Vladimir Antwi  Danso EPA could harm ECOWAS integration

The EPA is a trade deal between ECOWAS countries and the European Union (EU) which enjoins member states to open up 70 percent of their markets to European goods over a period.

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Vladimir Antwi  Danso play

Vladimir Antwi  Danso

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International relations expert Dr Vladimir Antwi  Danso fears the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) may undermine unity in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The EPA is a trade deal between ECOWAS countries and the European Union (EU) which enjoins member states to open up 70 percent of their markets to European goods over a period.

ECOWAS countries will, in turn, have one hundred percent access to the European Market except for rice and sugar.

Speaking at the Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Breakfast Meeting in Accra on Tuesday, Dr Anwti Danso said there is a "likelihood" the EPA may weakens ECOWAS integration drive.

"By the nature of the terms under the agreement, there may be the likelihood that we might lose that integration drive: However, I say strongly that we must ensure that we do not kill that regional integration because it is very important for us as a people”, Dr Antwi Danso said.

The meeting discussed the implications of the Economic Partnership Agreement on Ghanaian businesses.

Dr Antwi Danso further urged caution in signing the EPA.

Job losses

The Third World Network warned against signing the agreement since it has the potential to cause 40,000 job losses.

The Coordinator of the policy think tank, Dr Yao Graham noted that the agreement is not beneficial to Ghana.

"Overall the term of the EPA are not beneficial for Ghana or West Africa. The EPA will lead to a loss of jobs and other means of livelihood

"In the manufacturing and other industrial sectors, the EPA will cost about 40,000 jobs in ten years.

“We also anticipate that there will be a collapse of domestic industry, especially in the life manufacturing sector.

"It will also undermine ECOWAS economic integration and the wider process of intra-Africa trade and lead to the loss of government revenue from trade duties,” Dr Graham said at the meeting.

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