Crunch Time for EU, EAC Trade Talks
Talks on new trade between the EAC and the European Union (EU) enter a critical stage when EAC trade ministers meet in Arusha, Tanzania. The areas the EU and the EAC are yet to agree on are development cooperation, the most favoured nation clause and trade in services.
EAC member states are negotiating a new trade arrangement known as the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to replace the non-reciprocal trade preferences granted under the 2000 Cotonou Agreement. The new agreement seeks to compel African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries to also allow EU exports in duty free. The parties are expected sign a comprehensive EPA by December 2010.
Kenya: Africa’s Carbon Trade Hub
Kenya has announced plans to establish a regional carbon emissions trading scheme to steer Africa’s carbon market. Kenya’s Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta said a framework for carbon trading – in which polluters buy and sell the right to emit carbon – would be set up to outline how to register to participate in the scheme, how revenue would be shared and how to ensure accountability.
The framework would also describe development areas to be funded by the resources generated from the scheme. Kenyatta said a carbon credit investment framework would help streamline conservation efforts and alleviate poverty in the country, saying it has the potential to attract billions of Kenyan shillings annually.
BRICs see Africa as Vital Trade Partner
Stronger South-South ties can help Africa meet its development challenges, according to a report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Janvier Nkurunziza, UNCTAD’s Economic Affairs Officer, who presented the report said that the relationship could make the continent more commodity-dependent.
He warned that Africa should avoid a “repeat of the structure of exchanges” that had traditionally characterised trade with the continent. Historically, Africa has been treated as a source of commodities for advanced economies and it has relied heavily on advanced nations to provide capital and intermediate goods as well as consumer products.