The Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between West Africa and The European Union
Pursuant to the modalities established for the negotiation of the new partnership agreements in Articles 35 and subsequent ones of the Cotonou Agreement, the West Africa region negotiated the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) under the structure ECOWAS plus Mauritania. The negotiating countries are made up of a total of 16 countries, twelve (12) of which are considered as LDCs and four (4) as developing countries (Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Cape Verde). All these countries are Members of the WTO with the exception of Liberia.
The EPA negotiations between West Africa and the European Union, which started in October 2003 could not be concluded in December 2007 as specified in the Cotonou Agreement (cf. Article 37.1), nor even at the end of October 2009 as agreed on 17th June 2007 by the Chief Negotiators of the two regions. Negotiations of an EPA between the two contracting Parties were finally concluded in Brussels on 6th February 2014 and in July 2014, the ECOWAS Heads of State endorsed the EPA for signature.