Over the last two decades, global and regional developments have changed the economic situation of many African countries in various ways. Some countries have been growing at extraordinary rates. While emerging economies gain importance as markets and investors in many African countries, neighbouring countries play an increasing role in the context of regional integration. The change in EU – African trade relations has to be seen against this backdrop. The Cotonou Agreement (2000) between the EU and ACP countries demands that Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) shall be negotiated, introducing a certain degree of reciprocity and aiming at sustainable development of ACP countries.
The conference seeks to discuss the role of trade, regional integration, free trade agreements, factors for competitiveness and possible donor support through international development assistance in the context of African countries’ changing trade and investment situation. Due regard shall be given to the EPA negotiations between the EU and Sub-Sahara African, which currently rank high on the agenda with the negotiations between the EU and ECOWAS being complete, but with other regions still ongoing and the EU Africa Summit lying ahead. We shall discuss these issues in a group including African and European representatives of academia, politics, and civil society.
The conference language is English; the Chatham House Rule will apply.