The United Kingdom (UK) parliament has warned that the British government’s new bilateral trade agreement with Kenya could undermine the East Africa Community (EAC) regional integration initiative.
Private sector lobbies in Africa’s six regional trading blocs have formed the African Business Council, a continental umbrella body to spearhead the business agenda for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Ministers from the tripartite group of regional economic communities in eastern and southern Africa have set June 2021 as the deadline to achieve the threshold of 14 ratifications required to enable the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA) enter into force.
Zambia has become the latest country to ratify the Tripartite Free Trade Area, bringing the number of countries that have ratified the agreement and deposited the instruments to nine. The agreement, being pursued by COMESA, the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC), needs a total of 14 countries to enter into force.
The trade deal will enable Kenyan exporters of flowers and other fresh vegetables will continue accessing the UK market under a duty free, quota-free arrangement, just the way they did when the UK was in the European Union.
EAC’s tariff offer now brings the number of countries to 40 that are ready to join the AfCFTA on January 1, when trading under the agreement starts.
As the end of the UK-EU transition period looms, the future trading relationship between the UK and Africa remains uncertain.
The East African Community is optimistic that the US President elect Joe Biden will revive the negotiations and implementations of the EAC-US Trade and Investment Partnership.
UK-Kenya trade must be fit for the 21st century, say campaign groups.
The UK’s trade deal with Kenya to avoid tariffs on food imports including cocoa, coffee and bananas, could risk undermining established regional trade relationships in East Africa, trade campaigners have warned.
Kenya, UK have concluded an economic partnership agreement under the stalled EU-EAC EPA’s text which Kenya ratified in October 2016.
Meetings called to negotiate a collective trade agreement between the EAC and the United Kingdom have failed to make any substantive progress.
Kenya has welcomed its neighbours in negotiating fora post-Brexit trade deal with the UK for a duty and quota-free market.
Tanzania is looking to protect its locally-made goods in the trade negotiations with Britain that are underway.
Rwanda has been chairing the EAC negotiations with the UK and is also pursuing a bilateral post-Brexit trade deal with the UK that aims to replicate the European Union’s “Everything but Arms" scheme.
With just four months to the expiry of the current agreement, ideological differences among member states are hampering the progress of the bloc’s negotiations.
Negotiations over a trade agreement between Kenya and the US have resumed. The deal could undermine African common markets and flood Kenya with cheap maize and chicken.
Kenya’s need to export value-added agricultural products dominated the first round of talks with America after its formal launch on Wednesday last week.
Limited funding for EAC integration and low public awareness about the Treaty Protocols and their implementation framework are bottlenecks for the 150 million-strong population to exploit opportunities it presents.
Kenya should abandon or, at the very least, postpone the United States-Kenya Free Trade Agreement negotiations to a later date, civil society groups say in letter to the AfCFTA Secretariat.