Monday, March 22, 2010

EU's Out To Divide Africa

NEWS BANJUL THE GAMBIA(MB)-The Governor of the Western Region, Lamin Sanneh, has said the European Union is out to divide and rule Africa through applying pressure on African countries to support the EPAs.
"There is a request made by the west that we need to open our markets for trade, but there are implications" because "the least developed countries do not have enough stock to supply the markets of the west", Lamin Sanneh said.
He made this statement when the National Youth Association for Food Security (NaYAFS) organised a one-day Civil Society Organisation (CS) and Stakeholders Meeting held in February 2010 to sensitise the Western Region community on the effects of endorsing EPA agreements in their present form on their lives and livelihood.
According to Mr. Sanneh, as a result of pressure exerted by the European Union (EU) on some of the least developed countries within the region, Ghana and Ivory Coast, have both internalised the EPA.
Following this development, NaYAFS has found it a matter of urgency to get all stakeholders, policy makers, lawmakers, civil societies, farmers, private and the public sector and the media to dialogue on the state of affairs of the negotiations and the stakes that lie ahead regarding the EPAs.
If the countries in the region are given a positive answer to the West by internalising the EPA, according to Mr. Sanneh, then "Africa will face competition in terms of quality products", in their markets.
Elaborating, the Governor indicated that international trade agreements and (or) rules continue to affect millions of poor people's life and livelihood.
Therefore, "we as advocates are skeptical on the resultant effect of a finalised trade pact base on reciprocal basis between the EU and West Africa, as negotiation progresses into economic partnership agreements", he said.
The Governor described the proposed agreements as a threat to the giant economic development strides that the country (Gambia) has seen in recent years which, he said, is principally based on the sound and prudent management of domestic and customs-generated income.
This, he said, will unfortunately be completely incapacitated by the coming into force of the proposed trade agreements.
He said that the least developed countries are seen to be organised and fragmented into blocs based on the regions.
"African Union (AU) can deduce that the European Union is out to divide and rule us so that they can achieve their objectives on the EPA", the Governor said.

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