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Publication Details

Reference
Kamidza, Richard  (2006) Governance and the Economic Partnership Agreements Negotiations : a contestation of the European Unionís interests and exclusion of the poor constituencies in Eastern and Southern Africa. Centre for Civil Society Colloquium on the Economy, Society and Nature: 1-27.

Summary
Africa-Europe economic relations spans for over 500 years and is characterized by massive extraction and exploitation of resources from the former, which fueled industrial expansion of the latter. This vertically integrated the economies to Western capitalism. In the process, the colonial states became the main suppliers of raw materials and consumers of manufactured goods, a position that has remained entrenched in the ideological thrust and the economic needs of the European economies.

The relationship is between unequal partners in both economic and political terms as evidenced by their levels of socio-economic and political development. On the one hand, Europe through her long-term capitalist agenda and vision, has eventually assumed a dominant role in determining and controlling the socio-economic and political affairs of African countries through trade regimes. This is in addition to becoming a major donor to individual countries and regional institutions such as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS) and the East African Community (EAC). The European Union (EU) has become an important trading partner, and is currently sponsoring preparations of the ongoing economic partnership agreements (EPAs) negotiations with the Africa- Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) member-states. Furthermore, Europe has assumed greater control over the developmental agenda of the continent, hence continues to set conditions that facilitate further capitalist exploitation, expansion and hegemony. In this agenda, European states are able to protect their industries, farmers, service providers and other producers as well as consumers through tariff escalations, quotas, tariff peaks, rules of origin, patent legislation, subsidies, export credits, tied aid, etc. thereby preventing Africaís industrialization in spite of the continent remaining economically stagnant if not deteriorating.

On the other hand, Africa is known for its massive poverty, underdevelopment, declining industrial development, social crisis, unemployment and political instability among many socio-economic and political ills. These are symptoms of a system that exploit the continent. Through developmental aid and debt control, Europe has strong influence in the internal affairs of the respective countries, regional developments, events and policy formulations and their implementation. This influence and structured imbalance is reflected in the ongoing EPAs negotiations in which EU institutions have remained central to the process at the national and regional level.

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 Relevant Publications
 The Accumulation of Capital. Chapter 27: THE STRUGGLE AGAINST NATURAL ECONOMY: Rosa Luxemburg 
 Capitalism & cheap labour power in South Africa: Harold Wolpe 
 Labour Market Discrimination and its Aftermath in Southern Africa Guy Mhone 



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