HOME
AFRICAN AGENDA
PUBLICATIONS WHO WE WORK WITH AREAS OF WORK CONTACT US WEBMAIL

Podcast | African Agenda Magazine | Conference Materials | TWN-Africa Videos


CIVIL SOCIETY URGE TRADE AND INDUSTRY MINISTER

PRESS STATEMENT

CIVIL SOCIETY URGES TRADE AND INDUSTRY MINISTER, MS. HANNAH TETTEH, TO PUSH FOR SOLIDARITY FUND IN THE EPA PROCESS

9th March, 2012

For Immediate Release  

We the undersigned Civil Society organisations are concerned about the on-going processes in the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations between ECOWAS and the European Union. Following an interview granted to the Business & Financial Times, which appeared in the 27th February, 2012 edition of the Paper, the Hon. Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Hannah Tetteh, raised a number of issues which deserve attention. The Minister indicated that while Ghana is committed to the ECOWAS Platform for the full EPA, the Interim EPA will be the fall-back option for Ghana should ECOWAS not reach a consensus with the EU in the EPA negotiations before the 1st January 2014 deadline. Specifically Ghana will fall out of the regional process, in case of delay, to sign the EPA with the EU.

The options, as reported, ignored a third option which, in our view can best serve the interest of Ghana in resolving the export challenge and also help Ghana avoid the damaging clauses in the interim EPA. That option is a regional mechanism in the form of a solidarity Fund to compensate Ghana, La Cote d’Ivoire and Cape Verde on export losses in case a consensus is not reached on the EPA between ECOWAS and the EU before the deadline. The decision to set up the fund was taken at the recent ECOWAS Ministerial Monitoring Committee (MMC) meeting on the EPA negotiations in Accra, in November 2011, where Hon. Hannah Tetteh was the host. This decision was arrived at after careful analysis of the effects of member countries deciding to sign individual agreements with the EU.

The Hon. Minister and her colleagues thought it wise to have such a mechanism in order to solve the export challenge, avoid the damaging clauses in the interim EPA with its far-reaching consequences on the development of Ghana and the ECOWAS Sub-region. Such a mechanism will also help counteract the intransigent position of the EU in the EPA negotiations, with its divide and rule tactics in the EPA processes over the years.

Admittedly, the issue of the exporters is genuine and a real concern. But that has to be put in the broader interest of other producers and the country as a whole. Apart from those who export to the EU market, all other local producers whose market is domestic and the ECOWAS region, will have a very serious challenge with the influx of EU goods should the EPA be signed. Also, its effects on Ghana’s industrialization and the ECOWAS integration agenda will be disastrous. It was in the light  of this  that  the Ministers adopted the recommendation from the experts in the EPA process  to set up  the Solidarity Fund to help Ghana and the other countries concerned to solve the export challenge and also safe the integration efforts over the years.

We therefore call on the Hon Minister of Trade and Industry to provide her leadership, as usual, that will enable her and other colleague ministers, as well as relevant stakeholders, in the Region to operationalize the Solidarity Fund now to avoid undue pressure.  Civil society organizations will be glad to work with the Ministry on resolving the export challenge. As for Ghana signing the interim agreement with the European Union is not the way to go because of its damaging effects on the entire life of the Nation and the ECOWAS Sub region.  

Signed:

1.       Ghana Trade Union Congress (GTUC)

2.       Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition  (GTLC)

3.       General Agricultural Workers Union  (GAWU)

4.       TWN-Africa

5.       Action Aid Ghana

6.       Abibiman Foundation

7.       Peasant Farmers Association  of Ghana  (PFAG)

8.       ISODEC

9.       SEND- GHANA

10.    Christian  Council of Ghana (CCG)

For further clarification call: 026-9613132 (Sylvester Bagooro, TWN-Africa), 024-2901538 (Kingsley Offei-Nkansah, GAWU), 024-4253627 (Rev. Deegbe of Christian Council)


 

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share via e-mail Print Share on Stumble Upon Share on Reddit Share on Newsvine Share on LiveJournal Share on Google Bookmarks Share on Digg Share on Delicious


 RELATED LINKS

Copyright© 2014 TWN Africa* All Rights Reserved.

Third World Network-Africa| 9, Ollennu Street, East Legon P.O.Box AN 19452 Accra, GHANA | TEL:+233 302 511189 /233 302 500419 /233 302 503669

Contact webmaster : webmaster@twnafrica.org  Tel : +233281057138

email : twnafrica@twnafrica.org

AREAS OF WORK

PUBLICATIONS

NEWS



WHO WE WORK WITH

 ABOUT US