Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni is in Belgium on a three-day working visit that will include talks with European Union (EU) about the EU-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).
Museveni took over chairmanship of the East African Community (EAC) from Tanzania’s John Pole Magufuli in May with a promise to harmonize the region’s vision on the EU-EAC Economic Partnership.
“I failed to find a solution for EAC EU trade deal but I am optimistic President Museveni will do,” Magufuli admitted at the 18th Ordinary EAC Heads of State Summit in Dar es Salaam in May.
Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi have raised concerns about the possible negative impact of the trade deal between the European Union and East African nations, stalling its implementation. (see proposed agreement and EAC Communique bottom)
At the meeting in May, Museveni was asked to travel to Brussels to meet the EU and explain EAC’s stand on the partnership.
Museveni said then that any agreement will only be reached with all members of the EAC on board, and not a few countries. He explained there is no way the EAC can move forward until the issue of sanctions on Burundi, among others, is resolved.
“Burundi is member of the EAC. How can they sign EPA with EU when they are still under sanctions?” he asked as he emphasized the European Union should negotiate the trade deal with EAC and not a single member state.
In their communique in May, the leaders said that “Heads of State noted that the remaining members that have not signed the EU-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) are not in a position to do so pending clarification of issues they have identified in the agreement.”