Date: April 1, 2009, 8:37 pm


AGRICULTURE, OUR ECONOMY, AND THE EPAS: WHAT SHOULD PREZ MILLS DO ?


Agriculture, our Economy, and the EPAs: What Should Prez Mills Do? At the ECOWAS Business Forum in Ouagadougou last week, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas reiterated the need for West Africa to re-launch agriculture. He also touched on the EPA negotiations with the EU, and regional integration agenda. This is important for us for obvious reasons. Now, lets take a cursory glance at the significance of the agricultural sector for the Ghanaian economy.
 We know that this economy is largely agrarian; agriculture has been the mainstay of the economy since time immemorial. It contributes at least 40% to our GDP, and has been the largest employer of our people, even though the youth of today seem to be shunning away from it. Governments have tried at its modernization, success or failure of which we all know.
 
The Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are a set of free trade agreements currently being negotiated between the European Union (EU) on the one hand, and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) on the other hand. The pact requires Ghana, like other ACP countries, in the interim, to liberalize 80% of our economy. The remaining 20% protection would be gradually removed over the 10-12 year implementation period. I don't intend to delve any deep into the EPAs!


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