East Africa: EPA controversy continues

East African Business Week (Kampala) | 28 May 2007

EPA Controversy Continues

By Paul Orengoh
Nairobi

The controversy over the proposed trade pact between COMESA member states and the European Union (EU) continues to bubble.

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 (EPA) with the European Union (EU) is endorsed.

And consequently, Kenya’s manufacturing industry stands to quarter down if the proposed trade treaty comes to force, officials have warned.

Addressing reporters shortly before the 12th session of the COMESA heads of state in Kenya’s third largest city Kisumu last week, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) warned the country would loose more due to the competitive nature of her manufacturing companies.

This comes in the backdrop of claims in a report by three Kenyan non-government organizations -Seatini, Traidcraft and EcoNews Africa- the previous week that the EU would gain more in the deal with a $1,152million (Ksh80.6 billion) through increased export to Comesa trading bloc if the proposed pact sails through.

"We should not blindly fall into this trap. Kenya was long colonised by the British. 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.

source: AllAfrica.com