Consultative Workshop on EPA Negotiations

CUTS Africa Resource Centre (CUTS ARC), Lusaka, in conjunction with Civil Society Trade Network of Zambia (CSTNZ) hosted a national workshop on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations in Kitwe, Zambia on September 11, 2006. The objectives of the workshop were to: The objectives were to enable farmers to better exploit domestic and international markets through increased knowledge and networks; to build an alliance of organisations to lobby and advocate for policies favourable to regional producers; to empower farmers to advocate for favourable trade arrangements and to establish practical market linkages at regional, national and international levels.

  • inform and consult stakeholders on the threats and opportunities of the EPAs and raise recommendations to the government and trade negotiators;
  • build the capacity of organisations in the Copperbelt to effectively engage and participate in the EPA negotiations process;
  • contribute to the realisation of a development-friendly EPA with the European Union (EU); and
  • develop a national advocacy document.
  • Participants debated on key issues of concern and came up with several recommendations. Some of them were:
  • the negotiation team should be strengthened with the inclusion of more competent members including different stakeholders and take inputs from the civil society;
  • the list of sensitive products should be drawn by considering sectors across the country;
  • stakeholders should provide government with information and recommendations on how to best go about developing certain sectors, for eg. the dairy sector;
  • lobby and advocacy should be a continuous process as this can have a larger impact on outcomes;
  • the Government of Zambia should provide subsidies and other incentives to local indigenous investors to enhance competitiveness, value-addition and production capacity; and
  • an assessment should be carried out on what Zambia has attained out of its various memberships in different organisations: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and World Trade Organisation (WTO).