KENYAN PRESIDENT SAYS ACP COUNTRIES NEED INCREASED ACCESS TO EU MARKET

NAIROBI– President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya has emphasized the need for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of countries to be accorded increased access to the European Union (EU) market.

The President said arrangements such as the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) proposed by the EU should recognize each ACP country’s level of development so that no country feels disadvantaged.

President Kenyatta observed that the ACP countries were at different levels of development and could only reap maximum benefit from the EPAs if their individual levels of economic development are taken into consideration.

He said this here Thursday when he received an ACP-EU delegation led by Joseph Owona Kono, the President of the ACP Parliamentary Assembly, who is also co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, and Michele Rivasi, a co-President of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

The President said Kenya is pushing for Africa to forge a more integrated approach that will give the continent a stronger voice in its negotiations with organizations like the EU while at the same time taking cognizance of each country’s level of economic development.

He pointed out that Africa should negotiate as a continent and not as a region but cautioned against actions that undermine integration. He also expressed the need to develop a flexible mechanism that would allow ACP member states that are ready to take up EPAs to do so even as others address their individual concerns.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK