News Archive March 2018

tralac’s Daily News Selection

Africa’s partnerships with the EU, India: key updates

(i) AU Executive Council adopts the African Common Position for negotiations of a new cooperation agreement with the EU. In the same spirit, another highlight of the AfCFTA week was the Executive Council’s unanimous decision to adopt the African Common Position (pdf) for negotiations of a new agreement of cooperation with the European Union on the future of AU/EU post 2020. As the expiry date of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement approaches in February 2020, reflections between Africa and the EU have been under way to determine the nature, outline and configuration of a more appropriate framework for future post-2020 relations. As such, the adopted African Common position recommends that the new agreement with the European Union should be separated from the ACP context and based on a strong and sustainable continent-to-continent partnership that revolves around the AU and the EU.

The new agreement should also reaffirm the interdependence between Africa and Europe, as well as the development of modern political dialogue, based on equality, equity, mutual respect and the shared responsibility of both continents. It should be based on African priority development pillars and revolve around the following seven elements: structural transformation of economies and inclusive growth; people-centred development; migration and mobility; peace and security; science, technology and innovation; the environment and climate change; governance, human rights and natural resource management, while also not failing to consider the already existing bilateral agreements between the EU and Africa, including those of North Africa, South Africa and other African countries. [Downloads: Decisions of the 18th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council]

(ii) Deepening Africa-India Trade and Investment Partnership: a joint African Trade Policy Centre, Confederation of Indian Industry report. In the present report (pdf), the effects of mega-regional trade agreements, particularly the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership – a proposed free trade agreement involving India – on Africa-India trade relations, are examined. There is a legitimate concern about market loss and trade diversion. RCEP, is expected to erode preferences and increase competition for African countries in the Indian market, which in turn, could undermine the benefits for them stemming from the Duty Free Tariff Preference Scheme. Meanwhile, our analysis clearly demonstrates that the establishment of the AfCFTA would be critical to mitigate the negative effects expected to be brought about by RCEP on African economies. Moreover, AfCFTA would provide a strong basis for the industrialization and structural transformation efforts in Africa as it would boost intra-African trade and the continent’s industrial content. The establishment of AfCFTA also offers important opportunities for Indian firms and investors, as it would provide a potentially larger, unified, simplified and more robust African market to tap into.

As a matter of fact, only after the establishment of AfCFTA would Africa and India be in a position to effectively enter into an economic integration partnership implying market access reciprocity. It is explicitly illustrated in the report that deepening integration between Africa and India would generate significant benefits for both partners. Such gains could even help to rebalance the composition of traded products by presenting opportunities to exploit value chains and enhance the structural transformation. Also, in the report, disablers and enablers to India’s trade and investment with Africa are further elaborated.

(iii) Connecting Africa: role of transport infrastructure. According to the ICA, India’s commitment to African infrastructure projects more than doubled to $1.2bn in 2016 from $524m in 2015. The largest portion of Indian commitments went to transport ($513m), followed by energy ($422m) and water ($262m) projects. The Export-Import Bank of India has been among the principal agents for supporting India’s development partnership with the African continent in the infrastructure sector. India’s transport network is among the largest and densest in the world. In order to support its rapidly growing economy, the Government of India has implemented a number of mechanisms in terms of new funds, institutions and agreements for upgrading its transport network. These mechanisms could be useful for transport infrastructure upgradation in Africa’s case, as both regions has similar features like a growing population, increasing economic growth, and huge land area, among others. [Note: The Working Paper, March 2018, can be downloaded from the Working Paper tab, here]

What investors want: perceptions and experiences of multinational corporations in developing countries (World Bank)

Through interviews with 754 executives, the survey finds that political stability and a business-friendly regulatory environment are the top two factors influencing multinational corporations’ investment decisions in developing countries. Investors seek predictable, transparent, and efficient conduct of public agencies. The survey results also show that investors are heterogeneous, and their perceptions vary with motivation and size. Multinational corporations that are involved in efficiency-seeking investment are more selective than investors motivated by other considerations, and that relatively smaller multinational corporations are more sensitive to host country characteristics and investment climate factors than large firms.

AfCFTA updates from Harare, Kampala:

(i) Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries: insights from a AfCFTA briefing. Speaking at a breakfast meeting hosted by the CZI yesterday, AU trade advisor, Brian Mureverwi said South Africa and Egypt wanted stricter rules of origin: “Rules of origin are a stumbling block. South Africa and Egypt want strict rules of origin.” Basically, if the threshold is increased, import-dependent countries like Zimbabwe would lose out as that would mean most of the products would have to be locally manufactured in order to be duty free if traded within Africa. While this would force the country to increase production, at the current state of local industry it is nowhere near having capacity to manufacture locally for a large part of the goods traded in the continent.

Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development ministry permanent secretary, Abigail Shonhiwa said certain countries wanted to increase the 35% threshold. “The lower the threshold, the easier it is and the higher the threshold the harder it is. If you now set the threshold at 50% where 50%, of the product has to originate from the country that exports, then it sets a higher threshold and it is usually much more difficult to reach a higher threshold than a lower threshold if you see what I mean,” she said.

(ii) Uganda and the AfCFTA: Private sector fear for future as govt defends Africa trade area deal. Presenting the government position on AfCFTA in Kampala yesterday, the minister of Trade, Ms Amelia Kyambadde, said: “With the integration of the African continent, Uganda stands to benefit from expanded trade, increased production capacity and creation of employment. We are immediately targeting livestock products notably dairy and beef, coffee, tea, iron and steel, while in the services sector we shall target education, tourism, business services and infrastructure services.”

However, in an interview yesterday, Mr Gideon Badagawa, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda executive director, said the deal was not only ambitious, but its success and failure will demand more than just signing documents. The chairman of the Kampala City Traders Association, Mr Everest Kayondo, said Uganda and other EAC member countries risked becoming supermarket. Uganda Manufactures Association manager policy and advocacy, Mr Lawrence Michael Oketcho, said there was need for a strategy that will give clear guidelines on how to go about this ambitious agreement. [Global Trade Review : Lack of trade finance will limit benefits of Africa free trade deal]

South Africa: Tripartite Free Trade Agreement to be tabled before Parliament (SAnews.gov.za)

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers says government is in the process of submitting documentation and the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement to Parliament for ratification. Deputy Minister Landers said on Tuesday [with respect to rules of origin]: “The danger we face, which we have to guard carefully against, is when a product purportedly comes from Zambia but it comes from another country outside the African continent, let’s say from England, from Canada or France or Russia or China, then the rule of origin kicks in because that product does not come from an African country, the provisions of the agreement does not apply to that product. The danger to the labour movement is not only here in South Africa, but to countries in Africa – I have referred to the Zambian example. Zambian workers would lose because that product comes from another country outside the continent. They would not have participated in the manufacture of that product and therefore, you will find that job losses would occur and as a consequence, the Free Trade Area Agreement would fall apart. So I would strongly urge people in the labour movement to become involved in the discussion in Parliament when the agreement is tabled in that fashion.”

South Africa: Listeria takes a bite out of trade as countries ban SA’s processed meat (Fin24)

The Department of Trade and Industry told a joint sitting of Parliament’s portfolio committee on health and portfolio committee on agriculture, forestry and fisheries that more than six countries have banned products from South Africa in light of listeriosis concerns. Chief director of international trade and economic development Niki Kruger told Parliament WTO countries under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures were entitled to ban products from a country in light of concerns for infection. “We have been exporting $18m or R210m to countries like Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Swaziland. There are R100m worth of exports in sausages alone that have been affected as a result of countries banning our products,” said Kruger. [Download the presentation, pdf]

Bitange Ndemo: Sour facts that blight local sugar industry (Business Daily)

The committee’s findings were startling. Their report revealed that “the average cost of producing one tonne of cane in Kenya is $22.5 while that of the region’s is as low as $13 per tonne. The average cost of producing a tonne of sugar in Kenya is $870 compared to $350 in Malawi and $400 in Zambia, Swaziland and Egypt and $450 in Sudan. The cost of production in Brazil is $300, up from $270 three years ago.” With the signing of the historic African Union free trade agreement, the odds of producing sugarcane in Kenya are simply against the country. There is a need to rethink a new path. Perhaps we could consolidate the factories and change the business model. As it stands, it is an exercise in futility to consider reforms within the current state of affairs. Certainly, Governor James Ongwae should abandon his dream of hiving off forestland to build a sugar factory.

