2007-09-24 20:01:03This article has been read 673 times.
The Ghana Trade and Livelihoods Coalition Campaign (GTLCC) has called on the Government to stop negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union and African countries.
The EPAs are free trade agreements that require African, Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) countries like Ghana to open their markets to competition from highly developed and often subsidised European markets in return for continued access of ACP goods to the EU.
The call was contained in a petition signed by Mr. Mohammed Adam Nashiru, president of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, and presented to the Northern Regional Minister at Tamale.
The petition said if the EPAs were implemented in their current forms, producers and companies in African countries would be pitted against those in the richest European countries without any protection.
The statement said the consequence of this would be the loss of revenue to government and the loss of livelihoods, jobs and a disincentive to industrialisation.
The petition indicated that a study by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa estimated that Ghana would loose about 10.3 per cent to 19.2 per cent of its expenditure representing eight per cent of its Gross Domestic Produce.
It further stated that the ability of African countries to have industries that add value to primary products would be lost, citing the tomato and poultry as examples.
The GTLCC noted that the dealine for the signing of the EPAs was 31st December 2007 and called for the stoppage of ongoing EPAs negotiations until the development needs of African countries were considered.
Mr. S.Y Inusah, a Deputy Coordinating Director of the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, who received the petition on behalf of Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, the Regional Minister, assured the GTLCC that their message would be forwarded to the appropriate authorities.