Posted by: africanpressorganization | 10 February 2012

EAC to hold high level workshop on EPA negotiations next week / Former Tanzanian President H.E. Benjamin Mkapa to give keynote address



EAC to hold high level workshop on EPA negotiations next week / Former Tanzanian President H.E. Benjamin Mkapa to give keynote address


ARUSHA, Tanzania, February 10, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The East African Community Secretariat will next week hold a high level workshop to discuss the interaction between the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations.


H.E. Benjamin Mkapa Chairman of the South Centre and former President of the United Republic of Tanzania will give a keynote address on the Role of Multilateral and Bilateral Trade Agreements in Fostering Trade and Development in Africa at the 13-16 February workshop to be held at the Ngurudoto Mountain Lodge in Arusha, Tanzania.


The overall objective of the workshop is to ensure that the engagement of the EAC Partner States in trade negotiations both at the WTO level and in the EPAs is coordinated in order to ensure that maximum benefits accrue to the EAC region from both processes.


The workshop will also include a status update on the EAC-EU EPA negotiations, while providing incisive analysis and information in order to help deepen the understanding of the link between the EPA and the WTO negotiations processes, including highlighting issues that have hindered progress towards concluding negotiations.


EAC Director for Trade Dr Flora Musonda points out that the expected outputs of the workshop are enhanced coordination and participation in both WTO and EPA negotiating processes and improved analytical skills and decision making by the region’s policymakers.


Next week’s workshop comes on the heels of an experts’ meeting held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania this week where EAC Partner States are harmonizing their positions on the EPAs before the resumption of negotiations in March.


EAC Secretary General Amb. Dr. Richard Sezibera is expected to open the workshop, which will be attended by among others Permanent Secretaries responsible for Trade matters and EAC affairs; representatives from the African, Caribbean, Pacific Group of States Secretariat; Partner States’ envoys accredited to Brussels and Geneva, Members of national parliaments, Members of the East African Legislative Assembly’s Committee on Trade and Investment; as well as delegates from the private sector and the civil society.


The workshop is supported by the ACP-MTS Programme Management Unit.



East African Community (EAC)


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