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EDITO
Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Soothing concerns of a trade collapse when Britain exits the European Union, a high-ranking British diplomat said yesterday that annual trade between South Africa and the United Kingdom valued at about £10-billion (R180-billion) was not only expected to be maintained, but that Britain hoped it would increase. At an information session on the implications of the Brexit referendum and the UK’s business and trade posture going forward, High Commissioner to South Africa Dame Judith Macgregor assured a gathering at the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber that the referendum would have no immediate effect on trade between the two countries.

Parliament unanimously endorsed Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), sending yet another strong signal of Kenya’s resolve to conclude the decade-old negotiations with Europe. A copy of the EPA that MPs ratified Tuesday will be submitted to the European Union as proof of Kenya’s commitment to boost free trade with the 27-member bloc. “The minister will have 10 days to notify the EU council of the ratified agreement to save our exports from duties once we hit the October deadline,” National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said.

In the second of a three-part series, Fasil Amdetsion looks at the evolution of Italy’s relationship with its former colonies in the Horn of Africa. Read part 1 here. Italy’s postcolonial relations with the Horn of Africa can be summed up as undulant: occasionally on the rise, propelled toward a crest by sporadic government officials’ visits or business deals but, just as often, on the low. Government policies that belied pride in Italy’s colonial legacy, rather than regret, certainly damaged relations.

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.

Brussels has launched a 'Marshall Plan' for Africa contemplating an initial expenditure of 3.7 billion euros but with an investment potential of up to 88 billion euros in an attempt to tackle the root causes of migration to Europe. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has described the plan as a 'Copernican revolution'. The aim is to promote development, employment and stability in Africa by creating opportunities for EU companies and beneficiary countries. The European Commission hopes to see the plan in place befoe the EU-Africa summit in March 2017.