The UK-Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) Trade Continuity Agreement is meant to replicate the Economic Partnership Agreement that the East African Community is yet to sign with the European Union.
The discussion on the EPA took place during the East Africa Community summit, with Tanzania insisting that it must be allowed more time to send experts to EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, to present its grievances.
East African countries can individually sign separate trade agreements with the European Union if a joint deal is not reached within the next four months.
Kenya is asking that EAC partner states adopt the variable geometry, a move that would be viewed as counter to regional integration.
Members of the East African Community to implement trade facilitation reforms including reducing “non-tariff barriers”.
The deposit of the instrument means that South Africa has formally and legally committed to the TFTA.
South Africa has ratified the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement, becoming the fourth country to do so after Egypt, Uganda and Kenya. 10 more ratifications are now needed for the Agreement to enter into force.
The slow pace at which member states of the Tripartite Free Trade Area Agreement (TFTA) are committing to the bloc, has derailed the enforcement of the treaty and trade in one of Africa’s largest economic zones.
Kenya will not sign a free trade agreement that China has been negotiating with the East African Community (EAC) partner States since 2016.
The TFTA seeks to establish an enlarged market involving 27 member countries from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the East African Community and Southern African Development Community.
Despite having several trade and investment agreements from 1975, the inability for Africa to build substantial productive capacity has in effect rendered the continent a net importer, unable to meet even its own food requirements.
East African leaders call for further negotiations on EPA with their European counterparts.
Under EPAs, small-scale farmers are disadvantaged.
Botswana signed a tripartite free trade area agreement which marked a milestone in the trade agenda of the African Union.
A standoff between Burundi and the European Union over political sanctions is set to further delay the signing and ratification of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EU and the East African Community.
First-vice speaker of Burundi Senate said Burundi will not have the courage to ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement in the context of economic sanctions imposed against it.
A decision on whether all the East African Community partner states will sign the European Union-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) will be known in November during the Heads of State Summit.
Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni who is also the current chairman of the East African Community (EAC) arrives in Brussels, Belgium with a delegation from the EAC member states to discuss the issue of the Economic Partnership Agreements.
Kenya will take its case to the European Union in Brussels in a last-ditch effort to garner support for the Economic Partnership Agreement deal.
Though not highly publicised, the EPA has faced continued opposition from across the ACP countries, not least because of its devastating effect on small scale farmers. A new report from GRAIN goes into the details in Africa.