East Africa: Kenya, Rwanda Sign East Africa Trade Deal With Europe

Kenya and Rwanda have signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union even as two of its EAC partners say the deal does not auger well for the region’s economies.

Rwanda’s Ambassador to Belgium Olivier Nduhungirehe posted pictures of Rwandan Trade minister Francois Kanimba and his Kenyan counterpart Adan Mohamed signing the agreements in Brussels Thursday on his Twitter account.

“#Kenya & #Rwanda, who signed the #EPA with the EU this morning, are the firsts @jumuiya partner states to sign,” he said in the tweet.

Kenya was desperate to have the agreement signed to safeguard unlimited duty free access of its exports to Europe after Tanzania and Uganda said the deal initialled in October 2014 needed to be renegotiated following Britain’s exit from the bloc.

Rwanda insisted the sticking points were ironed out before the agreement was initialled, while Burundi has been blowing hot and cold on the agreement.

Bujumbura has been wanting the signing to be tied to the sanctions EU imposed on the country last year following the political crisis caused by President Pierre Nkurunziza’s running for a controversial third term.

Source: The East African.