Jordanian-Kenyan Business Forum: Jordan should exercise caution as it forges new trade partnerships (Jordan Times)

Establishing a Jordanian-Kenyan free zone in Aqaba would boost trade exchange with many African countries; however, the project has to be well studied to avoid unfavourable fallouts, Jordanian economists said. State Minister for Investment Affairs Muhannad Shehadeh said that the zone aims to create Kenyan and joint investments to boost trade exchange with Kenya and other African countries. Shehadeh said that the two countries were negotiating customs incentives agreements to increase the trade volume, which is still low at $14m a year. The agreement would help the Kingdom enter Kenya, which, in turn, would be a gateway to other African countries, the minister was quoted by Petra as saying. Reaching out to African trade partners has been part of a plan to open new markets after Jordan’s traditional markets and trade routes have become almost blocked due to regional political instability.

Today’s Quick Links:

South Africa’s merchandise trade statistics for February 2018: trade balance shifts to R0.43 billion surplus

Introducing the EU-SADC EPA: download the presentations from a recent workshop on Maseru

Singapore-based Olam: ”There’s a strong growth pipeline for the next 20-30 years that we can see in Africa, as it has happened in Vietnam or Indonesia, or China. We think that as the African population grows and the economics improves, we could really shift to higher protein.”

South Africa-based Massmart to open 20 stores in pan-African expansion: ”This year alone we will be opening eight new stores on the African continent. In the next three years we’ll be expanding our retail trading space by 35.6%...When we talk about growing our business across sub-Saharan Africa, that definitely includes Francophone Africa.”

French phone carrier Orange, which invests about 1 billion euros in Africa each year, will focus on markets where it already has a presence rather than expand to new countries. It will also concentrate on bedding down recent acquisitions, such as those in Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Liberia, which represent 8% of Orange’s revenue, account for about a third of its global growth.

The Brazil Africa Institute opens its first African office – in Ghana: It will draw up a strategic plan for the potential opportunities for Brazilian companies with the African continent, and vice versa, in different areas and facilitate socio, political and cultural rapprochement between Brazil and the African continent.

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tralac’s Daily News Selection

29 Mar 2018
Africa’s partnerships with the EU, India: key updates (i) AU Executive Council adopts the African Common Position for negotiations of a new cooperation agreement with the EU . In the same spirit, another highlight of the AfCFTA...
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South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for February 2018

South Africa’s trade balance swings to surplus in February

South Africa’s trade balance shifted to R0.43 billion surplus in February of 2018, compared to a downwardly revised R27.1 billion deficit in the prior month, and above market consensus of a R3.0 billion deficit. It was the smallest trade surplus since November of 2015. 

Imports declined 16.5 percent month-over-month to R90.2 billion in February of 2018, mainly due to lower purchases of machinery and electronics (-25 percent); mineral products (-16 percent); vehicles and transport equipment (-17 percent); chemical products (-12 percent); base metals (-24 percent) and original equipment components (-13 percent). The most important import partners were: China (18.6 percent of total imports), Germany (10.8 percent), the US (5.5 percent), Saudi Arabia (5.3 percent) and Nigeria (4.9 percent).

Exports rose 12.0 percent month-over-month to R90.6 billion, mostly due to higher sales of vehicles and transport equipment (117 percent); precious metals and stones (14 percent); machinery and electronics (25 percent) and prepared foodstuff (18 percent). Main export partners were: China (9.3 percent of total exports); Germany (7.7 percent); the US (6.4 percent); Japan (4.8 percent) and Botswana (4.6 percent).

Excluding trade with neighboring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland, the country posted a trade deficit of R6.6 billion in February.


The South African Revenue Service (SARS) today released trade statistics for February 2018 recording a trade balance surplus of R0.43 billion. These statistics include trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS).

The year-to-date (01 January to 28 February 2018) trade balance deficit of R26.69 billion is a deterioration on the deficit for the comparable period in 2017 of R7.59 billion. Exports year-to-date grew by 3.1% whilst imports for the same period showed an increase of 14.0%.

In line with international statistical best practice, the Trade Statistics published by the SARS are subject to revisions as new information becomes available on an ongoing basis. The January 2013 to January 2018 export figures have been adjusted by R16.67 billion resulting in the revision of the trade balance for the affected years as shown in the table below.

The R16.67 billion adjustment is as a result of revisions to the gold exports by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), which supplies the gold export data to SARS. These gold revisions have been published by the SARB in the March 2018 Quarterly Bulletin.

