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Opinions of Thursday, 17 July 2014

Columnist: Anonymous, J C

EPA - A bad agreement for Ghana

According to the Press release by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade, Ghana and 15 other West African countries are about to sign a Trade Pact with the European Union known as “Economic Partnership Agreement- EPA”.

In my opinion, this deal is bad for Ghana and should not be signed by our President.

Under this agreement, the EU will open 100% of its markets to West African products in return for 70% of ECOWAS market to the European Union. We shouldn’t be fooled by the quotas at our advantage. This is where the devil hides; West African Products are nothing more than raw materials and agricultural goods. The raw materials-cocoa, gold, timber, uranium, oil etc are already fully accessible to the EU markets. 11 out of 16 countries on the Pack are Francophone countries whose economies are controlled and regulated by France; Cape Verde, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Senegal. With the exception of Senegal, the remaining Francophone countries consider themselves as French. There is nothing left by way of trade in these countries that France, for that matter, the EU has not yet taken.

What remains now are the independent Anglophone countries with their agricultural lands and produce; Ghana, Liberia, Gambia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

As our agricultural products cultivated by our sustenance farmers stand now, they do not match the EU market standard, therefore, cannot be exported right away to Europe. As soon as the deal is signed, International Corporations with their massive wealth, in the name of Foreign Direct Investment will descend on the region under the guise of regulating and standardizing the produce to fit for export into the EU.

Within a short space of time all our sustenance farmers who have worked and fed the nation for generations and continue to do that under every difficult condition will be expelled from their farm lands with little compensation or nothing, to make way for commercial farmers whose products; mangoes, bananas, cola-nuts, rose flowers, carnation flowers, lilies etc., will create jobs for the people in those areas; the politicians will advocate.

This new agricultural order, even if it will create jobs as the politicians may insist, will send us back to rely on food imports to feed ourselves.

EU under this agreement has nothing to offer Ghana. They colonized us for decades, exploited our human and natural resources and leaving us with their language and taste, while we wander and struggle to find our feet.

Now that their economic power is weakening, and China is rising, they are making this move to counter Chinese influence in Africa.

After signing the agreement, the EU will force our leaders to impose high tariffs on Chinese import into the sub-region. They will insist we cast our votes at international forums in bulk with the EU and will ask us to send troops to fight wars we have nothing to do with.

Kenya is a living example of such pacts with powerful nations. In other words, we are still their “slaves”, just as they used us to fight their two-world wars; they are trying another trick to make us fight their economic war with China at our disadvantage.

We need to be wide awake! If this deal is a fair one with both sides winning, why are they threatening sanctions should we fail to rectify it? Beware when a Greek offers you a gift!!

My hope is that the NPP opposition party in Ghana will live up to their philosophy of Patriotism and vigorously oppose this agreement. There is nothing good in it for Ghana, it is colonization.