#Article (Archive)

About ECOWAS and the EPA issue

Jul 15, 2014, 10:20 AM

The 45th ordinary session of ECOWAS leaders, also known as the mid-year summit, ended in Accra, Ghana, July 10 with, among others, the approval of the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiated with the European Union.
Our readers will recall that The Point has been carrying reports and comments on this contentious issue, which has been dogged by controversy, with some African leaders, states and civil society organizations expressing reservations about the whole process.

Well, for the further information and education of our readers, we publish below what the final communiqué stated on the EPA issue:

“The Summit welcomes the work done by the ad hoc committee set up by the 44th ordinary session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government to consider the technical concerns raised by some member states and whose recommendations led to appropriate solutions on these issues. 

“On the basis of the consensual results reached by the chief negotiators on all the issues (particularly on the market access offer, the EPA Development Programme (EPADP) and the text of the Agreement), the heads of state and government endorse the Economic Partnership Agreement negotiated which has taken due account of the technical concerns raised. 

“Consequently, the heads of state and government instruct the West African chief negotiators to take all necessary steps to quickly start the process of signing and implementing the agreement.

“In that regard, the summit encourages them to sustain their efforts, particularly by informing and raising awareness of the national and regional actors.

“The Authority congratulates the chief negotiators and the ministerial monitoring committee for their resolve and sense of compromise that led, through a constructive approach, to the conclusion of a fair, balanced and mutually beneficial agreement for both parties.

“The Authority also reaffirms deep appreciation to His Excellency Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, for the decisive and highly political role he played in the successful conclusion of this development-oriented agreement which reinforces the West African integration process”.

“Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off”.

Franklin D. Roosevelt