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Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Reservations on EPAs' potential in boosting African trade

As Kenyan flowers could be subjected to 16 per cent duty if Kenya did not ratify the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA)  by June, concerns about the EPA's potential in boosting trade on the continent emerge. According to one article by The Standard, Kenya has much to lose if a new EPA is sealed, as differing from the rest of the EAC members, the country does not  benefit from LDC conditions, which provides free access for goods to the European market. Musikari Kombo, President of the ACP Joint Parliamentary Group, says this can be detrimental to regional integration.
Mr Kombo, says that although EPAs are key components of the Cotonou Agreement and their purpose is to increase exports of ACP countries to the EU, “[these] have not achieved much".  
"EU insists that Kenya is not a member of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) like Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, hence she should negotiate the trade deal alone. If you force Kenya to sign because it is not an LDC, the move is going to thwart regional integration", he states.

Source: The Standard