The European Business Council for Africa

Our organisation has been invited by the European Commission earlier in March this year to participate in the consultation on the future Partnership with ACP countries following the Cotonou agreement that will expire in 2020.

It is our opinion that the present system is not sustainable; a geographic separation of the three regions is warranted; everything should go on budget and the old system of EDF should not be perpetuated. Regarding the improvement of the business climate and economic development in Africa, we propose to: consider provisions on mutual protection of investments; recognise the public-private dialogue (PPD) as a key instrument for development and growth accelerator; encourage dispute settlement mechanisms, assist the fight against tax fraud, tax evasion and fiscal harassment; fight against corruption; give higher priority to the South-South cooperation; assist the acceleration of regional integration.

Acknowledging the role of the private sector and the respective mutual interests in the global management of public goods is important. In this context, EBCAM calls for a more structured and sustained dialogue with the European Institutions and European private sector.

On a wider perspective, rural and agricultural development should be among the priority sectors to create jobs over the short and long-term. Moreover, demographic transition and improved birth control measures should also be a priority, assisted by substantial resources. The new partnership will have to cover better security issues, which should be viewed as a global public good and cannot be financed only by the concerned countries.

To conclude, the ambitions on the “after Cotonou” should not be about improving the implementation of the present system of the expiring Agreement but about a new collaborative and sustainable partnership for the future.

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