The tenth seminar ACP-UE will take place in Bostwana

The ACP-EU civil society seminar organise by the European Economic and Social Commitee will discuss about the economic and social interest.

During the three - day seminar, 12 EESC members will be joined in Gaborone by Southern African civil society representatives from the 15 SADC countries; they will discuss a wide range of issues, including the impact of the economic and financial crisis on Africa and how to ensure sustainable food security on the continent.

Keynote speakers will include the Hon. Mr Neo Moroka , Botswana’s Minister for Trade and Industry and Chief Coordinator of the SADC EPA Group, the Hon. Mr Dikgakgamatso Ramadeluka Seretse , Botswana’s Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and the Hon. Mr Baledzi Gaolathe , Botswana’s National Authorising Officer and Minister of Finance and Development Planning.

Initiatives to promote the involvement of civil society in the ACP-EU development partnership will also be on the table, in parallel with the opportunities presented by the 2010 revision of the Cotonou Agreement , the basis of ACP-EU development cooperation.

On the third and final day, p articipants will assess challenges specific to the region and developments in the ongoing negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) ; they will also explore the scope for increased participation of ACP economic and social interest groups in the EPA process.

Background note :

Under the auspices of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the EESC organises meetings with ACP-EU Economic and Social Interest Groups. This role has been confirmed by the Cotonou Agreement, which mandates the EESC to organise consultation sessions and meetings of ACP-EU economic and social interest groups.

Within this framework, in addition to the general meetings organised by the EESC in Brussels every two to three years, the EESC also organises regional seminars at regular intervals in ACP countries.

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