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The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) is a group of countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific that was created by the Georgetown Agreement in 1975. Formerly known as African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), the organisation's main objectives are sustainable development and poverty reduction within its member states, as well as their greater integration into the world's economy. All of the member states, except Cuba, are signatories to the Cotonou Agreement with the European Union.

The Cotonou Agreement (signed in Cotonou, Benin, in June 2000) is the successor to the Lomé Conventions. One of the major differences from the Lomé Convention is that the partnership is extended to new actors such as civil society, private sector, trade unions and local authorities. These will be involved in consultations and planning of national development strategies, provided with access to financial resources and involved in the implementation of programmes.

Many small island developing states are OACPS states; the fourth Lomé Convention was revised in 1995 in Mauritius and gives special attention to island countries in this agreement. Combined the EU and the members of the OACPS represent over 1.5 billion people and more than half of the seats at the United Nations.[1]



The African OACPS countries negotiate in five Economic Partnership Agreements groups[2] (West Africa, CEMAC, Southern Africa Development Community, East African Community, Eastern and Southern Africa) with the EU.

"West Africa group" (ECOWAS plus Mauritania)

"CEMAC plus São Tomé and Príncipe, DR Congo group" (ECCAS related)

EAC group

"Eastern and Southern Africa group" (COMESA related)

SADC group


All countries of the Caribbean Community plus Dominican Republic group negotiate in the CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU).


All developing member states of the Pacific Islands Forum group[4] and Timor-Leste negotiate in the Pacific EPA with the EU.

North Atlantic

In this region are located the EU overseas countries and territories (OCTs) of Greenland and Saint Pierre and Miquelon, but there are no OACPS states.[5]

South Atlantic

In this region are located the EU OCTs of Saint Helena and Falkland Islands, but there are no OACPS states.[5] Nevertheless, Saint Helena is developing links with the SADC EPA group.[6]

Uninhabited territories

The uninhabited EU OCTs do not participate in regional integration and do not receive development funding from the EU.

Special designations

The Cotonou agreement recognises the specific challenges faced by less developed countries, land-locked countries, and islands in their economic development. Therefore, those countries are granted a more favourable treatment than other OACPS member countries. The text of the Cotonou agreement has been updated in 2005 and 2010, but the lists have not, despite the fact that the actual list of LDCs as defined by the United Nations has changed: Cape Verde has graduated from LDC status in December 2007, while Senegal has acquired the status in 2001 and Timor-Leste in 2003. The following lists should thus not be considered as the actual lists of OACPS LDCs and islands (a few islands are also not listed).

Annex VI of the Cotonou agreement lists the following designations:

Least-developed OACPS states

  • Angola
  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cape Verde
  • the Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Comoros
  • the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Gambia
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Haiti
  • Kiribati
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mozambique
  • Niger
  • Rwanda
  • Samoa
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Sierra Leone
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Tanzania
  • Tuvalu
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • Vanuatu
  • Zambia

The Least developed OCTs are the following: Anguilla, Mayotte, Montserrat, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, Wallis and Futuna, Saint Pierre and Miquelon.[9]

Landlocked OACPS states

  • Botswana
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Ethiopia
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Rwanda
  • Eswatini
  • Uganda
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Island OACPS states

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Cape Verde
  • Comoros
  • Cuba
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Fiji
  • Grenada
  • Haiti
  • Jamaica
  • Kiribati
  • Madagascar
  • Mauritius
  • Nauru
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Seychelles
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu

See also


  1. ^ "Gomes welcomes new agreement". The Daily Nation. 17 April 2021. Retrieved 8 June 2021. Together, the EU and the members of the OACPS represent over 1.5 billion people and more than half of the nations at the United Nations. Gomes, who stepped down as secretary general of the 79-member grouping in February this year, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the initialed text will now go to all the member states and can be treated as a public document to await a signing ceremony, possibly before the end of this year as the life of the Cotonou Agreement has been extended to December 31, 2021.
  2. ^ EPA Groups
  3. ^ Economic and technical cooperation : agreement between the United States of America and South Sudan, signed at Juba, September 11, 2012. U.S. Dept. of State. c. 2012. OCLC 815531434.
  4. ^ That is: all member states except Australia and New Zealand.
  5. ^ a b c d e OCT regional groups Archived September 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Saint Helena Archived July 4, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Because of forced population relocation the BIOT it is commonly associated with Mauritius that is currently in the Eastern and Southern Africa EPA group."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-12-29. Retrieved 2009-09-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ TAAF Archived September 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine The islands of the TAAF are located in the southern Indian Ocean and thus if applicable would be associated with the SADC EPA group. The antarctic territory is also located near the south-eastern edge of the Indian Ocean
  9. ^ Overseas Association Decision, Annex I B

External links