Felix Okatch (“Churches’ stand on EPAs look suspicious,” The EastAfrican, May 28-June 3) wondered why churches should take a stand on a “complex matter” such as the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the European Union and the countries of Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific.
As the latest entrant into the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Libya is a potential trade partner not only for Kenya but the COMESA regional economic bloc which Kenyan President Kibaki currently chairs
The Business Forum has recommended the introduction of penalties to deter Comesa member states from blocking regional trade through non-tariff barriers.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) has warned that COMESA states will lose up to Ksh16.9billion ($241 million) annually if the Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union is endorsed. "Is this a second colonization by the EU.....or economic slavery by the so-called developed world?" said Mr. John Ogam, member of the Kisumu KAM executive Committee.
Catholic and other churches in Kenya are opposed to Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) currently being negotiated between developing countries and the European Union.
Anti-poverty campaigners have likened trade negotiations between the European Union (EU) and several regions in Africa to a boxing match between a schoolboy novice and a heavyweight champion.
Kenyan manufacturers have rebuffed calls by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a reduction of import duty.
Trade Minister Mukhisa Kituyi has said preparations for the 12th COMESA Heads of State and Government Summit are on course.
There have been myriad commentaries on the ongoing negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The first thing in these debates is the jargon and how much a regular member of our communities would not understand. It’s about time that those who know anything about trade and economic agreements explained this agreement to the rest in simple ’Wanjiku’ language.
The European Union celebrated its 50th birthday on March 25, since the signing of the founding Rome treaty, a pact originally comprising six Western European nations. France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg sealed an economic co-operation that was meant to avoid future wars.
Sugar cane farmers have added their voice to demands that Government seeks an extension of the Comesa moratorium, which comes into effect from early next year. The Kenya Sugarcane Grower’s Union officials petitioned President Kibaki to lead the extension campaign to enable local factories and market get ready to compete with the imports from the region.
It has been argued that Kenya and other African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries should sign Economic Partnership Agreements to safeguard revenue and jobs and promote growth and development.
Kenya has entered into several regional and global trading arrangements aimed at alleviating poverty in the country, Trade and Industry minister Dr Mukhisa Kituyi has said.
Thousands of farmers, jua kali artisans and hundreds of thousands of workers and their families will end up in deeper poverty if the Kenyan government signs an agreement that will allow farm and industrial products from Europe into the local market.
Flower exporters have asked the Kenyan government to ensure that it signs an agreement with the European Union (EU) before the General Elections next year.
The Kenyan Trade Minister, Mukhisha Kituyi, today spoke up
against the danger of countries running to negotiate bilateral and
regional trade deals with the impasse of the Doha negotiations
at the World Trade Organisation.
Civil societies have asked the Government not to sign any agreement that emerges from current talks with European Union. The non-governmental organisations accused the EU of pursuing its own agenda, which does not match Kenya’s or any other African country’s.
Kenya Association of Manufacturers CEO Betty Maina said negotiators in the Economic Partnership Agreement, EPA, are not in-sync and the agreement might not be signed by the end of next year.
Trade and Industry Minister Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi has asked the COMESA ministerial taskforce to hasten implementation of the regional customs union to achieve the free trading within member-countries.
Kenya’s horticultural sector is appealing to the Government to lobby other east and southern Africa countries for agreement on the ongoing trade talks between the region and the European Union.