Presidents Kenyatta, Magufuli review issues, as EAC leaders agree EU trade format

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President Uhuru Kenyatta in a meeting with Tanzania President John Magufuli during the EAC summit in Uganda
President Uhuru Kenyatta in a meeting with Tanzania President John Magufuli during the EAC summit in Uganda

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Tanzania President John Magufuli have all called for an urgent solution to any problems that are still prevalent between Kenya and Tanzania. During a sideline meeting on the EAC summit in Uganda, the two Heads of State urged the Ministers responsible for the foreign affairs matters to meet and solve any pending issues that exist. “We have small issues relating to businesses and traders between Kenya and Tanzania and we want the ministers to meet urgently and resolve these issues,” said President Magufuli. On his part, President Keyata also affirmed that the small matters require urgent attention. Issues of bilateral trade and regional cooperation were also shared between the two leaders.

EAC leaders agreed to pursue variable geometry in EU trade deals
EAC leaders agreed to pursue variable geometry in EU trade deals

Moreover, EAC leaders have agreed to explore variable geometry in their trade arrangements with the European Union. This model allows differential integration or involvement in any deal, according to the availability or readiness of a nation at a given time. It allows countries committed to certain deals to push on, while giving time to other nations to move at their own pace. It’s clear that Kenya and Rwanda are the only EAC nations that signed Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU, even though all countries had initially agreed to pursue them, and as a result, the variable geometry method comes in handy.

Apart from agreements on infrastructural development, reform of the Secretariat of the EAC was also endorsed, and unified growth in the health sector as a region. President Kenyatta also urged the East African nations to boost the rate of intra-regional trade to ensure it’s a success, adding that the leaders are committed to integration and making the East African Community a success.