It is therefore not surprising that a number of African civil societies are actively trying to challenge EU trade policy and to call on EU officials to reconsider unfavourable EPAs with regard to their negative effects on sustainable development in Africa. In Cameroon, for example, the Civil Association for the Defence of Collective Interests (ACDIC) has carried out a leading local campaign entitled “Chickens of Death”, which has mobilised consumers for the consumption of poultry products in the region at the expense of frozen meats from EU Member States. CIDA worked with local poultry farmers, but presented itself as an independent activist network, which gave the campaign more credibility than an industry-led initiative. As Johnson (2011, p. 593) explains, with regard to aid for trade, the example of EPADP in West Africa shows the inadequacies of such initiatives to ensure that EU free trade agreements are truly associated with development goals, namely the fight against poverty. West African countries argued that all aid-for-trade funds should be “revalidated” – not by EU commitments under the European Development Fund (EDF). They also calculated that the transition cost of the EPA and the financial resources associated with it to increase productivity would amount to EUR 9.5 billion. Nevertheless, the European Commission has responded by partnering with a significantly reduced amount of EUR 6.5 billion, which explicitly stems from existing EDF commitments (Langan and Price, 2015, p. 283). As a result, many civil society organisations in West Africa felt that the EU had deceived West African citizens. That is, EU officials have agreed that the EPADP should only be established as a “development-friendly” as a means of legitimiseing the free trade agreement, despite its likely negative effects on key sectors such as poultry in the region.
For example, the West African civil society platform on the Cotonou agreement stated that “the EU`s persistent refusal to commit, for the most part and concretely, to covering the cost of the budgetary adjustment that the EPA will impose on ECOWAS economists as well as additional funds for the IPOD [EPADP] is a clear violation of existing agreements and obligations” (ibid. P.