial would greatly enhance developing countries’ ability to achieve food security, promote rural development and safeguard farmers’ livelihoods and would be a step towards removing WTO constraints on food sovereignty.

Most WTO Members agree that domestic public stockholding programs should not be constrained by antiquated WTO rules. WTO Members agreed to find a permanent solution to the public stockholding programs by December of this year.   However, changes have been steadfastly blocked by the US, EU, Australia and other big agribusiness exporters. The MC11 must deliver a positive resolution on t he public stockholding issue that allows all developing countries to implement food security programs without onerous restrictions that are not even demanded of develoed countries ‘trade distorting subsidies.

6.More Flexibility for Development Policies

In addition to transforming the global rules governing agriculture trade, developing countries have also advocated for other changes to existing WTO rules to increase flexibility that would allow them to enact policies that would support their development. Some concrete proposals have been made by the G90 to change WTO rules which constrain the implementation of pro-development policies.

These changes include those that would allow developing countries to promote domestic manufacturing capabilities; stimulate transfer of technology; promote access to medicines and safeguard regional integration. The G90 proposals should be accepted at the MC11 as proposed without being conditioned on further market access concessions from developing countries.

In conclusion, civil society organisations reiterate the imperativeness of a democratic, transparent and sustainable multilateral trading system. The secretive and undemocratic practice of green room negotiations which have characterised the WTO since its inception should be abandoned in favour of a transparent and member driven process that leads to outcomes that are consistent with the multilaterally agreed SDGs.

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SEATINI’s dream for a future world is one without war and violence. It is one where nobody needs to go hungry or thirsty, or without clothing, shelter, clean water, ample sources of energy, good health and education, and the higher pursuits of knowledge. It is a dream of a borderless world, where people move freely between climes and cultures, and where social structures, inclusion, culture and dignity give more status than consumer goods. It is a world where the benefits of the phenomenal advancement of science and technology are available to all, where these are applied to satisfy all the reasonable and sensible material needs of the world’s populations, where survival, access to basic needs and dignity are not dependent on paid labour

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Informal Sector Dialogue Meetings Synthesised Report for 2015

1. Background

Zimbabwe, like other African countries, has experienced a huge seismic shift from the formal to the informal sector as necessitated by increasing company closures and massive job losses across the country. The economy rapidly deteriorated in the 1990s following implementation of Multilateral Financial Institutions (IMF and World Bank) driven structural adjustment policies. Economic deterioration was worsened by the implementation of a Land Reform Programme officially launched in 2002. In 2009, the economy descended on an ailing economic recovery phase characterised by dwindling industrial capacity utilization, huge external debt, deflation and company closures cumulatively increasing household poverty. Massive production of graduates and other school leavers in a jobless economy imply school leavers cannot get gainful employment in the formal sector; hence they join the ranks of the unemployed - later forced into informal activity. Rural to urban migration driven by anticipation of urban employment and risk-ridden agricultural production being threatened by climate change has contributed to rapid growth of the informal sector. In an effort to earn a living, the unemployed and their siblings have resorted to informal activities in retailing, manufacturing, mining and transport. Wholesale vending is the outstanding informal activity in the central business districts of urban centres violating council by-laws; a development that has alarmed both the government and the urban authorities. The informal sector in Zimbabwe has become a force to reckon with and is now the basic and easy way to earn a living in an economy deficient of formal jobs.