Cumulative Trade Balance after SARB adjustments

Calendar Year
Exports (R’bn)
Imports (R’bn)
Trade Balance (R’bn)
SARB Adjustment (R’m)
Adjusted Exports (R’bn)
Adjusted Imports (R’bn)
Adjusted Trade Balance (R’bn)
2013
929
998
-69.19
1 275
930
998
-67.92
2014
1 001
1 083
-82.70
9 287
1 010
1 083
-73.41
2015
1 036
1 088
-52.20
-8 142
1 028
1 088
-60.34
2016
1 100
1 099
1.03
16 177
1 116
1 099
17.20
2017
1 187
1 107
79.86
-2 299
1 185
1 107
77.56
2018
171
198
-27.06
371
171
198
-26.69
Total
5 424
5 574
-150
16 670
5 440
5 574
-134

Including trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS)

The R0.43 billion trade balance surplus for February 2018 is attributable to exports of R90.59 billion and imports of R90.16 billion. Exports increased from January 2018 to February 2018 by R9.74 billion (12.0%) and imports decreased from January 2018 to February 2018 by R17.82 billion (16.5%).

Exports for the year-to-date (01 January to 28 February) grew by 3.1% from R166.28 billion in 2017 to R171.45 billion in 2018. Imports for the year-to-date of R198.14 billion are 14.0% more than the imports recorded in January to February 2017 of R173.88 billion, leaving a cumulative trade balance deficit of R26.69 billion for 2018.

On a year-on-year basis, the R0.43 billion trade balance surplus for February 2018 is a deterioration from the surplus recorded in February 2017 of R4.12 billion. Exports of R90.59 billion are 4.6% more than the exports recorded in February 2017 of R86.58 billion. Imports of R90.16 billion are 9.3% more than the imports recorded in February 2017 of R82.46 billion.

January 2018’s trade balance deficit was revised downwards by R0.54 billion from the previous month’s preliminary deficit of R27.66 billion to a revised deficit of R27.12 billion as a result of ongoing Vouchers of Correction (VOC’s).

Trade highlights by category

The main month-on-month export movements: R’ million

Section:
Including BLNS:
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R6 716
+117%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R1 844
+14%
Machinery & Electronics
+R1 493
+25%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 589
+18%
Base Metals
-R1 122
- 9%
Total
+R9 520
98%

Total Movement

+R9 739

100%

The main month-on-month import movements: R’ million

Section:
Including BLNS:
Machinery & Electronics
-R6 053
- 25%
Mineral Products
-R3 209
-16%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R1 438
-17%
Chemical Products
-R1 359
-12%
Base Metals
-R1 339
-24%
Original Equipment Components
-R1 004
-13%
Total
-R14 402
81%

Total Movement

-R17 815

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results from January 2018 (revised) to February 2018 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R25 178 million – this is an increase of R3 108 million from January 2018.
Imports: R10 104 million – this is a decrease of R2 693 million from January 2018.

Trade Balance surplus: R15 074 million – this is an improvement of R5 800 million in comparison to the R9 274 million surplus recorded in January 2018.

America:

Exports: R7 168 million – this is an increase of R 49 million from January 2018.
Imports: R7 696 million – this is a decrease of R 1 605 million from January 2018.

Trade Balance deficit: R 528 million – this is an improvement of R1 655 million in comparison to the R2 183 million deficit recorded in January 2018.

Asia:

Exports: R27 511 million – this is an increase of R 960 million from January 2018.
Imports: R41 814 million – this is a decrease of R9 482 million from January 2018.

Trade Balance deficit: R14 303 million – this is an improvement of R10 442 million in comparison to the R24 745 million deficit recorded in January 2018.

Europe:

Exports: R21 847 million – this is an increase of R4 807 million from January 2018.
Imports: R28 798 million – this is a decrease of R3 864 million from January 2018.

Trade Balance deficit: R6 951 million – this is an improvement of R8 671 million in comparison to the R15 622 million deficit recorded in January 2018.

Oceania:

Exports: R1 256 million – this is an increase of R 624 million from January 2018.
Imports: R1 363 million – this is a decrease of R 330 million from January 2018.

Trade Balance deficit: R 107 million – this is an improvement of R 955 million in comparison to the R1 062 million deficit recorded in January 2018.


Excluding trade data with Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (BLNS)

The trade data excluding BLNS for February 2018 recorded a trade balance deficit of R6.69 billion. This is a result of exports of R80.09 billion and imports of R86.78 billion.

Exports increased from January 2018 to February 2018 by R8.31 billion (11.6%) and imports decreased from January 2018 to February 2018 by R18.29 billion (17.4%).

The cumulative deficit for 2018 is R39.98 billion compared to R20.45 billion deficit in 2017.

