NIGERIA has called for a new economic deal between Africa and the European Union, describing the existing agreements as ‘one sided and unfair.’
The current partnership arrangements are unsustainable and must be transformed into something more substantial, President Muhammadu Buhari said in an emailed copy of a statement to the African Union-EU summit being held in Brussels. ‘The EU-Africa relationship must be shifted toward a new economic arrangement based on a partnership of equals’ Buhari said, as reported by Bloomberg.
The president of Africa’s biggest economy flagged the lack of access for food exports from the continent, while European demand for opening up of African countries hurts local businesses.
A fairer deal would allow the EU to profit from Africa’s 1.3 billion population that is set to double by 2050, which means ‘a huge youthful market right on Europe’s doorstep,’ Buhari said. ‘The relationship between the EU and Africa must be rebalanced to power job creation.’
The Nigerian leader called on the EU to assist the continent create more opportunities to avoid irregular migration that drains ‘Africa of its talent pool, while creating political crisis in Europe.’
Africa remains a net food importer despite half of its population engaged in agriculture. While the Economic Partnership Agreements gives the EU deeper access to African markets, it makes local farmers and manufacturers uncompetitive, Buhari said. ‘It is for these reasons that Nigeria decided against signing an EPA.’