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EU trade: Defining talks for East Africa presidents for late January

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Monday, 16 January 2017

EU trade: Defining talks for East Africa presidents for late January

The East African Community Heads of State Summit, which was to be held in the first week of this month, has been pushed to next month, after the regional ministers of trade and East African affairs failed to agree on some of the issues to be ratified, top among them being the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union.This has caused anxiety in Kenya, which is now banking on the EAC Council of Ministers who will convene in a fortnight to persuade its regional partners to finalise discussions on the ratification of the EPA by the February 2 deadline. “The ministers have been having back-and-forth discussions over these issues since November. Had the ministers agreed on the issues, then we would have seen a Heads of State Summit later this month, at which the EPA signing would have been timely because of the European Union deadline,” a source said. “However, this wasn’t the case, and the Ministers will now meet in the week of January 23.” East African Community Affairs Principal Secretary Betty Maina confirmed that the summit will take place in February, because the council did not finish its business last year and has therefore not formulated any proposals to be adopted, a prerequisite for any EAC summit. “The leaders couldn’t meet as the business of the Council of the Ministers hadn’t been fully accomplished. We have sent out proposals that, if adopted, will be ratified by the summit,” Ms Maina said.

Source: www.businessdailyafrica.com/