Bi- and multilateral trade relations between external actors and individual African states or regional blocs are becoming ever more decisive. The trade policies of both the USA and the EU are anything but helpful. This is true of the USAs African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with South Africa and more recently the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) negotiated in the Post-Cotonou era of European relations with the South. All these initiatives have a potentially detrimental impact on regional integration. The latter remains however a priority in the developmental policy and strategy documents as formulated both by African agencies as well as the partners in development cooperation in the OECD countries. Hence the question of coherence between trade as aid and other areas of development strategy and cooperation remains to be answered.
The three analyses presented in this publication are centred on related issues in the ongoing process of globalisation under the WTO regime, and their likely effect on African countries. Each chapter critically examines recent trends in the discourse on trade reform and development.
The contributions to this volume offer discussion and food for thought for scholars, policy makers and NGO activists alike on closely related topical issues in European-African trade relations and development cooperation.
Keywords: Development aid, International cooperation, Foreign trade, Trade liberalization, Trade agreements, Globalization, Eonomic and social development, European Union, Africa