The EU Commitment to Deliver Aid for Trade in West Africa and Support the EPA Development Programme (PAPED)

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    Along with other members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries, West Africa has been negotiating WTO-compatible Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) as a region with the European Union (EU) since 2003. The commitment to development-oriented EPAs has been reiterated on numerous occasions across the range of EU institutions, and spelled out in the context of West Africa in the EU Council Conclusions of 10 May 2010. The West Africa EPA Development Programme, better known under its French acronym PAPED, was developed in the context of the EPA negotiations. This paper presents background on the European Union’s commitment to West Africa’s PAPED: the ways in which the EU already supports the goals and objectives of the PAPED, and how it can continue and strengthen its support in future.

    The PAPED has been elaborated by the region through a participatory approach led by the ECOWAS and UEMOA commissions, involving regional and national actors (governments, private sector and civil society). It is an attempt by the West Africa region to assess in detail the challenges and opportunities of an EPA, and to propose a positive donor support agenda for dealing with the challenges and maximising the opportunities of the EPA and the regional integration process. The overall goal of the PAPED is to build a competitive and harmonious regional economy that is integrated into the global economy and stimulates growth and sustainable development.

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