Kenya, EU to accelerate economic partnership deals, upgrade bilateral ties to strategic dialogue

President Uhuru Kenyatta and European Council’s Charles Michel on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, at State House Nairobi/ PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta and European Council’s Charles Michel on Tuesday agreed to accelerate the implementation of Economic Partnership Agreements following the historic agreement at the EAC summit last week.

President Kenyatta on February 27 took over the chairmanship of the EAC, while Kenya’s Peter Mathuki was appointed the new secretary general.

In his congratulatory message to President Kenyatta and Mathuki, EU Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said he looks forward “to engaging on the implementation of the Economic Partnership Agreement between the EAC and the EU”.

During the 21st Ordinary Summit that was held virtually, it was noted that not all partner states are in a position to sign, ratify and implement the EPA agreement but recognised the importance of some partner states to move forward.

European Council President makes first visit to Kenya, to hold talks with Uhuru

Consequently, partner states adopted the principle of variable geometry, which  allows negotiations of one or more particular issues to lead to an agreement that is not binding on all of the parties to the agreement.

President Kenyatta and the visiting EU leader also agreed to strengthen and scale up partnership between Africa, and Kenya’s private sector and the EU as part of efforts to increase investments, create employment and support post Covid-19 economic recovery.

Additionally, they agreed to upgrade Kenya’s bilateral relations with the EU to a strategic dialogue and foster a closer working relationship between Kenya and the European bloc on regional matters.

The two leaders met when Michel paid a courtesy call to President Kenyatta at State House Nairobi.

The meeting was also attended by EU Ambassador to Kenya Simon Mordue, Cabinet secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs) and Adan Mohamed (East African Community), Head of Public Service Dr Joseph Kinyua and State House Deputy Chief of Staff incharge of Strategy Mrs Ruth Kagia.

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