In Africa, epAs support the implementation of the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs, which was launched in September 2018. They are key instruments of the EU`s global strategy for Africa. The economic pillar of this strategy identifies trade – alongside regional and continental economic integration – as important elements in promoting the sustainable development of African countries. The EPAs with sub-Saharan Africa and other EU free trade agreements with North African countries are building blocks that contribute to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and the long-term prospect of a free trade agreement between continents. The EPAs already contain useful trade tools for the development of the AfCFTA. They provide a solid framework for regional trade and investment between the EPA partners themselves and with the EU. They also strengthen the trading capacity of the EU`s partners. The EU is implementing seven Economic Partnership Agreements with 32 partners, including 14 in Africa. The main objective of epAs is to harness trade and investment for sustainable development.
The agenda will be broadened in terms of content, with agreements covering new topics such as services and investments. The Cotonou Agreement offers the EU and ACP countries the opportunity to negotiate development-oriented free trade agreements, known as Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). The EPAs are firmly anchored in the goals of sustainable development, human rights and development cooperation, which are at the heart of the Cotonou Agreement. The overall objective of the EPAs is to contribute to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction in ACP countries through trade. Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are trade and development agreements negotiated between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries and regions. The EU`s trade relations with ACP countries are governed by the Cotonou Partnership Agreement signed in 2000 between the EU, its Member States and acp countries. While this political, economic and comprehensive development partnership expires in 2020, the parties are currently negotiating a successor agreement (the so-called "post-Cotonou" agreement). Angola – Antigua and Barbuda – Belize – Cape Verde – Comoros – Bahamas – Barbados – Benin – Botswana – Burkina Faso – Burundi – Cameroon – Central African Republic – Chad – Congo (Brazzaville) – Congo (Kinshasa) – Cook Islands – Côte d`Ivoire – Cuba – Djibouti – Dominica – Dominican Republic – Eritrea – Eswatini – Ethiopia – Fiji – Gabon – Gambia – Ghana – Grenada – Republic of Guinea – Guinea-Bissau – Equatorial Guinea – Guyana – Haiti – Jamaica – Kenya – Kiribati – Lesotho – Liberia – Li Beria – Madagasc ar – Malawi – Mali – Marshall Islands – Mauritania – Mauritius – Micronesia – Mozambique – Namibia – Nauru – Niger – Nigeria – Nioué – Palau – Papua New Guinea – Rwanda – Saint Guinea. .