Results from the 19th Ordinary Summit of Heads of State of the East African Community and Opportunities for Kenya

Edwin Njoroge
Post Date: 03 September 2018

Introduction
The formation of the East African Community (EAC) in 1999 by the United Republic of Tanzania, the Republic of Kenya and the Republic of Uganda was the achievement of the trio’s cooperation since the collapse of the original EAC in 1977. Its aims are at widening and deepening co-operation among the Partner States in, among others, political, economic and social fields for their mutual benefit. To this extent the EAC countries established a Customs Union in 2005 and pledged to work towards the establishment of a Common Market by 2010, subsequently a Monetary Union by 2012 and ultimately a Political Federation of the East African States.
 
It is clear from the objectives that success has been limited, if the current achievements are anything to go by. So far, the East African Community has achieved the establishment of a common market, which has been plagued by disputes between the parties especially on the issue of movement of labor, the right to establishment and movement of capital. For example, Tanzania has in the past expelled Kenyan workers in an illegal immigrants purge.  Kenya responded by accusing Tanzania of adopting policies that condone hostile actions against Kenyan citizens and their business interests.
 
The East African Community has also achieved the establishment of a customs union whose objective is formation of a single customs territory. Therefore, trade is at the core of the Customs Union. It is within this context that internal tariffs and non-tariff barriers that could hinder trade between the Partner States are expected to be eliminated, in order to facilitate formation of one large single market and investment area. Similarly, policies relating to trade between the Partner States and other countries, such as the external tariffs, have to be harmonized. This too has not been smooth. There has been a lack of understanding on trade terms between various countries in the region, such as Tanzania’s refusal to let Kenyan manufactured textiles into its territory  and the restriction of Kenya’s confectionary goods into Tanzania and Uganda.


The European Union – East Africa Community Trade Agreement: EPA’s Hard Sell

Edwin Njoroge
Post Date: 16 August 2018

Introduction

Economic Partnership Agreements, otherwise known as EPAs, has been a thorn in the East African Community’s foot since its inception on 23rd June 2000. This is because of the conflicting stance taken by individual leaders of the East African countries, as to the benefits or losses their respective countries stand to accrue from the agreement.

Not only have we heard from the leaders of the East African Community, voices have been added from various stakeholders such as Legislators and Policy Makers, Civil Society Organization, the Private Sector and the Donor Community on the consequences of signing or abstaining from the agreement. 

So far, Kenya and Rwanda were the only countries to have signed the agreement as of September 1, 2016. Tanzania, rejected the deal while Uganda stated that it would only sign the deal after fully studying it. Burundi, committed to signing the deal.
Kenya has attempted to address the issue diplomatically by engaging its fellow East African counterparts in what seems to be a futile attempt to convince them to sign the agreement. Pundits argue that refusal to sign has major ramifications on Kenya’s economy, more specifically the agricultural sector. 

In this article, we shall give a background of the EPAs trade agreement, explain its relations to East Africa, show its current status with regards to East Africa, consequence to Kenya on the failure of the East African Community to ratify the agreement participate and propose a viable way forward for Kenya. 
 


The CFTA and Opportunities for Kenya

Stephen Jairo
Post Date: 01 August 2018

It is almost four months since the African Continental Free Trade Area, more commonly known as the CFTA or AfCFTA, was signed during the 10th Extraordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union held in Kigali, Rwanda. It is important to note that out of the 54 states that make the continent, a whopping 44 states witnessed and supported the coming into force of this agreement, pending ratification by member states. However, there is a requirement that for the CFTA to become operational, it has to be ratified by the parliaments of at least 22 member states.


Foster Government and Insurance Industry Relationship to Counter the Effects of Natural Disasters

Collins Okoth
Post Date: 19 June 2018

In part 1 of this article on misalignment of risk management strategies in Kenya, I briefly examined two key frameworks that the Kenyan Government ratified namely the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) 2005-2015 and the Sendai Framework which was the successor instrument to the Hyogo Framework. Both of these frameworks emphasized the need for governments to strengthen relevant institutions and work with key stakeholders in mitigating losses that arise from natural catastrophes. In this second and final part, I discuss how the Government can work with the insurance industry in combating the effects of natural catastrophes. 


Misalignment of Risk management Strategies in Kenya

Collins Okoth
Post Date: 13 June 2018

Natural disasters have been a persistent issue in Kenya. This is a part one of a two part series on issues around the misalignment of risk management strategies in Kenya, the gaps that lie therein and possible recommendations to better management of such situations. 


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