SOMO Briefing paper: The risks and dangers of liberalisation of services in Africa under EPAs

Original Publication Date: 
24 September, 2006

The European Union (EU) is negotiating with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries for a new free trade agreement: the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). The liberalisation of services and therefore opening the market for foreign investors is part of these negotiations. But experience shows that the liberalisation of services can have a negative impact on poverty eradication. With the EPA negotiations, the EU is pushing African countries to even legally bind themselves to this unfavourable path of development, giving European multinationals more opportunities to make profits.

Improvement of services for development

Improving services is considered by the EU and other donors to play a very important role in the development of Africa