Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States

Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States
Organisation des États d'Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique
Flag of OACPS
Location of OACPS
SecretariatBrussels, Belgium Belgium
Official languages
Georges Chikoti
Establishment6 June 1975
 Caribbean group
 East and South Africa group
 Pacific group
 West African group
 Southern African group
 Central African group
 East Africa group

The Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS, French: Organisation des États d'Afrique, des Caraïbes et du Pacifique) 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.

Member states


The African OACPS countries negotiate in five Economic Partnership Agreements groups (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). The Caribbean-bloc is sometimes co-represented at EU-LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean).


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

North Atlantic EU OCTs

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.

South Atlantic dependent territories

In this region are located the U.K. overseas territories of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha and Falkland Islands, but there are no OACPS states. Nevertheless, Saint Helena is developing links with the SADC EPA group.

Uninhabited territories

The uninhabited EU OCT does not participate in regional integration and does not receive development funding from the EU.

The uninhabited U.K. overseas territories are not OACPS states 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.

Landlocked OACPS states

Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, 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.


Trade and legal framework

See also

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