Time and Location

Wednesday, 11 April 2018, 19:00 - 21:00
OGB Event Centre Catamaran, Johann-Böhm-Platz 1, 1020 Wien (U2)

Program

Jane Seruwagi Nalunga
SEATINI Country Director, Uganda

Siham Ahmed
Trade Union Congress of Tanzania

Remco Vahl
European Commission, Directorate General Trade, Brussels

Moderation:
Michael Wögerer, weltumspannend arbeiten, Vienna

Welcome:
Franz Schmidjell, VIDC
Marcus Strohmeier, ÖGB

Languages: English and German with simultaneous interpretation

Registration: schmidjell@remove-this.vidc.org

The art of 'fair' trade. The EU Economic Agreements with Africa and the alternatives

© TUC/strongerunions.org
© TUC/strongerunions.org


Background

The ratification process of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union divides the African continent. Within the East African Community (EAC), the Tanzanian Parliament and the government in Burundi have so far refused to sign the agreement. In Uganda, unions and civil society are mobilizing against the EPA. The governments in Kenya and Rwanda signed the the agreement.

The EPAs allow African and European exporters a duty-free and quota-free access for a large number of product groups in respective markets. Critics argue that the dominance of the European export industry endangers the growth of Africa's young industries. New jobs, urgently needed for the millions of young people entering the labor market, would hardly arise.

How much 'free' trade and how much protection do Africa's economies need? How fair trade agreements would look it from the perspective of African trade unions? How can other trade policies promote sustainable industrialization, regional integration and employment?

Speakers

Jane Seruwagi Nalunga

is Country Director of Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI Uganda) and is an expert on trade, investment and fiscal policy related issues She has more than twenty years of experience in trade related policy research, analysis and advocacy and has authored a number of studies and articles. Mrs. Nalunga sits on a number of national policy making bodies and advises government and Parliament on trade related matters. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree and Diploma in Education from Makerere University and a Masters of Arts (Master of Arts) from the University of London.

Siham Ahmed

is director for TUCTA Women/ Gender and Youth development Directorate and is responsible to promote gender and equality issues in Trade union work and employment, she is in charge of youth development and employment and child labour. As a Director she coordinates Women’s and Gender activities of affiliate Unions with the aim of promoting gender mainstreaming and equality issues in Trade Union work and in employment and labour issues. As part of her duty she has been a member of women’s structure of both regional and international trade union organization such as the International Trade Union Confederation - Africa Region (ITUC). Mrs. Siham Ahmed is a graduate of the University of Dar Es Salaam, having been awarded Bachelor Education Upper Second (Hon.) in 1987.

Remco Vahl

is Senior Expert at the European Commission's Directorate-General for Trade (DG TRADE). His unit deals with Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in seven African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions. Having negotiated EPAs in all ACP regions, the unit is now implementing and monitoring the agreements. Remco Vahl has worked on ACP trade matters in the Commission for some 20 years. Before that he worked for the DG Agriculture and DG Development. He holds a PhD from the University of Leiden on the role of the European Commission in EC decision-making.

Michael Wögerer

is project manager at “weltumspannend arbeiten”, the development association in the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB). He studied political science at the University of Vienna and history and philosophy in Havana (Cuba) and graduated with a Masters degree. From 2011 to 2015 he was chairman of the Austrian-Cuban Society. In 2014, he founded the alternative online newsmagazine: "Unsere Zeitung: THE DEMOCRATIC".