Building Consensus

…bringing together stakeholders to raise awareness, build consensus, and increase the development orientation in technical assistance and capacity building on trade and investment

Regional Workshop on the Preparation of the Epa Negotiations between West Africa and the Eu on Services

Accra (Ghana)
12-14 June 2012

As part of the preparation of possible trade in services negotiations under Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between West Africa (WA) and the European Union (EU), a Technical Working Group on services (TWG) was established by the ECOWAS Commission in March 2011 (supported by ILEAP). The TWG – composed of regional services experts – aims to support the region's negotiators in the preparation of the technical aspects of the inclusion of services in the EPA. It held its first meeting in Cotonou on 18- 21 April 2011, with a follow-up in Lomé on 21- 23 June 2011.

At the June 2011 TWG meeting in Lomé, it was agreed that a number of analytical inputs to assist in the preparations would be finalized and presented in a wider regional meeting.  These inputs included a draft modalities document (outlining negotiating principles and a general framework), an inventory of existing national/regional studies on trade in services, the preparation of terms of reference for outstanding work (e.g. regulatory audits and competitiveness assessments), preliminary identification of offensive interests for an EPA services request (to the EU), and a comparative analysis of disciplines contained in various existing and draft EPA services texts. In this regard, ILEAP’s further assistance was sought by the Commission to help prepare the above material and assist in facilitating the process.

This regional meeting in Accra, from 12-14 June 2012, was organized by the ECOWAS Commission in collaboration with the UEMOA Commission and ILEAP.  The meeting aimed to build consensus among member states on the issues and positions as outlined in the draft materials prepared by the TWG.  In addition, the meeting sought to consider means by which this preparatory process could be leveraged to assist in deepening regional services integration in West Africa.  A key outcome in this regard was an widely shared view amongst member states of the need to advance considerations for deepening regional services integration amongst ECOWAS members.


Participants List



Final Report