SOMO Briefing paper: EPA negotiations do not promote the right investment policies in Africa

Original Publication Date: 
24 September, 2006

The EU strongly advocates that attracting more foreign investment is a solution to African development problems and that African countries therefore need to include strict investment liberalisation measures in EPAs. However, Africa has so far experienced too little benefits from foreign investment and investment incentives. African Ministers need to continue to resist EU pressure to include investment liberalisation in EPAs and rather focus on support and capacity building for domestic or regional investment, and making foreign investors responsible for their activities in Africa.

EU promotes foreign investment as a development strategy

During the negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) and the European Union (EU), the EU has been emphasizing that Africa needs to attract more foreign investment and that investment liberalisation should therefore be be part of these EPAs.This reflects the shift by many donors from aid to foreign investment to bring new capital into developing economies. In the words of the chief EU negotiator in EPAs, development