Over the past two decades, a number of factors have disrupted the Cotonou acquis. The opportunity to regenerate the ACP-EU relationship on new terms requires the parties to respond to challenges at the international, regional and domestic levels. At the global level, we have witnessed the declining influence of the USA and the EU on the international stage as emerging economies, like China and India, gain more economic and political power. As the EU’s leverage is not as significant as it was when the CPA was signed almost twenty years ago, multipolarity may present an opportunity for the ACP countries to diversify their partnerships and forge new relationships with non-EU countries.
The necessity to change the measurement strategy of the AGOA and ACP-EU trade agreements presents a challenge not only to African countries but also to the US and the European Union to establish a common understanding on the need to widen the scope of the measure. All the partners involved require a comprehensive measurement strategy to quantify the real impact of AGOA and ACP-EU on people’s lives.
The AfCFTA will over a period of 15 years after entry into force progressively eliminate tariffs on intra-African trade, making it easier for African businesses to trade within the continent and cater to and benefit from the growing African market. Consolidating this continent into one trade area provides great opportunities for trading enterprises, businesses and consumers across Africa and the chance to support sustainable development in the world’s least developed region.