2. Magnitude of Informalisation

Evidence suggests that the informal sector has grown from less than 10% in 1980 to 27% in 1991 and 60% in 2012 (LEDRIZ, 2015; Mugano, 2015). A Gemini study (1991) found about 845 000 informal enterprises in the country employing a total of 1.6 million people. In 2013, FinScope found 2.8 million micro, small and medium businesses operating in Zimbabwe (85 percent being unregistered) employing 5.7 million informal jobs. These businesses generate an estimated turnover of 7.4 billion US dollars, according to the FinScope survey. In 2014, 94% of the employed people aged 15 years and above and 98% of the youths aged 15-24 years were found to be informally employed. Informal employment became the new social base as people undertake diverse activities in communal agriculture, trade and commerce, manufacturing, mining, education and transport as primary sources of income. Informal employment has further increased between 2014 and 2015 as the economy slowed down from growth of 3% in 2014 to an estimated 1.5% in 2015. Massive company closures that occurred between 2011 and 2015 increased the extent of informalization. Informal employment increased by about 29% between 2011 and 2014 when the formal employment is believed to have shrunk by 40% as an annual average of 35 400 people were retrenched in the seven years to 2011 while an average of 75 600 people were retrenched between 2011 and 2014 (The Economist, 2015). Between 2011 and 2014, 4 610 companies closed down affecting 55 443 workers, their dependence and the surrounding communities (G.O.Z, 2014 - 2015 National Budget). In 2015, about 20 000 workers were fired between July 17 and August 22 following a Supreme court ruling that allowed employers to fire workers on three months’ notice. The remaining employed workers (about 87.5%) earn below the consumption poverty datum line, forcing them to undertake secondary activities to supplement income. Zimbabwe’s informal sector is proportionately large and expanding at a very rapid rate as retrenchments mounts and formal employment slides while the supply of labour firms. The obtaining situation paints a gloomy future that is characterised by deteriorating socioeconomic and political climate as the informal sector is fast becoming the new political battleground. The structural shift has been recognised by the government. The Minister of Finance during a Parliamentary question time confirmed as much in February 2014, “Our economy is now informal…That is the reality of our economy and it is a reality we must recognise and take measures on how to tap into this sector.” This is due to the wholesale closure of manufacturing companies, the entrance of school leavers onto the job market and the traditional rural-urban migration. Informal sector, particularly street vending, becomes the source of livelihood for the aforementioned social groups.

3. Authorities’ response

The city fathers have been alarmed by the ballooning informal vending that has uncontrollably mushroomed in the central business district, inconveniencing the public and formal business outlets. Vegetables and imported Chinese wares are being sold on the pavements and in the process violating council by-laws. The response of the authorities has been to unleash the law enforcement agents on them. However, the success of such measures has been short-lived because the next day or after working hours the vendors and traders will be back on the streets. The designated areas for vending have been condemned by the vendors as not strategic because they are far away from their clients. One of the fundamental reasons for the failure of the authorities measures is that the decisions are unilateral, done without the involvement of the informal vendors. Forced removal of vendors from the streets without understanding their circumstances is likely to induce theft, robberies, prostitution, etc in an effort to earn a living. The government has also hinted on formalising the informal sector for the purposes of broadening the tax base. Minister of Finance indicated that there is urgent need to formalise the dominant informal sector to broaden government revenue, “... there has been a structural shift to informal economy- the larger economy presides in the informal sector and this cannot be ignored. More money is flowing in the informal sector than the formal sector but the informal sector is difficult to tax.” Government’s strategy is biased towards taxing the informal sector rather than protecting and promoting the sector through decent infrastructure and social services, and requisite legislation. The approach

Our Dream

SEATINI’s dream for a future world is one without war and violence. It is one where nobody needs to go hungry or thirsty, or without clothing, shelter, clean water, ample sources of energy, good health and education, and the higher pursuits of knowledge. It is a dream of a borderless world, where people move freely between climes and cultures, and where social structures, inclusion, culture and dignity give more status than consumer goods. It is a world where the benefits of the phenomenal advancement of science and technology are available to all, where these are applied to satisfy all the reasonable and sensible material needs of the world’s populations, where survival, access to basic needs and dignity are not dependent on paid labour

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Scramble for Africa’s Resources: Role of BRICS countries (Published 2014)

Introduction

Since the beginning of the 21st century there has been an increased expansion of new investments in Africa not just by the previous colonising nations (former European Union colonial powers), but also by emerging economies known collectively as the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India China and South Africa) as well as other relatively smaller emerging nations from the Middle East (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar) and East Asian countries (Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea). Although the phenomenon of an increase in rural investments is global and not limited to Africa, the destination of 40% of the investments has been Africa. Agribusiness and extractive industries have rapidly spread across the globe since the global financial and food crises of 2008. The net effect of such investments has been to take food production out of the hands of farmers and local communities. The denial of land to smallholder farmers through displacement of communities without adequate compensation is creating a serious food insecurity problem as they are pushed from fertile land into barren land unsuitable for small scale agricultural activities that have for generations’ sustained livelihoods. These rural investments often referred to as “Land Grabbing”, have become an incontestable threat to the livelihoods of smallscale farmers particularly in Africa where 80% of the population is dependent on small scale agricultural activities. In reality the new investments have commercialised agriculture through contract farming that induce farmers to switch to high value crops from food crops, consumption of imported food as a substitute for traditional foods, changes from natural forests to reserved land for tourism and private estates for the production of crops used for bio-fuel production.

Who are the largest external investors?

