Uncertainty is looming in Kenya’s horticultural sector following the move by the five EAC member states to sign one Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which they say could take much longer time than was previously anticipated.
The East African Community (EAC) is set to sign an economic pact with the European Union ahead of a December 31 deadline to avoid losing the lucrative export markets in Europe, but Tanzania is yet to agree to the plan, Kenyan official has disclosed.
A major dispute between partner states of the East African Community has been averted after the parties agreed that all the five members will now collectively sign one Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union
With the partner states of the East African Community having agreed to negotiate an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with Europe under one roof, Tanzania may be forced to count the cost of forgoing a relatively successful regional grouping in East Africa against political solidarity with Southern Africa’s regional power base — South Africa.
Should the five member states of the East African Community negotiate an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union as a single bloc, or should they do so as part of the larger Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) group?
The leaders mandated Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki to convene a joint summit of COMESA, the South Africa Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC) to discuss the harmonization of the cross-border trading system.
Trade Minister Mukhisa Kituyi has said preparations for the 12th COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit are on course.
Tanzania has failed to register any significant progress in negotiating Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union for the past 13 months.
The Common Market for East and Central African (COMESA) states have begun fresh negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) in a bid to expand domestic markets through strategic trade liberalisation.
East African countries have been implored to pull out their individual membership from the Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and South Africa Development Community (SADC) and choose the suitable one to re-join it as an EAC bloc.
Trade agreements between the European Union and Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries could undermine the integration project in East Africa, a civil society lobby group has said.
Clarity Consultancy said the three EAC countries - Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania - could lose their preferential treatment in other economic blocs since the new pact does not allow affiliate parties to participate in other economic arrangements.
The European Union has advised Tanzania to either retain membership in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and withdraw from the East African Customs Union (EACU), or vice versa.