ACP-EU seminar commences in capital

08 Nov 2018 15:20pm
WINDHOEK, 08 NOV (NAMPA) – The 16th Regional Seminar on the African Caribbean and Pacific-European Union (ACP-EU) Economic and Social Interest Groups commenced in the capital on Thursday.
The meeting will discuss three main topics which include intraregional migration, resilience to environmental changes and the role of civil societies in the Southern African Development Community-EU economic relations.
Officiating at the two-day seminar, Presidential Advisor for Private Sector Interface and Constitutional Affairs in the Office of the President, Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi explained that as an integral part of the monitoring mechanism for the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) implementation, a civil society platform has been set up to assist in monitoring the agreement’s implementation plan.
This is to achieve the objectives of the agreement and ensure that potential benefits of the agreement are fully utilised by the intended beneficiaries, which include exporters, consumers and civil society in general, Zaamwani-Kamwi said.
She added that Namibia, with the assistance of the EU is at an advanced stage of finalising the EPA implementation plan and has concurrently started to implement some crucial aspects of it.
What is currently missing is a coordinated approach to the implementation of the plan, she added.
“We are committed to the EPA implementation and to strengthen the capacity in the ministry responsible for trade (and other relevant institutions), which is key in the EPA implementation process,” Zaamwani-Kamwi said.
She, however, acknowledged that more resources are needed to assist in institutional strengthening as well as addressing supply side constraints, particularly those pertaining to sanitary and phytosanitary requirements, which hinder participation of the private sector.
Zaamwani-Kamwi further expressed concern about the rise of right wing political parties across Europe with populist parties taking strong footholds in 20 of the 28 EU member states, either as governing parties or as opposition parties, which may in the future, threaten the cooperation agreement with the EU.
With the European Parliamentary elections scheduled for May 2019, and with the scale of traction populist parties gained thus far, fear looms that populism would dominate the affairs of the EU Parliament after the elections and the populist parties may gain a significant number of seats to influence future EU policies, she said.