Sigh of relief as Europe gives East Africa four months to sign EPA
Saturday September 10 2016
Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto (left), Tanzania's President John Magufuli (centre) and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni (right) during an East African Community extraordinary summit on September 8, 2016 in Dar es Salaam. PHOTO | DPPS
The European parliament extended the deadline to withdraw Kenya’s preferential market access to the EU market to February 2, 2017 after the country signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), demonstrating its commitment to the trade pact.
The deadline to remove Kenya’s preferential market access privileges had been set for October 1, meaning that from October 2 Kenyan exports to the EU would have been subject to duties, which would have made them less competitive.
However, The EastAfrican has learnt that it is unlikely that Tanzania will relax its hardline stance during the three months and the EAC Council of Ministers is considering a proposal for variable geometry, where member states would be allowed to sign the agreement at different times.