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Post-Cotonou agreement will challenge African states

Tuesday, May 25, 2021


The treaty includes joint commitments to improving human rights and gender equality. Perhaps more notably, it also implicitly crystallises the EU’s commitment to implementation of contentious Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), which pose serious challenges for import-competing agricultural and manufacturing sectors in OACPS countries.


  • EPAs will put pressures on jobs in import-competing sectors and stimulate migration from African countries to the European member states.
  • Greater prioritisation of gender equality language in the treaty’s text will be lauded by civil society groups in Europe and Africa.
  • The lack of reference to LGBTQ+ rights reflects the EU’s desire to avoid claims of ‘neo-colonialism’ but will cause reputational damage.

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