Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) are about to commit the most heinous crime in modern times, courtesy of the so called EPA.
The tenants of this agreement do nothing but formalize over 500 years of slavery in Africa.
The fundamentals of the agreement supposedly allow ECOWAS 80% access to EU market and vice versa. The problem with this agreement is that it puts ECOWAS industries at par with their EU counterparts and prevents ECOWAS government to show bias for ECOWAS companies when awarding contracts for goods and services.
In effect, what the agreement is saying is that a shoe manufacturing company in Kumasi, Ghana is on the same level as a shoe manufacturing company in Brescia, Italy. This is absolutely false either by design or conscience.
Already, there are a lot of factors militating against the upward mobility of ECOWAS industries. I will mention but a few.
ECOWAS industries lack capital resources for research and development, and as such lag in creativity and innovation. Africans generally have insatiable appetite for foreign goods including those from EU countries; as result a lot of ECOWAS companies have no market for the little they produce.
Add to that, EU citizens have strong aversion for every finished products from Africa besides artifacts, and would not patronize them even if they are offered free of charge. Again, the legal barriers that ECOWAS exporters have to meet in addition to the higher taxes they have to pay in order to ship products to EU countries make it quite unbearable for many ECOWAS companies.
By extrapolation, what this means is that EU market is opened for 80% of ECOWAS raw materials to feed EU industries, which would process these raw materials and returned them to ECOWAS market for profit.
Is this not what slavery and neocolonism has done to Africa over the centuries? How did the many economic initiatives that were sold to Africans over the years by EU, IMF and the World Bank change the fortunes of the ordinary Africans? Since the Europeans made contact with Africans, they have continuously rape Africa of her human and natural resources through shambolic schemes disguised in the form of aid.
It is interesting to know that, this scheme has been on the table for over a decade. If it is anything good,
I believe it would have been ratified long ago. But no, the more it is discussed, the more skeletons come
out of this scheme. It is apparent that this is designed to formalized neocolonism and perpetuates African status as the supplier of raw materials for EU industries, and damping grounds for European waste.
I hope ECOWAS leaders will wake up and heed to the voices of the several civil society groups who have seen the canker in this scheme, and thus calling for its immediate abrogation.
The threats and enticements that are being employed by EU to coerce ECOWAS leaders to sign on to this agreement pale in comparison to the devastating effects that this deal would have on ECOWAS economies.