RE: “Tanzania’s U-turn sparks calls for rethink of EU trade deal” (The New Times, July 14).
Tanzania has said no to the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) that’s set to guide trade between the East African Community (EAC) and the EU.
In fact, this decision is long overdue. Africa is currently negotiating the CFTA for the whole continent, under which Africa will be one market. This is a much bigger market than what we would get from the EU, given that our goods can compete on the African market.
We cannot sacrifice our future industries just to continue exporting some raw agricultural goods to Europe. The objective now is to industrialise, add value, and we cannot do this under EPA because EU’s cheap, high quality goods will flood our market.
At least, if the exempted EU goods were “few”, but by 2028, over 80 per cent of EU goods will have access here tax free. I don’t know why any East African would support such a deal.