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African leaders are near to failing us!!! Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by KENNETH NANA AMOATENG, Ghana Jul 29, 2007
Media , Human Rights , Peace & Conflict   Opinions
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The implementation of every policy by governments matters the Child’s well-being. African countries have moved from colonialism into constitutional, self-governing states and their leaders have for decades, being signing unto agreements, protocols and conventions amongst other, to protect and promote the rights of the African child yet the rights of the African child is always abused even at the regional and continental levels. African Leaders keep signing into operation, policies and agreements, especially economic policies, for which they fail to, do their independent short, medium and long term country impart analysis and effectively inform its citizenry on how the implementation will affect them, especially the effective development of the child.

The African Child, his past, present and future, in spite of all the challenges they faced stood to the task and defended the rights of the African Child. We warned our Leaders on the possible dangers of bad policies such as the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs), and also remind African Leaders that posterity will judge their actions and inactions especially on the EPA. African leaders are near to failing us with the signing bad policies into implementation.

Any economic policy to be implemented by a government, which causes loss in family income and increased unemployment, as was encountered during the Structural Adjustment periods in Ghana and in most developing countries in the 1980’s, go a long way to affect children’s well-being and increase their deprivation and poverty of the African Child, let as to reflect and highlight the consequences and effect of economic policies on the lives of the African Child and hence their future.

Economic Policies mostly affect children in two main ways

* Their impact on their households livelihoods and
* Their impact on financing key public services essential for child development and well-being, such as education and health.

A looming danger to the African Child’s development is the proposed reciprocal and enforceable by international law; Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) which is being negotiated between the European Union (EU) and 77 African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) countries and expected to be completed and signed into operation by the 31st of December 2007.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The thousands of black school children took to the streets in Soweto in 1976, of whom hundreds of young boys and girls were shot down, more than a hundred people killed and more than a thousand were injured were protesting for their economic empowerment. African children have dreams to develop themselves and their states and continent and, nothing will stop them from fighting to get their dreams fulfilled. However, have they being informed by African leaders of these amongst other that;

* That although the West African Trade Ministers requested that they need time to really study the EPA to help them make critical informed decision, the negotiation on the West African are still ongoing and chasing to be signed into operation by 31st December 2007
* And that the Singapore issues on Market Assess, Government Procurements, Investment which were thrown out of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) because they will cripple the economies of developing countries have been included in the EPA Negotiations
* Parliaments of African states will have to ratify the EPA into its domestic laws which will make any African state which decide not to implement it to be take to court and enforced to do so, and it will very impossible for any state which want to get out of it to do so. But the EU don’t need any ratification in the EU Parliament for the implementation of the EPA
* And that the EPA is a free trade agreement that will enable highly subsidized and artificially cheapened goods and services from the EU to super flood African markets without any duties on them and that this will entrench the preference for EU products and services in African markets. African countries are not in any position to be able to compete with the EU under EPA, taking into accounts the present flooded ACP countries markets by artificially cheapened goods and services from the EU even under high tariffs.
* And that over 40% of our imports comes from EU and that even at the present levels of duties, from which governments get revenues from to build roads, schools, hospital, and provide key services such as security, education and health; their imports are killing local companies and leaving a lot of parents unemployed.
* And that African governments are to diversify of 90% of all productive sectors and that the free trade should not exclude no sector, cover Substantially All Trade (SAT)
* That, African states are obliged to provide equal opportunities, support and protection to EU companies established in the countries as they will give to their companies. Including bidding for governments projects and procurements

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