What next after regional heads defer EPA deal?

Washed coffee beans on display. Coffee is one of the exports to the European Union from the East African Community. File photo

What you need to know:

Last week, regional Heads of State postponed the free trade agreement with European Union (EU) to January 2017. The move was informed by their desire to further understand the implications of various clauses in the pact.

In a frantic attempt to salvage the bloc’s position, the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State last week agreed to extend the signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement with European Union (EU) by another three months.
Despite this development, some member states such as Kenya and Rwanda have already put pen to paper while Uganda has expressed desire to follow suit, saying this is a life time opportunity that should not be allowed to slip away.
Tanzania’s President John Magufuli, who is the chairman of the EAC summit, said they need more time to discuss the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) agreement further.
For that, it was agreed that after three months, (in January 2017), a harmonised regional position would have been arrived at.

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