Building capacity to help Africa trade better

EU-Southern Africa trade deal to be signed in Botswana in May


EU-Southern Africa trade deal to be signed in Botswana in May

EU-Southern Africa trade deal to be signed in Botswana in May

The European Union (EU) and five Southern African Development Community states will meet in Botswana in May to sign a trade deal that has taken at least 10 years to complete.

A date for formalizing the Economic Partnership Agreement was agreed during talks in Brussels, Botswana’s Trade and Industry Ministry said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday. Legal processes around the deal were completed on Oct. 23, it said.

Botswana chairs the the SADC Economic Partnership Agreement group, which also includes Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. Negotiations between EU and SADC states on the EPA started in 2004. While an interim agreement was signed by some regional states in June 2009, a full accord was only reached in July last year.


The EU concluded negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on 15 July 2014 with the SADC EPA Group comprising Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. Angola has an option to join the agreement in future.

The other six members of the Southern African Development Community region – the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU as part of other regional groups, namely Central Africa or Eastern and Southern Africa.

EU and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the SADC EPA Group

Development-oriented: the EPA gives asymmetric access to the partners in the SADC EPA region. They can shield sensitive products from full liberalisation and safeguards can be deployed when imports are growing too quickly. A detailed development chapter identifies trade-related areas that can benefit from funding

Improved opportunities for trade in goods: the EPA guarantees access to the EU market without any duties or quotas for Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Swaziland. South Africa will benefit from new market access additional to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement, that currently governs the trade relations with the EU. The new access includes better trading terms mainly in agriculture and fisheries, including for wine, sugar, fisheries products, flowers and canned fruits. The EU will obtain meaningful new market access into Southern African Customs Union (products include wheat, barley, cheese, meat products and butter), and will have the security of a bilateral agreement with Mozambique, one of the LDCs in the region.

Geographical indications: the EPA includes a bilateral protocol between the EU and South Africa on the protection of geographical indications and on trade in wines and spirits. The EU will protect names such as Rooibos, the famous infusion from South Africa, and numerous wine names like Stellenbosch and Paarl. In return, South Africa will protect more than 250 EU names spread over the categories food, wines and spirits.

» Click here to download the consolidated SADC-EU EPA text.


Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel +27 21 880 2010