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Friday, 06 January 2017

Tanzania, Burundi Risk Losing EU Aid Over EPAs

Tanzania and Burundi risk losing development aid from the European Union for refusing to append their signatures to the trade agreement between the region and the European economic bloc. Dar es Salaam and Bujumbura have declined to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement of the EAC with the EU. Being a single Customs territory, all EAC members need to sign the pact before it is enforced. However, Tanzania argues that signing the trade deal in its current form will have negative implications for its industrialisation strategy. Speaking during the 32nd Conference of African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) and the European Union (EU) in Nairobi, Patrick Gomes, the secretary-general of ACP, said that aid to the countries must be tied to trade agreements for the mutual benefit of both economic blocs. "We need to understand that EPAs come not only with trade opportunities with Europe, but development aid as well. As it is, Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi, which have been dragging their feet in signing the trade pact, could end up losing important development aid from the EU," Mr Gomes said. The ACP is composed of 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states that are signatories to the Cotonou Agreement, which binds them to the EU.

Source: All Africa News