Economic Networking—Exploring Alternatives for Promoting Sustainable Development in Africa

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Economic Networking—Exploring Alternatives for Promoting Sustainable Development in Africa INTRODUCTION The history of European aid intervention in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states has traditionally acted to reinforce the hierarchical distinction between the “developed” and the “developing” world. The series of Lome Conventions which granted preferential trade agreements between these groups of countries have proved ineffective in encouraging economic sustainability in the ACP states, and although the ACP includes most of the Least Developed Countries (LLDCs) in the world, the agreements have been criticized as being unfair in the global context. Under pressure to negotiate a new ACP-EU agreement that would be consistent with World Trade Organization (WTO) regulations, and improve on the limitations of the previous Lome Conventions, the Cotonou Convention was signed in 2000, after arduous negotiations. Despite this agreement, the future of ACP-EU relations is somewhat vague. Particularly with respect to Africa, this uncertainty leaves room for evaluation of the effectiveness of the past agreements and an objective analysis of the motives behind previous economic ties. Furthermore, by analyzing the problematic history of European aid to Africa, there emerges a basis for shifting away from the neo-colonialist relationships that characterized most of the past agreements, and exploring the benefits of creating alternative partnerships. Ultimately, the possibility of forming partnerships amongst individual ACP countries and between other developing countries is an overlooked idea that should be further explored. A Historical Perspective African economic development is a subject of wide interest. Amongst the ... ... middle of paper ... ...2 October 2003 <http://trade-info.cec.eu.int/doclib/html/113858.htm> Kwarteng, Charles O. Africa and the European Challenge. Vermont: Ashgate Publishing Company. 1997. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development. October 2001. <http://www.touchtech.biz/nepad/files/documents/nepad_english_version.pdf> Overseas Development Institute. Reshaping European partnerships: what future for the ACP? Meeting September 2003. http://www.odi.org.uk/speeches/edc_2010/meeting_report_17september.html The World Bank Group. World Development Indicators Database: Country Profile Table. 11 March 2004 <http://www.worldbank.org/data>. The World Bank Group. 2003 World Development Indicators. 11 March 2004. <http://www.worldbank.org/data/wdi2003/index.htm>. Economic Community of West African States. About ECOWAS. 11 March 2004. <http://www.sec.ecowas.int/>.

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