At the just ended virtually-held 21st Heads of State Summit, the leaders agreed to let those that wish, to go on and engage the EU on how to move forward without the others, under the "Variable Geometry" principle.
Under this, some countries in a bloc are allowed integrate at different levels and pace, depending on the situation in the respective country.
leaders of the East African Community have given a go-ahead to partner
states willing to be part of the Europe-EAC trade deal, known as
the EU-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
EPA aims at enhancing trade between the two regions by way of removing quotas
and tariffs on each other's exports. Kenya and Rwanda have been pushing
the other countries, with Tanzania and Burundi refusing to sign on the deals,
reasoning that it benefits the EU more than the EAC.
according to the countries, will see EU exports suffocate the local industry,
while the EAC exports will meet competition from other countries like China in
the European market.
Uganda has taken a middle ground, calling for the consensus of all EAC partner
states for the good of integration.
the just ended virtually-held 21st Heads of State Summit, the leaders agreed to
let those that wish, to go on and engage the EU on how to move forward without
the others, under the "Variable Geometry" principle.
Under this, some countries in a bloc are allowed to integrate at different
levels and pace, depending on the situation in the respective country. Kenya, which dominates the
EAC exports to Europe will welcome this.
also comes at a time that the Summit selected Kenya to take over the EAC
chairmanship from Rwanda, while another Kenyan, Dr Peter Mutuku Mathuki
becomes the new EAC Secretary-General.
Mathuki, a former member of the EAC Legislation Assembly (EALA), is currently
the Executive Director of the East African Business Council. He comes at the
time that the bloc is facing unprecedented tests to regional trade.
maintains a closure of its border with Uganda for two years now, while Tanzania
and Kenya trade wrangles have seen goods destroyed by either country after
disagreements, as well as suspension of flights.
is perhaps the most affected with both Tanzania and Kenya frequently blocking
her goods over claims of standards issues as well as market oversupply, among
outgoing secretary-general Ambassador Liberate Mfymukeko from Burundi is blamed
for being too soft as trade crises persisted. His tenure also saw his
country's head of state stay away from EAC summits for two years, mainly after
disagreements with neighbouring Rwanda.
was its first appearance at the summit in more than 2 years when new President
Everiste Ndaishimye made his maiden attendance. He was also named the
Rapporteur of the EAC and will be the next chairman after Uhuru Kenyatta's
The summit noted that the Democratic Republic of Congo had applied to join the
EAC and the leaders directed the Council of Ministers to quickly undertake the
verification mission under the EAC admission procedures, and report to the next
admission will add 106 million people to the population of the EAC and expand
the single market by another 80 billion dollars of GDP.
presidents also directed the Council to accelerate the integration of South Sudan
and conclude the verification for Somalia's application.
Kayobera, the director of judicial services in Burundi was appointed President
of the EA Court or justice, while Uganda's Geoffrey Kiryabwire is Vice
chairman Paul Kagame called for closer regional cooperation as
the best way to overcome the economic impact of the Covid 19 on the economies.
his part, Uganda's Yoweri Museveni said the integration will not be meaningful
if it limits trade within the region, adding that despite the enormous
resources, the people will remain poor it the countries remain disunited.
also warned that there is a continued threat to security in the region, citing the conflict in