Yet sober analysis of African development challenges points clearly to the need for African states to adopt a broad agenda, backed up with appropriate resources, argues Peter Draper, senior fellow of the European Centre for International Political Economy, in a recent paper,

EU-Africa Trade Relations: The Political Economy of Economic Partnership Agreements. Governance and governance capacities in Africa are central to the adoption of this agenda.

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Mr Draper proposes that the EU should tailor and sequence the negotiating agenda rather than insist on pursuing it all at the same time. Furthermore, the degree of dependency on aid in the continent means that substantial aid for trade, targeted at adoption of regulations and supporting institutions, will be necessary for a long time to come.

The following tables provide a snapshot of Africa’s current trade arrangements.

Table 1: Eastern and Southern Africa’s World Trade by Major Market (2003-2005 average)

Table 2: Trade Facilitation Imperatives