According to a Grain Report (2013), by the year 2012, 35 million of agricultural prime land has been leased to foreign companies in 66 countries over the past three years for food and alternative fuel production (excluding extractive industries). The most affected countries in Southern Africa were the Democratic Republic of Congo with 8.1m ha leased followed by Mozambique with **** constituting ****% of arable land. The top investors around the world are; UK(4.4m ha), USA (3.7m ha) and China (3.4m ha). Hence these empirical figures show that it is the foreign investors from industrialised countries led by the United Kingdom that are seeking land deals in Africa particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It is estimated that more than half of the 56 million hectares of land sought after by foreign investors globally is located in sub-Saharan Africa. The Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique have the highest share of foreign investor driven land deals relative to total arable land of close to 50% and 21%, respectively (Africa Development Bank 2012). Within African countries, the urgent need to develop agriculture and the lack of financial support for capital intensive projects such as irrigation and infrastructure development aimed at improving productivity and creation of thousands of jobs to improve rural livelihoods, has facilitated large scale land deals.

Role of BRICS

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the role of the BRICS countries in the scramble for resources in southern Africa. As already depicted above, China features as the third largest investor in agribusiness. Since the turn of the 21st century the region has increasingly established economic (trade and investment) and social relations with the emerging economies, Brazil, China, India and South Africa (the BRICS countries). These relations have been hailed at a political level as a positive move demonstrating South-South Cooperation as opposed to the traditional resented North-South relations. These investments are taking place against a backdrop of increased pressure from industrialised countries on developing countries to open up their economies through multilateral (WTO) and bilateral (FTAs and BITs) negotiations. The new South-South Cooperation is not signifying implicitly a real change in the structure of the southern African countries and benefits to its people, but a continuation of the same relationship established by the European countries during the colonial era sometimes in a more brazen manner particularly with regards to labour and the environment. The BRICS countries have invested in the same extractive industries, mainly in mining and agriculture for export as raw materials to parent companies in their own countries. The scale and type of BRICS investments into southern Africa are given in appendix 1. The study focused in detail on 5 southern African countries (Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe), but where necessary it will provide evidence from other countries within the region.

Our Dream

SEATINI’s dream for a future world is one without war and violence. It is one where nobody needs to go hungry or thirsty, or without clothing, shelter, clean water, ample sources of energy, good health and education, and the higher pursuits of knowledge. It is a dream of a borderless world, where people move freely between climes and cultures, and where social structures, inclusion, culture and dignity give more status than consumer goods. It is a world where the benefits of the phenomenal advancement of science and technology are available to all, where these are applied to satisfy all the reasonable and sensible material needs of the world’s populations, where survival, access to basic needs and dignity are not dependent on paid labour

SEATINI

226 Samora Machel Avenue,Eastlea Harare, Zimbabwe 

Phone : +263 4 776 418

Email : info@seatini.org.zw

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EPA Update Policy Brief (Published 2014)

Background

Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiations started in 2002 between the European Union (EU) and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, based on the Cotonou Agreement aimed at integrating ACP states into the world economy. The Cotonou agreement in 2000 made provision for bilateral trade agreements (EPAs) to replace the unilateral LOME Conventions that allowed duty-free and quota-free access of ACP countries exports to the EU that were challenged at the WTO negotiations by other non-ACP countries without preferential access to the EU market. Preferential treatment is incompatible with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. The original Lome Conventions were non-reciprocal while the EPA will be reciprocal. The negotiations are focused on trade in tangible goods, investments and services. The controversial issues that arose during the negotiations are broadly focused on export taxes, Most Favoured Nation (MFN) and National Treatment (NT) clauses, agricultural subsidies and market access, and economic development cooperation, rules of origin and dispute settlement. The EPA negotiations divided the southern African region into two different blocs;

  •  the Eastern and Southern African (ESA) bloc comprising Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Zambia and Zimbabwe and,
  • the Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc comprising Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Tanzania. From the onset, it can be observed that the bilateral negotiations effectively disrupted the region initiative of regional integration within the SADC region.

Besides the disruption of regional integration, this division into two negotiating trading blocs created implementation challenges such as multiple memberships and weakened regional bargaining power. The negotiations started in 2002 under a waiver called the Cotonou Agreement. In practice, the negotiations progressed very slowly than what had been originally anticipated. They were supposed to be concluded by 2007. Regulation 1528 was therefore adopted in December 20007 as a temporary solution to allow for more time to conclude the EPA negotiations and the ratification process. There has been no agreement on contentious issues such as MFN clause, cumulation, export taxes, agricultural subsidies and market access.

Current EU-Africa trade status.

