Cotonou 2000 ACP-EU Agreement

Sectors : Employment and Training, Environmental degradation and natural resource management, Investment, Political governance, Agricultural investment and production, Financial Institutions, markets, services and microfinance, ICT, Industry, Infrastructure General, Peace-building and peacekeeping, Quality of aid, International trade: market access, subsidies and aid for trade
Organisation : EU
Date made: 
Heads Of State
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Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Employment and Training


The Approach

The objectives of ACP-EC development cooperation shall be pursued through integrated strategies that incorporate economic, social, cultural, environmental and institutional elements that must be locally owned. Cooperation shall thus provide a coherent enabling framework of support to the ACP’s own development strategies, ensuring complementarity and interaction between the various elements. In this context and within the framework of development policies and reforms pursued by the ACP States, ACP-EC cooperation strategies shall aim at:

(a) achieving rapid and sustained job-creating economic growth, developing the private sector, increasing employment, improving access to productive economic activities and resource, and fostering regional cooperation and integration;
(b) promoting human and social development helping to ensure that the fruits of growth are widely and equitably shared and promoting gender equality;
(c) promoting cultural values of communities and specific interactions with economic, political and social elements;
(d) promoting institutional reforms and development, strengthening the institutions necessary for the consolidation of democracy, good governance and for efficient and competitive market economies; and building capacity for development and partnership; and
(e) promoting environmental sustainability, regeneration and best practices, and the preservation of natural resource base.”



Economic sector development

Cooperation shall support sustainable policy and institutional reforms and the investments necessary for equitable access to economic activities and productive resources, particularly:

(a) the development of training systems that help increase productivity in both the formal and the informal sectors;
(b) capital, credit, land, especially as regards property rights and use;
(c) development of rural strategies aimed at establishing a framework for participatory decentralised planning, resource allocation and management;
(d) agricultural production strategies, national and regional food security policies, sustainable development of water resources and fisheries as well as marine resources within the economic exclusive zones of the ACP States. Any fishery agreement that may be negotiated between the Community and the ACP States shall pay due consideration to consistency with the development strategies in this area;
(e) economic and technological infrastructure and services, including transport, telecommunication systems, communication services and the development of information society;
(f) development of competitive industrial, mining and energy sectors, while encouraging private sector involvement and development;
(g) trade development, including the promotion of fair trade;
(h) development of business, finance and banking; and other service sectors;
(i) tourism development; and
(j) development of scientific, technological and research infrastructure and services; including the enhancement, transfer and absorption of new technologies;
(k) the strengthening of capacities in productive areas, especially in public and private sectors.”



Youth issues

Cooperation shall also support the establishment of a coherent and comprehensive policy for realising the potential of youth so that they are better integrated into society to achieve their full potential. In this context, cooperation shall support policies, measures and operations aimed at:

(a) protecting the rights of children and youth, especially those of girl children;
(b) promoting the skills, energy, innovation and potential of youth in order to enhance their economic, social and cultural opportunities and enlarge their employment opportunities in the productive sector;
(c) helping community-based institutions to give children the opportunity to develop their physical, psychological, social and economic potential; and
(d) reintegrating into society children in post-conflict situations through rehabilitation programmes.”


Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Industry



Cooperation will aim at the sustainable development of the tourism industry in ACP countries and sub-regions, recognising its increasing importance to the growth of the services sector in ACP countries and to the expansion of their global trade, its ability to stimulate other sectors of economic activity, and the role it can play in poverty eradication...”


Commitments in: Private Sector development and financial services for the poor - Investment

Investment and private sector development

1. Cooperation shall support the necessary economic and institutional reforms and policies at national and/or regional level, aiming at creating a favourable environment for private investment, and the development of a dynamic, viable and competitive private sector. Cooperation shall further support:

(a) the promotion of public-private sector dialogue and cooperation;
(b) the development of entrepreneurial skills and business culture;
(c) privatisation and enterprise reform; and
(d) development and modernisation of mediation and arbitration systems.

2. Cooperation shall also support improving the quality, availability and accessibility of financial and non-financial services to private enterprises, both formal and informal; by:

(a) catalysing and leveraging flows of private savings, both domestic and foreign, into the financing of private enterprises by supporting policies for developing a modern financial sector including a capital market, financial institutions and sustainable microfinance operations;
(b) the development and strengthening of business institutions and intermediary organisations, associations, chambers of commerce and local providers from the private sector supporting and providing non-financial services to enterprises such as professional, technical, management, training and commercial support services; and
(c) supporting institutions, programmes, activities and initiatives that contribute to the development and transfer of technologies and know-how and best practices on all aspects of business management.

3. Cooperation shall promote business development through the provision of finance, guarantee facilities and technical support aimed at encouraging and supporting the creation, establishment, expansion, diversification, rehabilitation, restructuring, modernisation or privatisation of dynamic, viable and competitive enterprises in all economic sectors as well as financial intermediaries such as development finance and venture capital institutions, and leasing companies by:

(a) creating and/or strengthening financial instruments in the form of investment capital;
(b) improving access to essential inputs such as business information and advisory, consultancy or technical assistance services;
(c) enhancement of export activities, in particular through capacity building in all trade-related areas; and
(d) encouraging inter-firm linkages, networks and cooperation including those involving the transfer of technology and know-how at national, regional and ACP-EU levels, and partnerships with private foreign investors which are consistent with the objectives and guidelines of ACP-EC Development cooperation.

4. Cooperation shall support microenterprise development through better access to financial and non-financial services; an appropriate policy and regulatory framework for their development; and provide training and information services on best practices in microfinance.

5. Support for investment and private sector development shall integrate actions and initiatives at macro, meso and micro economic levels.”



Investment finance and support

1. Cooperation shall provide long-term financial resources, including risk capital, to assist in promoting growth in the private sector and help to mobilise domestic and foreign capital for this purpose. To this end, cooperation shall provide, in particular:

(a) grants for financial and technical assistance to support policy reforms, human resource development, institutional capacity-building or other forms of institutional support related to a specific investment, measures to increase the competitiveness of enterprises and to strengthen the capacities of the private financial and non-financial intermediaries, investment facilitation and promotion and competitiveness enhancement activities;
(b) advisory and consultative services to assist in creating a responsive investment climate and information base to guide and encourage the flow of capital;
(c) risk-capital for equity or quasi-equity investments, guarantees in support of domestic and foreign private investment and loans or lines of credit on the conditions laid down in Annex II "Terms and Conditions of Financing" to this Agreement; and
(d) loans from the Bank’s own resources.”


Commitments in: Trade - International trade: market access, subsidies and aid for trade


Trade and Labour Standards

1. The Parties reaffirm their commitment to the internationally recognised core labour standards, as defined by the relevant International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions, and in particular the freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, the abolition of forced labour, the elimination of worst forms of child labour and non-discrimination in respect to employment.

2. They agree to enhance cooperation in this area, in particular in the following fields:
– exchange of information on the respective legislation and work regulation;
– the formulation of national labour legislation and strengthening of existing legislation;
– educational and awareness-raising programmes;
– enforcement of adherence to national legislation and work regulation...”