The West Africa and European Union Trade Relations
The West African region has been in trade with the European Union for many centuries, ever since the time of the slavery era. However the signing of the Cotonou agreement in the year 2000 created an official Partnership agreement between the European Union and 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). West Africa being one of the EU’s most important trade partner in Africa, Pacific region and the Caribbean accounts for over forty percent of all trades between the EU and the ACP countries; eighty percent of which exports come from Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast mostly in agricultural commodities and natural gas. Industrial goods, machinery, vehicles and transport equipment’s and chemicals are the most beneficial trading goods the EU exports to the West African Region.
The Cotonou Agreement between the EU and the ACP countries has led to negotiations concerning the singing of a new partnership agreement: Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in order to change the 30 years of trade preferences that has been unsuccessful to the development of West African economies. The EPA between the EU and West Africa involves two regions, each with its own history of regional integration. The EPA will provide an opportunity for better trade integration between the EU and West Africa by a constant push of efforts to promote greater economic integration in the West African region. It’s going to help West Africa become more competitive in the world market, diverse it’s exports, and build a regional market under transparent and stable rules that will reinforce a strong economic governance and attract investment. The main goal of the EPA is to build strong partnership for development between the EU and West Africa, tailored to each region’s specific circumstances.
The EPA would promote...