Future EPAs with West Africa

The European Union supports future Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with West Africa.  Based on the Aid for Trade and economic integration in West Africa (PAPED), a support of € 6.6 billion is reserved for the next five years.

The European Commissioner for Development has made a commitment to ensure that West Africa makes the most of the opportunities provided by the future EPA for that region. Joint efforts must be made to for an ambitious EPA to generate reform, growth and regional integration. After the seminar ‘Reinforcing regional integration in West Africa: what role for the European Union?’ , held in Brussels on 11 and 12 May 2010, the European Union has confirmed a support programme to 16 West African countries in the form of an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

This agreement aims to reinforce West-African economies via the production and export of a wider range of goods and services, and by creating more intense trade between the countries in the region. 

  • The PAPED, an essential element of the EPA, has five main strategic dimensions:
  • Promoting diversification and growth in production capacity
  • Development of intra-regional trade and improved access to internal markets
  • Improvement and reinforcement of regional and national infrastructures linked to trade
  • Carrying out essential adjustments and identifying other needs linked to trade
  • Implementation of EPA monitoring and evaluation. 

The amount of aid being € 6.5 billion comes from the European Development Fund, Budget lines managed by the European Commission, bilateral cooperation instruments of Member States of the Union, and the European Investment Bank. 

The negotiations for an economic partnership agreement between West Africa and the European Union are ongoing and the next round is scheduled for 7 to 11 June 2010 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Other useful information:


Last report of the Commission on aid for trade:



Published on 1 March 2011