Malawi Considers Controversial EU Trade Deal
Malawi has opened up negotiations on the economic partnership agreement (EPA) with the European Union, which have been deadlocked since 2002.
The new round of negotiations may see President Joyce Banda’s administration change the status quo and sign the free trade agreement.
“We have opened up negotiations and consultations on EPAs. We can’t ignore the issue anymore like the previous administration, and President Banda will pay attention to this,” said the country’s trade minister John Bande. The EU extended the deadline for African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, which includes Malawi, to negotiate the EPAs from 2014 to 2016.
President Bingu wa Mutharika, who died after a heart attack in April this year, had refused to sign the agreement, demanding that rural roads, health and education facilities be taken care of before signing an EPA