Trade highlights by category

The main month-on-month export movements: R’ million

Section:
Excluding BLNS:
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R6 514
+134%
Precious Metals & Stones
+R1 380
+ 10%
Machinery & Electronics
+R1 318
+ 28%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 581
+ 27%
Mineral Products
-R 474
- 2%
Base Metals
-R1 345
- 12%
Total
+R7 974
96%

Total Movement

+R8 309

100%

The main month-on-month import movements: R’ million

Section:
Excluding BLNS:
Machinery & Electronics
-R6 153
- 25%
Mineral Products
-R3 220
- 16%
Chemical Products
-R1 490
- 14%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
-R1 437
- 17%
Base Metals
-R1 381
- 25%
Original Equipment Components
-R1 004
- 13%
Total
-R14 685
80%

Total Movement

-R18 292

100%

Trade highlights by world zone

The world zone results for Africa excluding BLNS from January 2018 (Revised) to February 2018 are given below.

Africa:

Exports: R14 676 million – this is an increase of R1 678 million from January 2018.
Imports: R6 721 million – this is a decrease of R3 169 million from January 2018.

Trade Balance surplus: R7 955 million – this is an improvement of R4 848 million in comparison to the R3 107 million surplus recorded in January 2018.


Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland (Only)

Trade statistics with the BLNS for February 2018 recorded a trade balance surplus of R7.12 billion. This is a result of exports of R10.50 billion and imports of R3.38 billion.

Exports increased from January 2018 to February 2018 by R1.43 billion (15.8%) and imports increased from January 2018 to February 2018 by R0.48 billion (16.4%).

The cumulative surplus for 2018 is R13.29 billion compared to R12.86 billion in 2017.

Trade Highlights by Category

The main month-on-month export movements: R’ million

Section:
BLNS:
Precious Metals & Stones
+R 464
+1118%
Base Metals
+R 222
+ 41%
Vehicles & Transport Equipment
+R 202
+ 23%
Machinery & Electronics
+R 175
+ 13%
Textiles
+R 131
+ 35%
Total
+R1 194
84%
Total Movement
+R1 429
100%

The main month-on-month import movements: R’ million

Section:
BLNS:
Chemical Products
+R 131
+ 25%
Textiles
+R 126
+ 33%
Live Animals
+R 120
+ 38%
Machinery & Electronics
+R 100
+ 48%
Prepared Foodstuff
+R 44
+ 13%
Precious Metals & Stones
-R 108
- 15%
Total
+R 413
87%

Total Movement

+R 476

100%

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South Africa Merchandise Trade Statistics for February 2018

29 Mar 2018
South Africa’s trade balance swings to surplus in February South Africa’s trade balance shifted to R0.43 billion surplus in February of 2018, compared to a downwardly revised R27.1 billion deficit in the prior month, and above...
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Tripartite Free Trade Agreement to be tabled before Parliament

International Relations and Cooperation Deputy Minister Luwellyn Landers says government is in the process of submitting documentation and the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement to Parliament for ratification.

The Deputy Minister said this when he fielded oral questions during the Peace and Security Cluster’s question and answer session at the National Council of Provinces on Tuesday.

This comes after President Cyril Ramaphosa led a South African delegation to the African Union Extra-Ordinary Summit in Rwanda, where he signed the Kigali Declaration on the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

Addressing the Fourth Annual Ubuntu Awards last week, the President said the South African government has, after signing the Kigali Declaration, undertaken to ratify all related instruments in accordance with the country’s domestic laws and process.

Deputy Minister Landers said on Tuesday: “South Africa signed the Tripartite Agreement during the sixth Tripartite Sectorial Ministerial Committee meeting in July 2017.

“So far, 22 countries have signed the TFTA agreement. For the TFTA to be implemented, it requires 14 countries to ratify it and so far, only two countries – Uganda and Egypt – have ratified.

“South Africa is in the process of submitting the relevant documentation and agreement to Parliament for its ratification,” he said.

The Minister said South Africa participates in trade-related multi-lateral organisations with the objective of promoting South Africa’s National Development Plan, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, or agenda 2030 and the African Union Agenda 2063.

“This involves strengthening of mutually beneficial, regional and international relations and negotiating structures aimed at advancing South Africa’s global competitiveness and its trade industrial and economic development objectives,” he said.

The Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement is the initiative between three regional economic communities in the Eastern and Southern Africa.

The TFTA is anchored on three pillars – market integration, infrastructure development and industrial development.

“This was based on the recognition of the importance of a developmental integration approach which does not only focus on market access, but also addresses the productive capacity and infrastructure constraints of both the region and the continent,” the Minister said.

