Tuesday 8th April , 2014 12:02 pm
A Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Ebo Turkson has said Ghana will experience a boost in domestic production if it signs onto the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
“Have we looked at the welfare impact Ghana is going to enjoy if we remove the tariffs? Have we considered the boost in domestic production if we sign onto the EPA? Have we looked at the technological diffusion that is going to rise when we open up our markets?” he aksed.
The EPA has gone through serious negotiation processes aimed at granting access to European and African markets. Discussions have travelled for 12 years.
The European Union (EU) wants 100% tax free access on African markets but Ghana and some other West African countries are negotiating for between 60% to 75% access.
The agreement will involve reducing and removing import duties of European manufactured goods from roofing sheets to toilet rolls. Europe will also remove quotas, duties on African exports to the EU.
According to the EU, the EPA is intended to “foster African, Caribbean and Pacific [ACP Countries] integration into the world economy, thereby promoting their sustainable development”.
Two West African countries, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, initialled an interim EPA with the EU at the end of 2007. The interim EPA with Côte d’Ivoire was signed on 26 November 2008.
But in an expected turn of events, the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) rallied by Nigeria, held off the signing of the agreement last week, asking for time to resolve some ‘technical’ issues.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Mr. Turkson stated that prior to the EPA contract, Ghana was involved in agreements that were supposed to help the African countries to build capacities to make the Ghanaian markets open and accessible to external sources.
He however stated that Ghana was still not ready to sign onto the contract after 40 years, a situation he further described as a “sad story”.
He therefore advised Ghanaians to be mindful of the contract rather than being emotional about the contract and shedding a dependent mentality.
“We should not be emotional about it and shed the dependant mentality. Why can’t we take the destiny into our own hands in relation to signing the EPA,” he said.
By: Marian Efe Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana