Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


East Africa countries reach trade deal with EU

22 September 2014, 08:36

Nairobi - The East African Community (EAC) Member States have all reached an agreement amongst themselves on a common position on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPAs) with the EU, a senior Kenyan official said on Sunday.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed told journalists in Nairobi that the deal paves way for the signing of the EPAs before the Oct.1 deadline. "The agreement now has to go through internal processes so that it is ratified by both parties before the deadline," Mohamed said.

EAC Members States include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

If the EAC and EU don't sign the deal, then Kenyan exports will subjected to tariffs while the rest of the EAC partners states will trade under the everything but arms trade deal.

Kenya is a major exporter of horticulture, vegetables and flowers to the EU.

"But because of the delay in signing of the agreement, Kenyan exports to the EU might be subjected to import tariffs for period not exceeding three months," Mohamed said, adding that the government has undertaken to cushion all exporters that will be affected by the taxes.

The EPAs, launched in Brussels in 2002, are aimed at enhancing sustainable growth, increasing production and supply capacities of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, and promoting structural processing and economic diversification of the ACP states while supporting regional integration.

Experts say Kenya stands to benefit from foreign exchange earnings, employment opportunities and penetration to the EU market with EPAs.

The country has enjoyed preferential access to the EU market for the last 38 years through four successive Lome Conventions signed between 1975-2000. The intention is to reciprocate the trading terms that the ACP countries have been enjoying since 1959.

But the negotiations have faced stiff competition from the civil society and ACP's trade experts, because of the risk they pose to local enterprises.

Also read: Kenya's oil deposits could hit 1 billion barrels

As of 2013, the EU accounted for 17.2 percent of Kenya overall trade, and it's currently the second largest export market for Kenya as it absorbs close to 25 percent exports and 14 percent of imports.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho said that EAC should ideally have concluded the trade talks in July. "These would have given enough time to make a transition from the Cotonou trade regime to the EPA," he said.

According to Kibicho, all the other trading blocs in Africa have already signed the EPAs. "However, we have learnt from their experiences and we have gotten more concessions out of the EU," he said.

He added that EAC member states will be allowed to impose export taxes on raw materials, on unlimited number of products without seeking permission from the EU.

Karanja noted that a trade body comprising of the EU and EAC will be put in place to iron out any trade issues that might crop up.

Tags eac eu trade

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Mudavadi given permission to join...

Musalia Mudavadi has been ghranted permission by his party to join the CORD Coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
EACC officers raid Deputy Governo...

EACC officers raided the home of a Deputy Governor as theft case continues in court. Read more...