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ECPR Journals Virtual Special Issue

Food Security and Sovereignty in West Africa: the Dilemmas of the EU's Economic Partnership Agreement

Third World Politics
Mark Langan
The University of Newcastle
Mark Langan
The University of Newcastle

The European Union is vigorously pursuing a Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in West Africa. The European Commission insists that the EPA is wholly commensurate with sustainable development norms and that it will bring about poverty reduction via 'win-win' trade. This paper considers the likely impact of EU trade policies for food security in Ghana in relation to the poultry and tomato sectors in the eventuality of EPA implementation. Drawing upon fieldwork interviews with key Ghanaian business stakeholders, it examines how the EPA will likely lock-in Ghana to import dependency in relation to frozen chicken and tinned tomato produce. Moreover, it points to the manner in which the EPA - despite its sensitive goods basket - will dilute Ghanaian policy space to meaningfully protect their domestic agricultural producers in these vital sectors. In this context, the paper reflects upon the warnings of Ghana's first President, Kwame Nkrumah, in relation to the European project's potential for 'neo-colonial' interventions upon former colonies' (food) sovereignty.
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