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EDITO
Thursday, 19 October 2017

The economic challenges Zimbabwe is currently going through coupled with Britain's withdrawal from the EU have complicated the country's position regarding Economic Partnership Agreements, and this calls for a relook at the accordsm trade experts have said. Zimbabwe is a signatory to EPAs which were negotiated together under Eastern and Southern Africa, a diverse EPA group, including Indian Ocean Islands (Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles), countries from the Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan) and some southern African countries (Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe).

The European Union (EU) trade relations with Tanzania remain strong despite UK exit, the EU Managing Director for Africa, Ambassador Koen Vervaeke said in Dar es Salaam yesterday. He said after the UK exit, the trade volume between Tanzania and EU will be affected to a certain extent, but then UK has to define its position vis a vis EU as part of the negotiations that will also affect its relations with other countries. Tanzania is a large recipient of EU aid, channelled through the European Development Fund (EDF) to among others, advocating pro-poor growth and improving economic governance and business climate.

Five southern African countries – Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland – have opened a new chapter in their bilateral relations with the European Union (EU) following the coming into effect of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on October 10. The EPA takes into account the different levels of development of the partners. It gives Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, and Swaziland duty-free, quota-free access to the European market. Meanwhile, an analysis by The Southern Times indicates that the region has been enjoying robust trade with the EU. The SADC EPA Group recorded a positive trade balance in 2015, according to the EU Embassy in Windhoek.

A three-member delegation of the European Union (EU) headed by EU Ambassador to Liberia, Tiina Intelmann, on Monday met with the Chairman and Executive-Director of the National Elections Commission (NEC) at the Commission’s headquarters in Monrovia. During the meeting, Ambassador Intelman lauded the National Elections Commission for the level of work being done towards the sustenance of democracy in Liberia. Ambassador Intelmann said the NEC has proven to be very efficient and independent in the discharge of its responsibilities as demonstrated it its conduct of past elections and called on the Commission to replicate such efforts in the 2017 Electoral Process.

During this visit they will meet with the local authorities (County Commissioner, Governor’s Office, and Port Authorities) and will also meet with all EU honorary consuls based in Mombasa Nairobi, Kenya. The European Union Deputy Head of Delegation, Bruno Pozzi, accompanied by EU Member States Heads of Consular Affairs, are visiting Mombasa County, on 2- 3rd November 2016. During this visit they will meet with the local authorities (County Commissioner, Governor’s Office, and Port Authorities) and will also meet with all EU honorary consuls based in Mombasa.