Uganda has had formal trade ties with Europe since 1973 when, together with several other commonwealth countries, it signed the Lomé Convention. However, trade relations between Europe and Africa started much earlier, in 1957, at first covering 18 francophone countries and six European countries. The Lomé Conventions granted countries like Uganda non-reciprocal trade preferences with the European Community (EC) and later European Union (EU)...Uganda’s current and potential exports to the EU include traditionally sensitive agricultural products such as: maize, sugar, coffee, cotton, bananas, milk and dairy products, animal products, fruit and vegetable products, and oil seed products. The risks from the EPAs can be summarized into three categories. First, that the country will lose its competitive and/or comparative advantages because it cannot match the competitiveness of European producers and/or the EU and national support offered to European producers. Second, compared to many countries in the region, Uganda has already endured many years of political and economic turmoil. The country has had less than two decades of economic stability and may not be ready to be exposed to competition with much more resilient economies. Third, Uganda’s economy is natural-resource based. For example, biodiversity services contributed about US$1 billion to the national economy in 1999. Thus, before liberalizing the trade opportunity with the EU there is a need to reflect on the consequences to the country’s sustainable development. For this study, the consequences to sustainable development are described in light of the country’s commitments to biodiversity conservation as well as the subsequent impacts on livelihoods of the poor who have a high dependence on the country’s biodiversity resources...


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