Isabelle Ramdoo is Deputy Head of the Economic Transformation and Trade Programme at the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) in Maastricht, the Netherlands. Before joining ECDPM, she was a Trade Policy Analyst in the International Trade Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Cooperation in Mauritius. She was extensively involved in the EPA Negotiations, as part of the Mauritian technical negotiating team, in particular in Trade in Goods, and more recently in investment and trade in services, in the Eastern and Southern Africa region. She was also closely involved in the regional integration process, in particular in negotiations on COMESA Services. Prior to that, she was also an economist at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Mauritius.
As the latest phase of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the EU and African regions are set to close by 1 October 2014, many African countries have been sealing a deal to preserve their market access to Europe. The immediate employment effect will be to preserve jobs in the African sectors exporting to Europe. But looking forward, can EPAs foster more productive and ‘decent’ job creation, as African countries increasingly face the challenge of a growing youth population?
Mining companies can contribute to the development of rural communities by encouraging and supporting local farmers to develop more productive activities, beyond their subsistence activities.