The African Union set out its vision of An Integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena. Aiming to encourage discussion among all stakeholders, Agenda 2063 is an approach to how the continent should effectively learn from the lessons of the past, build on the progress now underway and strategically exploit all possible opportunities available in the immediate and medium term, so as to ensure positive socioeconomic transformation within the next 50 years. Agenda 2063 emphasizes the importance of Pan-Africanism, unity, self-reliance, integration and solidarity that was a highlight of the triumphs of the 20th century. It highlights the need to more effectively use African resources for the benefit of people in the continent. It raises regional political, institutional renewal and financing/resource mobilization issues, as well as the changing nature of Africa’s relationships with the rest of the world. The AU is calling for input to the agenda.
Health equity in economic and trade policies
The World Trade Organization’s TRIPS Agreement and the TRIPS-plus provisions in free trade agreements (FTAs) have had an adverse impact on prices and availability of medicines, making it difficult for developing countries (DCs) and least-developed countries (LDCs) to meet their obligations to fulfill the right to health, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health, Anand Grover, has said. Similarly, lack of capacity coupled with external pressures from developed countries has made it difficult for DCs and LDCs to use TRIPS flexibilities to promote access to medicines. He recommended that DCs and LDCs should not introduce TRIPS-plus standards in their national laws, nor should they enter into TRIPS-plus FTAs that may infringe upon the right to health. He recommended that they should review their laws and policies and consider whether they have made full use of TRIPS flexibilities or included TRIPS-plus measures and, if necessary, amend their laws and policies to make full use of the flexibilities.
A technical group at the World Health Assembly in May agreed on a
resolution that will increase the worldwide research and development
focus on diseases that disproportionately affect developing
countries. Brazil and Kenya, which have been driving the issue,
welcomed the resolution,
Agricultural export restrictions have been seen by many as worsening food price volatility, and pushing up world prices, to the detriment of poor consumers in developing countries. At the same time, others have argued that these measures can help safeguard domestic food security, support government revenues and help countries add value to farm exports. This paper examines the likely trade, food security and development implications of various options for disciplining agricultural export restrictions. The paper seeks to provide policy-makers, negotiators and other policy actors with an impartial, evidence-based analysis of the likely trade, food security and development implications of various options for disciplining agricultural export restrictions.
African countries have always struggled to participate fully in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and to influence its decisions. In addition to under-representation at WTO headquarters, the complexity of WTO bodies, rules and procedures weakens inputs. This book provides guidance in understanding how international trade institutions and agreements operate. Its aim is to provide those in charge of civil society organisations in sub-Saharan Africa with tools and references to better understand the stakes behind, and means for, their participation in world trade. Organised around descriptive and factual texts, this work contains many definitions and is illustrated by concrete experiences that facilitate reading.
The European Union (EU), as part of the G-20, has backed the Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security (GAFSP) and has given the World Bank a lead role in operationalising the programme. However, the authors of this article argue that this programme will make small farmers dependant on genetically modified seed technology, and criticises the programme as being a way of legitimising land acquisition by agribusiness in the name of increased land investment and higher agricultural productivity. The GAFSP is supposed to promote agricultural productivity but analysts agree that the kind of productivity this describes is one of intensification of agribusiness. The authors call on the EU and the rest of the G-20 to scrap solutions that increase neoliberal free trade. The authors propose options for trade in the region based on solidarity and complementarity with food sovereignty as a core principle.
While world leaders gathered in New York for a high-level meeting last month in New York on the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), international development agencies, including Britain's Christian Aid, warned that progress is being hampered by the activities of rich countries and big business. Christian Aid said that the problems were due to short-sighted trade liberalisation imposed on poor countries and the use of offshore havens by transnational corporations to reduce their tax liabilities in the developing world, grievously undermining international aid efforts. The aims of the MDGs were wholly desirable but rich countries were likely to argue about how much more aid they could afford, instead of addressing trade liberalisation and offshore havens.
This document presents the first volume of results from a survey on the Paris Declaration. It provides an overview of the key findings across the 34 countries involved, as well as assessing the survey process and setting out key conclusions and recommendations. Key implications of the survey that are highlighted include higher expectation levels for reform, deeper ownership and more accountable institutions, and increasing aid efficiency together with donor harmonisation. The authors suggest that aid effectiveness issues and results need to be discussed more explicitly at country level, and credible monitoring mechanisms need to be developed. If countries and donors are to accelerate progress towards achieving the Paris Declaration commitments, it is recommended that: partner countries must deepen their ownership of the development process; donors need to support these efforts by making better use of partners' capacity; to further harmonisation, donors must work aggressively to reduce the transaction costs of delivering and managing aid; and to begin addressing mutual accountability commitments, countries and donors should clearly define a mutual action agenda.
This article argues that climate change and aid for trade financing initiatives can be used in a complementary manner to overcome their weaknesses and promote synergies in affected countries. Most less developed countries (LDCs) are more concerned with day-to-day survival than with climate change. A number of these countries have received Aid for Trade (AFT) to help them invest in trade-related economic infrastructure and to build supply-side capacity. Climate change and aid for trade financing initiatives are argued to need greater coherence and complemetarity. One step, it is argued in this paper, is for aid-for-trade initiatives operating largely at the bilateral level in what is argued to be a rather uncoordinated manner to be more formalised and multilateral.
This Analytical Note is part of a series of Fact Sheets designed to overview and assess the development implications of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), which the EU is currently negotiating with 76 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP). The purpose of these Fact Sheets is to examine the existing material on EPAs and to provide an analysis of their potential impact on ACP countries. The Fact Sheets seek to increase the understanding of the substantive issues at stake in the negotiations, thereby enabling policy-makers, lobbyists and campaigners to make informed decisions about how to engage with EPAs.