A Review of the Interim Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana and the European Union
By CEPA Posted date: 23rd May 2012
The history of Ghana following independence has been characterized by weak political stability and unrealized economic development aspirations. From the economic perspective, the level sustained growth needed to transform the economy and improve the standard of living for majority of its citizens has not yet been achieved. A review of the factors underpinning the poor performance of the economy suggests that the needed growth to support economic development could be achieved if Ghana develops a strong and vibrant export sector that is efficient and also diversified. Identifying and addressing supply side constraints that impede the development and expansion of the export sector would be a key to achieving this goal. The main challenge is dealing with the lack of competitiveness of Ghanaian industries and moving away from an export sector based largely on cocoa beans.
Historically Europe has been Ghana's largest trading partner. The volume of Ghana's exports to Europe has increased steadily over the years, although the share has steadily declined since independence. This trend is also characteristic of all the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, despite the preferential access to the European Union (EU) market they enjoy through the various accords and agreements. The preferential access to the EU market by the ACP countries is envisaged as a means for accelerating development through export stimulation in the newly emerging countries aligned to the European countries. In this regard, the steady decline in the share of the EU market in the total exports of ACP countries calls for urgent steps to be taken to counter the constraining factors to trade in these countries.