We the ACP States of the Eastern and Southern African (ESA) region, constituted as the ESA Group and its individual member countries, on one hand, and the European Union, its Member States and the European Commission, on the other, herein referred to as “The Parties”;

Having regard to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement (CPA) signed on 23 June 2000, the COMESA Treaty signed: on 5 November 1993, the SADC Treaty and Protocol on Trade; the EAC Treaty, and the African Union Constitutive Act signed on….…,

Having regard to the Treaty Establishing the European Community (EC).

Having also regard to the decision of the 8th Summit of COMESA Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Khartoum, Sudan on 17th March 2003 on the establishment of the ESA configuration for the purpose of negotiation of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union;

Considering that the ESA States and the EU are agreed that their trade and economic cooperation shall aim at fostering the smooth and gradual integration of the ACP states into the world economy with due regard to their political choices, levels of development and development priorities, thereby promoting their sustainable development and contributing to poverty eradication in the ESA countries;

Reaffirming their commitment to promote and expedite the economic, cultural and social development of the ESA Countries with a view to contributing to peace and security and to promoting a stable and democratic political environment conducive for sustainable national and regional development;

Reaffirming also that the EPA shall be consistent with the objectives and principles of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement and, in particular, with the provisions of Part III, Title II thereof

Reaffirming that the EPA must serve as an instrument of development and shall promote sustained growth, increase the production and supply-side capacity of ESA countries, foster structural transformation of ESA economies and their diversification and competitiveness and lead to the development of trade, attraction of investment, technology and creation of employment in ESA countries;

Reaffirming that economic and trade cooperation shall build on regional integration initiatives of the ESA countries;

Reaffirming the need for sustained peace and stability as crucial factors for the effective implementation of regional integration towards which the EPA is expected to contribute;

Recalling the commitments of the international community on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals as contained in the UN Declaration of September 2000;

Reaffirming that advancing the development agenda requires genuine international cooperation and the full implementation of agreed commitments made at Conferences of Rio, Beijing, Copenhagen, Cairo and Monterrey, as well as in the Programmes of Action in favour of LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS respectively

BEARING in mind the rights and obligations of the Members of the WTO, the importance they attach to the principles and rules governing international trade and the need for a transparent, predictable, open and fair multilateral trading system

Whereas the Parties have agreed that EPAs shall take account of the differences in economic and social development levels of ESA countries and EU Member States, and that economic and trade cooperation shall be directed at enabling the ESA States to manage the challenges of globalization and to adapt progressively to new conditions of international trade and thereby facilitate their transition to the liberalised global economy.

Reiterating the need to ensure that particular emphasis shall be placed on regional integration and the provision of special and differential treatment to all ESA Countries, maintain special treatment for least developed ESA Countries, and take due account of the vulnerability of small economies, landlocked, island, coastal, drought prone and ESA Countries emerging from conflict.

Cognizant that substantial investments are required to uplift the standards of living of ESA countries;

Recalling the commitments of the Parties within the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO);



This part is taken from the Djibouti Dec 2007





Article 1



  1. To promote and expedite the economic, cultural and social development of the ESA Countries, and with a view to contributing to peace and security and to promoting a stable and democratic political environment as well as regional integration
  2. The overall objective of EU-ESA Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) shall be the attainment of sustainable development of ESA Countries, their smooth and gradual integration into the global economy and the eradication of poverty and diseases
  3. The specific objectives of the EPA shall be:
  • To promote regional integration, economic cooperation and in the ESA region;
  • to promote sustained growth, increase the production, supply and trading capacity of ESA Countries, as well as the capacity to attract investment and technology and create more employment, foster the structural transformation of ESA economies and their diversification, improve competitiveness and support regional integration initiatives in the ESA region through establishment and implementation of effective, predictable and transparent regional regulatory framework for trade and investment in the ESA region, thus creating the conditions


  • enable the ESA region to fully participate in international trade. To this end, the Parties shall cooperate closely in identifying and furthering their common interests in international economic and trade cooperation in particular in the WTO.


  • Enhance cooperation in all areas relevant to trade and to achieve progressive liberalisation of mutual trade in accordance with WTO rules, taking into account the existing and potential export interest of ESA countries and of the impact of trade liberalisation measures in particular on regional integration within ESA region.


  • Increase trade between the ESA region and the EU by addressing all forms of tariffs and NTBs that constrain trade.

Article 2


  1. The ESA-EU Economic Partnership Agreement shall be underpinned by the following fundamental principles:


  • The ESA countries shall determine their development models and strategies for their economies and societies in all sovereignty. The partnership shall encourage ownership of the development strategies by the countries and populations concerned;


  • The partnership shall be broad-based in order to ensure ownership as well as economic political and social sustainability. In this regard EPA shall involve all stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society and parliamentarians.


  • Dialogue shall play a important pivotal role in the fulfilment of mutual obligations and cooperation relations between the Parties; and


  • Cooperation arrangements and priorities as well as the capacity to assume obligations arising from this Agreement shall be in accordance with the Parties’ level of development, needs and long-term development strategy.


  • The parties confirm strong commitment to ensure that actions are taken and necessary resources are made available in an appropriate way such that EPA succeeds as a development instrument.


  1. The ESA-EU partnership shall be guided by the following specific principles


  • [Economic reforms by ESA countries shall be based on stages of ESA countries’ development within a specific time frame. The stages of development shall be identified by setting benchmarks that will be milestones that once achieved, a set of reforms including tariff dismantling shall take place. The benchmarks shall be derived from respective ESA countries national and regional development plans].


  • The EPA shall support regional integration initiatives existing within the ESA region. EPA shall be based on the integration objectives of the ESA region. EPA shall also contribute to reinforcing regional integration, in particular by contributing to the regional harmonisation of rules.


  • EPA shall therefore initially build and consolidate ESA market before progressively removing barriers to trade with the EU taking into account


  • regional integration at the African Continental level


  • [The EPA shall maintain and improve the current level of preferential market access and ensure the preservation of Cotonou acquis;]


  • The EPA shall, where applicable, be compatible with WTO rules prevailing at the time of entry into force of this Agreement; and shall take into account the evolutionary nature of the WTO rules


  • The EPA shall take account of the different needs and levels of development of the ESA countries;


  • The Parties reaffirm their commitment to maintaining and ensuring special treatment for ESA LDCs and to taking due account of the vulnerability and specificity of small, landlocked, island and ESA countries in conflict and post conflict situations as well as drought-prone ESA Countries;


  • The EPA shall address the needs and concerns of ESA net food- importing and heavily indebted non-LDCs, small economies and single commodity producers


  • ESA countries shall remove progressively barriers to trade on the basis of the principle of asymmetry taking into account their level of development as well as the ESA regional integration process and agenda; and


  • The implementation of the EPA shall be guided by the principle of regional preference.

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