East Africa: Fate of trade deal expected in Nov
All Africa | 1 October 2017
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 the chairman of the EAC, held a meeting with the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on September 27 to present the concerns raised specifically by Tanzania on the EPA, leading to the delay of signing the agreement.
“I arrived in Belgium on a three-day working visit. As chairman of EAC, I will hold discussions with the EU over EPA and other related issues,” confirmed President Museveni on his Twitter handle.
He was accompanied by the EAC Secretary-General Liberat Mfumukeko, ministers of trade from each partner state and assistant ministers or permanent secretaries.
Betty Maina, Principal Secretary in Kenya’s Ministry of EAC Affairs, said President Museveni presented the concerns raised by Tanzania on why it was unwilling to sign EPA, seeking clarification from the EU.
“We expect that EU will respond to the concerns before November. A decision and partner states’ position will then be known in November,” said Ms Maina.