Kenyan exports attract duties as EAC fail to sign deal with Europe

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By Betty Maina

As I write this, I am saddened. October is here and with it the end of a trade arrangement between Kenya and Europe that has lasted more than 30 years.

This was made possible under a trade deal extended to Kenya in the context of the preferential trade arrangement the EU extended to the African Caribbean Countries, first under four successive Lome Conventions (Lome I to IV– 1975 to 1999) and under the Cotonou Agreement trade regime (2000–2007).

Kenya, with other EAC countries, secured the continuation of duty-free market access to the European Union after initialing the Framework for Establishment of Economic Partnership Agreement (FEPA) in 2007.


The poor now knows how the rich live, says World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim

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By Jim Yong Kim

For a very long time, the rich have known to some extent how the poor around the world live. What’s new in today's world is that the best-kept secret from the poor, namely, how the rich live, is now out.

Through the village television, the Internet and hand-held instruments, which a rapidly increasing number of the poor possess, life-styles of the rich and the middle class -- about which they earlier had only foggy ideas -- are transmitted in full color to their homes every day. And that has made all the difference.

The political turbulence we’re seeing all around the world has varied proximate causes, but a lot of it’s fundamentally rooted in this one new feature of today's world.

The question that nearly everyone who lives in the developing world is asking themselves is how can they and their children have the economic opportunity that so many others in the world enjoy? Everyone knows how everyone else lives.

Last year, when I traveled with President Evo Morales to a Bolivian village 14,000 feet above sea level, to play soccer of all things, villagers snapped pictures on their smart phones of our arrival.


Do not fear EAC integration Mr Njonjo, assures Kenya’s cabinet secretary

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By Phylis Kandie

It was refreshing to read the op-ed piece penned by Mr Charles Njonjo on March 10 on the East African Community, and especially his fears that the region is rushing into integration when history teaches otherwise.

It was stimulating because Mr Njonjo is a man with a place in the history of this country and also because of the reasons he gave for the aversion – Mr Njonjo’s antipathy for the EAC is well known.

The former AG holds the opinion that the community collapsed in1977 largely because of ideological differences between Kenya and Tanzania. The latter was socialist whereas the former had chosen a free market economy. It should not be forgotten that Dr Milton Obote unveiled the Common Man’s Charter before Idi Amin took over via a military coup.


Former Kenya chief justice Charles Njonjo yet to embrace EAC integration

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By Charles Njonjo

We are sometimes poor students of the lessons history teaches us. By the time the East African Community collapsed in 1977, it had become clear that the political and economic philosophies of its member nations had become unsustainably divergent.

This held back countries like Kenya that had chosen to implement market-led economic policies while Tanzania placed emphasis on socialism It had also become clear that the ‘community’ was a club of –presidents and not necessarily a genuine community of the people. It was thus that a good idea was often undermined by differences between leaders that were utterly irrelevant to their citizenry.

Over the past few years, we have seen renewed drive at regional integration in East Africa. The underlying rationale, for example, of uniting the region’s peoples into a larger market and doing away with the impediments to trade and commerce are entirely laudable.

However, we seem determined to make some of the mistakes that brought us to grief in 1970s. For East Africa to succeed, we need tom learn the lessons of our own history but also make an effort to appreciate the kind of painful economic problems the more mature democracies and markets of the European Union are facing even as we speak.


Did the African Union agree to support Mr Alan Kyerematen for top WTO post?

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By EA Trade Review Team and


Nine candidates are now lined up before the 157 member World Trade Organization (WTO) to succeed Mr Pascal Lammy, as the director general of the world trade regulating body in May this year.

A former Ghana Trade and Industry Minister Mr Alan Kyerematen and Ms Amina Mohamed, Kenya's former WTO Ambassador and now assistant UN secretary general based in Nairobi are among the contenders.

The two will face eight other candidates from Brazil, The Republic of Korea, Jordan, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Indonesia and Mexico.

Though there are all indications that the next head would come from the developing world and specifically Africa, Latin America and Asia, experts warn that Africa may miss the chance for nominating two candidates.


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