Saturday, October 11, 2008

African experts endorse African template for EPAs

10 October 2008

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) African experts on Friday ended a continental forum on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between European and African countries with the endorsement of proposals towards an African template for EPA negotiations.

The discussion of the proposals for the template, which were drafted by the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), was one of the key agenda items at the forum on the Economic Partnership Agreements which was held in Ethiopia,Addis Ababa under the theme “Reaping the benefits of the EPAs ”.

The endorsed recommendations for the template will now be forwarded to the African Union Commission for consideration in the finalization of a draft template to be considered by African Chief Negotiators and Senior Officials and possible adoption by African Trade Ministers at their next meeting.

The request for the template was originally made by the Conference of African Union Ministers of Trade and Ministers of Finance at their meeting in April 2008.

It is envisaged that the recommendations for provisions for the draft template will contribute to the African Union’s effort to adopt a consolidated EPAs template for the continent.

The main aim of the three day regional forum was to take stock of the results of EPAs negotiations in the light of what African countries had hoped to achieve while at the same time evaluating how the progress towards the African Economic Community is likely to be affected by the EPAs.