Calls for labour movement, stakeholders to make Parliamentary submissions

The Deputy Minister said, meanwhile, that what the agreement seeks to do is liberalise trade between countries on the African continent to cut back on things like tariffs. 

He said one of the strong points that the Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies has emphasised strongly is what he calls the rule of law of origin.

What this means is that partner countries would need to ensure that localisation is prioritised and that they guard against products from countries outside the African continent from being traded under the agreement as this could lead to job losses.

“The danger we face, which we have to guard carefully against, is when a product purportedly comes from Zambia but it comes from another country outside the African continent, let’s say from England, from Canada or France or Russia or China, then the rule of origin kicks in because that product does not come from an African country, the provisions of the agreement does not apply to that product.

“The danger to the labour movement is not only here in South Africa, but to countries in Africa – I have referred to the Zambian example. Zambian workers would lose because that product comes from another country outside the continent. They would not have participated in the manufacture of that product and therefore, you will find that job losses would occur and as a consequence, the Free Trade Area Agreement would fall apart.

“So I would strongly urge people in the labour movement to become involved in the discussion in Parliament when the agreement is tabled in that fashion.”

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AU Executive Council adopts the African Common Position for Negotiations of a new cooperation agreement with the European Union

March 21st, 2018 marked a historical day for Africa in its vision to build an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa with the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) by 44 African countries. This was a strong and loud message to the World that Africa is able to come together as One and speak in One Voice.

In the same spirit, another highlight of the AfCFTA week was the Executive Council’s unanimous decision to adopt the African Common Position for Negotiations of a New Agreement of Cooperation with the European Union on the future of African Union/European Union relations Post-2020. As the expiry date of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement approaches in February 2020, reflections between Africa and the EU have been under way to determine the nature, outline and configuration of a more appropriate framework for future post-2020 relations.

In this context, an adhoc working group composed of the Permanent Representatives’ Committee (PRC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; the African Group of Ambassadors in Brussels, Belgium; the African Group of Ambassadors in Geneva Switzerland and the African Union Commission’s technical Department of Economic Affairs was put in place by H.E. Moussa Mahamat Faki to lead efforts in drafting and presenting a Common African Position proposal to the Executive Council for the upcoming negotiations with the European Union.

The revision of the partnership with the European Union is an opportunity for Africa to capitalize on the experiences of the past and to define a single, strong and sustainable cooperation policy framework for continent to continent cooperation with Europe, based on values, interests and aspirations that unite us and actively participate together in global discussions.

This new agreement must reaffirm the vision of the African continent to build an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, led by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force on the international political scene through the effective implementation of Agenda 2063.

As such, the adopted African Common position recommends that the new agreement with the European Union should be separated from the ACP context and based on a strong and sustainable continent-to-continent partnership that revolves around the AU and the EU.

The new agreement should also reaffirm the interdependence between Africa and Europe, as well as the development of modern political dialogue, based on equality, equity, mutual respect and the shared responsibility of both continents.

It should be based on African priority development pillars and revolve around the following seven elements: structural transformation of economies and inclusive growth; people-centred development; migration and mobility; peace and security; science, technology and innovation; the environment and climate change; governance, human rights and natural resource management, while also not failing to consider the already existing bilateral agreements between the EU and Africa, including those of North Africa, South Africa and other African countries.

Africa has devoted to negotiate South-South partnership on a sovereign basis with the Caribbean and the Pacific based on existing partnership models.

Building on a longstanding cooperation and with a view of deepening high-level dialogue and cooperation on a citizen-driven pan-African agenda of integration and transformation, the adoption of the African Common Position for negotiations of a new Agreement with the European Union is the first step towards a win-win discussion with the European Union.

Following the adoption, it was convened by the meeting that the next steps will consist of establishing a Group of Negotiators; developing a negotiation strategy by the African Union Commission by May 2018. An official presentation of the African Common Position will be made at the 107th Session of the ACP Council of Ministers in Lomé, Togo on 29 May 2018.


Background

The ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, more commonly known as the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, is a partnership agreement between African, Caribbean and Pacific developing countries and the EU which was signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 for a 20-year period from 2000 to 2020. Since its adoption, it has been the framework for relations with 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) and the European Union and was based on three development three pillars such as Development cooperation, Political cooperation, Economic and trade cooperation. In 2010, ACP-EU cooperation was adapted to new challenges such as climate change, food security, regional integration, State fragility and aid effectiveness.

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