Although the overall global share of EU trade with Africa has been declining, trade remains significant. In absolute terms exports from Africa to the EU increased from USD9bn in 2000 to USD213bn in 2013. The largest EU exporters to Africa in 2013 were France (18%), Germany (14%), and Italy (13%). The largest EU importers of African products are Spain (17%) Italy (16%), France (16%), UK (13%). Manufactured goods comprised 70% of all EU exports to Africa whilst energy constituted 64% of imports. Africa exports to EU are mainly raw materials especially crude oil raising the question of value addition and regional integration. The major trading partners with EU from Africa are South Africa, Nigeria, Algeria and Libya.

State of EPA Negotiations

Although the negotiations have been slow and stalled in some regions, four countries in southern Africa had signed the interim EPA on tangible goods by 2009, namely Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Zimbabwe. Given the EU deadline for negotiations of October 1, 2014, others fearing trade disruption, signed the interim EPA such as Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland. Malawi and Zambia initialled but have not signed the interim EPA. Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have not initialled the agreement. Thus the outlook on the status of EPA is varied. The major casualty has been regional integration, a SADC initiative.
Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland are classified as developing countries and do not enjoy the Everything But Arms (EBA) EU offer to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), therefore feared trade disruption particularly of beef, grapes and sugar respectively. Angola, DRC, Malawi and Zambia enjoy the LDCs status and can still trade with the EU under the EBA duty-free and quota free. South Africa can still trade under the Trade and Development Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) signed in 1999.

Scepticism of the EPA

Judging from the previous experience that southern African countries have had with economic liberalisation programs such as the structural adjustments (SAPs) implemented in the late 1980s and early 1990s, African states are sceptical about the agreement, hence the emergence of the contentious issues. They signed because of immense pressure from the European Commission (EC).

Most favoured nation

The Most Favoured Nation is one of the contentious issues included in the agreement at the insistence of the European Union (EU). It means that any trade or investment concession that a country grants to another trading partner enjoying more than one percent of world merchandise is automatically extended to the EU. All the countries in southern Africa have established good relations with BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa) and found it difficult to accept a deal that compels them to extend to EU concessions that they had chosen to make. Therefore, EPA does not promote their best interests. In practice it levels the playing field for all foreign investors. This was viewed as a defence mechanism for European interests against the onslaught of the BRICS countries.

National treatment

The national treatment clause does not allow discrimination between foreign and domestic investors. Both should be afforded equal treatment. National Treatment (NT) entails providing same treatment to both domestic and foreign players without any form of discrimination. Governments are prohibited from offering tenders for government procurement to exclusively national investors even if it might be their policy to encourage domestic industrialisation. It is one of the basic reasons why they had imposed export taxes. It is already a foregone conclusion that domestic suppliers cannot compete favourably with their EU counterparts. The result is destruction or scaling down of domestic industrial activities (contraction of manufacturing) with the accompanying loss of jobs. In both cased i.e. MFN and NT host states policy space is severely restricted.

Removal of export taxes

The EU is calling for the removal of export taxes on raw materials. However, export taxes were used historically as a development trade tool to discourage exports of raw materials and incentivise domestic industry growth by availing it cheap and adequate raw materials as well as raising financial resources for other essential development needs such as provision of public health and education services. It also acts as a protective measure for domestic industries from foreign competition.

Agricultural subsidies and market access

With regard to trade in agriculture, it is practically impossible for southern African countries to compete with their European counterparts that enjoy domestic support and export subsidies and need to be protected. Hence the tariff phase-down is a threat that will wipe out domestic agricultural production particularly by small-scale farmers. Already some European countries have been dumping foreign products on the African market and ruining the domestic producers. Most of them do not have legal safeguard measures such as the special safeguard mechanism (SSM) that can legally be used to regulate imports and protect domestic producers. Furthermore agricultural export commodity producers become uncompetitive on the European market and face the hindrance of SPSS and TBTs measures due to supply side constraints. This has become the case with cotton growers in southern Africa whose production has largely been abandoned.

Development assistance

On the accessing EDF by ACP, it was noted that the funds will not be available for ACP first due to the EU changing its goal posts through its bureaucratic procedures. In any case by 2015, funds to Africa from the EU will be reduced as they will be diverted to address critical issues such as terrorism and Ebola. The European Union itself has slipped into economic deflation. African states need to be self reliant and pull its resources ( natural resources) in order to strengthen its industries. Promoting inter regional trade was seen as essential within the SADC and COMESA markets.

Intellectual property rights

The strict enforcement of intellectual property rights has hit the pharmaceutical industries hard through the discouragement of the manufacture of cheap generic drugs that were accessible to the generality of the ordinary people. Consequently, medical care has risen sharply beyond the reach of the majority. Most of the drugs are now imported.

