CIVIL SOCIETY URGE TRADE AND INDUSTRY MINISTER
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-
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-
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.
1. Ghana Trade Union Congress (GTUC)
2. Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition (GTLC)
3. General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU)
5. Action Aid Ghana
6. Abibiman Foundation
7. Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG)
10. Christian Council of Ghana (CCG)
For further clarification call: 026-
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