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East Africa: EAC Delay to Sign Pact May Prove Costly - Envoy

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Thursday, 22 September 2016

East Africa: EAC Delay to Sign Pact May Prove Costly - Envoy

The East African Community (EAC) member countries' decision to extend the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union may have consequences in the due course, the EU has said. The EU head of delegation to Uganda, Ambassador Kristian Schmidt, in a statement issued to this newspaper last week, said: "There are no immediate effects but there may be consequences in due course that only the EPA can prevent." EAC heads of State during their 17th Summit that sat in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania recently agreed to push the signing of the EPAs with the EU for another three-months (January 2017) until a harmonised regional position has been arrived at. Tanzania's President John Magufuli, the chairman of the EAC summit, said they need more time to discuss the EPA agreement. So far, Kenya and Rwanda have already signed the agreement. Uganda has also expressed strong interest to sign while Tanzania and Burundi are still skeptical. But the EAC heads of State during the negotiations expressed a willingness to move ahead as a region.

Source: allafrica.com