Dispute Settlement Mechanism

Any violation of the above clauses empowers a foreign investor to sue a host state at the World Bank International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). They can sue even for loss of potential future profit. In all the recorded cases the foreign investors win at the expense of host states. The ICSID provides almost 100% protections against possible expropriation by the host state. These investments are guaranteed by the WB.

EPA Implementation Challenges

For those countries that have signed and ratified the interim EPAS there are challenges to implementation. These challenges include;

a. rules of origin given the cumulation issue  and COMESA Common External Tariff (CET) not operational

b. difficult economic conditions for some countries such as Zimbabwe, tariff phase down challenges

c. EU’s domestic support and export subsidies to its agriculture sector- too competitive for ACP products to enter EU market and no commitments to reduce this support

d. SPS (sanitary phyto-sanitary) and TBT (technical barriers to trade) measures by EU makes it difficult to access EU market especially in agriculture

e. No binding commitment on development, no provision of predictable additional resources to address challenges and build capacity

f. Supply side constraints –industrial development is slow

g. Erosion of preferential market access – EU negotiating other FTAs with India, ASEAN, etc. African countries also negotiating regional pacts such as the TFTA to be established in 2014 and the confidential FTA in 2017

h. The coming on board of the BRICS bloc (Brazil, Russia, India and China) -China has become an important trading partner for Africa and has potential to change direction of trade for some countries

Conclusion

The Zimbabwe government has formed an inclusive EPA committee comprising, both public and private sectors as well as the civil society and SEATINI was invited and is now a member of that committee. Its brief is to spearhead and make policy recommendations for the implementation of the interim EPA. SEATINI welcomed the invitation as it would provide it with first hand information on the challenges to EPA implementation.
African countries should have consolidated the gains of regional integration before negotiating the EPAs. It is quite evident that ACP governments are put under pressure to sign the EPAs by the EU against their own interests (e.g. Namibian case which signed the interim EPA under protest). In most cases within our countries there is a small powerful export-oriented lobby group that will advocate for the signing of EPAs so that their business interests are not disrupted, e.g. the tobacco industry in Zimbabwe, beef producers in Botswana, table grapes producers in Namibia and sugar producers in Swaziland. This is done despite the harmful effects of the agreement to the wider and less powerful economic sectors employing the majority of the population.

Recommendations

  • Africa needs to build its own capacity to add value to its products before exporting to the EU than continuing to just export unprocessed raw materials. Furthermore, the quality of the existing products needs to be improved.
  • There is need to increase allocation and release of additional financial resources to meet developmental cooperation which is the pillar of the EPAs especially to address supply side constraints such as infrastructure.
  • Africa should not lose sight of regional integrating efforts that have seen several missed deadlines because of the EPAs e.g. SADC and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Customs Union, Tripartite Free trade Agreement (TFTA) in order to strengthen regional development.
  • There should be a delay in the implementation of the EPAs as more time for implementation should be given for countries that are facing economic difficulties beyond the 15years agreed. This allows time to adjust the local industries as well as build enough capacity for manufacturers.

References

  1. AllAfrica, “The Endgame of the EU-SADC EPA Negotiations- Southern Africa” at http://allafrica.com/stories/201404220514.html
  2. SEATINI, "EPA Update Roundtable Stakeholders Meeting Report", 3 December, 2014, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Harare.
  3. Tralac, “Conclusion of the Economic Partnership Agreement” at http://www.tralac.org/news/article/5900-conclusion-of-the-economicpartnership-agreement.html
  4. Tralac, “The EU’s EPA negotiations with the Southern African Development Community (SADC)”: July 2014 update at http://www.tralac.org/news/article/5907-the-eu-s-epa-negotiations-withthe-southern-african-development-community-sadc-july-2014update.html
  5. Wentzel Webber, “The grim EPA – where do we stand?” posted in Legal Articles on 17th December 2014 at http://thewritecandidate.co

Our Dream

SEATINI’s dream for a future world is one without war and violence. It is one where nobody needs to go hungry or thirsty, or without clothing, shelter, clean water, ample sources of energy, good health and education, and the higher pursuits of knowledge. It is a dream of a borderless world, where people move freely between climes and cultures, and where social structures, inclusion, culture and dignity give more status than consumer goods. It is a world where the benefits of the phenomenal advancement of science and technology are available to all, where these are applied to satisfy all the reasonable and sensible material needs of the world’s populations, where survival, access to basic needs and dignity are not dependent on paid labour

SEATINI

226 Samora Machel Avenue,Eastlea Harare, Zimbabwe 

Phone : +263 4 776 418

Email : info@seatini.org.zw

SEATINI 2017

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