DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania
(Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities have
said they were pulling out of the Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs)
with the European Union (EU) bloc.
The announcement made
the east African nation, the second largest economy in the region,
the first to pull out of the EPAs from the East African Community (EAC)
The EPAs were meant to allow the EAC bloc to trade directly with
the EU countries.
Aziz Mlima, the country’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, said the move was aimed at protecting the country’s
infant economy now that the government was spearheading the
establishment of an industrial economy.
According to political and economic observers, Tanzania’s pullout
from the EU-sponsored economic agreements will likely spell a big
blow to Kenya, a member of the EAC bloc which had intense interest
in the deals as they benefited its flower exports to EU countries.
Mlima said besides protecting local industries, there was still
some confusion following the United Kingdom’s vote to withdrawal
from the EU about two weeks ago.
"The possible biggest harm derived from signing the EPAs is
turning small countries’ economies into international markets for
developed countries’ products, hence killing their local
industries," he said.
He added that apart from economic interests, signing of EPAs on
July 18, this year, for Tanzania was too early given that it needed
more time to study the agreements by various public departments and
He said other individual EAC countries of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda,
Burundi and South Sudan were free to sign the EPAs if they felt they
would benefit from them.
A renowned economist, Samuel Wangwe, commended the move, saying
it had no benefits to Tanzania as it favoured Kenya with its flowers
and vegetables exports to EU countries duty free.
"EPA won’t help in promoting our local industries but rather,
will benefit a lot given that developing countries have standard
goods to sell in EA markets," he said.
The Minister for Industry and Trade, Charles Mwijage, also
commended the move, saying EPA agreements were tricky as EU allowed
goods exports despite being aware that African countries could not
meet international standards due to their smaller economies.
He said allowing EU goods to freely flood the EAC meant killing
local industries and turning the country into a source of raw
In May, this year, Tanzanian former President Benjamin Mkapa
warned East African leaders over embracing EPAs; saying they could
negatively impact the countries’ pre-mature economy.
Mkapa said signing EPA could hinder development pass-way of EA
countries and lead them into de-industrialization, adding that he
did not understand how such a powerful bloc like the EU could have
trade agreement with developing countries.
European countries have been soliciting EA countries signing EPA
through offering customs-free access to their (European) markets,
especially for Kenyan products.
Tanzania’s inflation rises to
5.5 pct in June
DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) --
Tanzania’s inflation rate rose to 5.5 percent in June from 5.2
percent recorded a month before, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)
said on Friday.
NBS Director of Population Census and Social Statistics, Ephraim
Kwesigabo, said the inflation was pushed higher by rising food
prices during the holy month of Ramadan.
He said annual inflation rate for food consumed at home and away
from home increased to 8.3 percent in June from 7.2 percent
registered in May.
Some food items that sent inflation higher included maize grains,
cassava flour, fresh fish, clotted milk, green beans, and fresh
However, non-food items had also played its role in the rising of
the inflation, said Kwesigabo, adding that dental services and
diesel and petrol have contributed to the high inflation.
Brexit impacts African
JOHANNESBURG South Africa (Xinhua) --
African markets will suffer from market volatility as
a result of Brexit, a global consulting firm Control Risks said on
The short-term implications of Brexit for African economies will
be mainly noticeable through market volatility, the firm said in a
And the longer-term impacts are speculative and depend as much on
the attitude of future British governments as on the terms of exit,
according to its report released in Johannesburg.
The longer term implications—both economic and geopolitical—hinge
on what the terms of Britain leaving the EU are, and how this feeds
through transmission mechanism to Africa through trade, aid and soft
power and political influence, said the report.
"Ultimately, the impact of Brexit for the continent will be
defined by the global agenda in the coming months.
"As political risk has increased in the traditionally safe havens
of Europe and with the election in the U.S. later this year, there
is less scope for international cooperation to address issues of
particular relevance to African countries such as peace and security
issues, development, impacts of climate change," said Jean Devlin,
Director for Africa Analysis, at Control Risks.
"We see the longer-term impacts as a continuation of the relative
decline of European powers’influence on the continent that has been
a feature of the past decade with increasingly diverse sources of
investment from outside Africa," he said.
Britain will still retain cultural and trade links through the
commonwealth, but outside the EU bloc will likely be more reliant on
its own diplomatic channels, Devlin said.
This will especially be the case in countries where it has fewer
historical ties such as Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Angola and many
smaller francophone or Lusophone countries.
Many observers in Africa see the UK’s "Leave" vote as a sign that
Britain will become a more inwardly-focused country with less focus
and interest in upholding commitments to human rights and inclusive
Whether this is perception or reality, the influence of the UK’s
Department for International Development (DFID) on the development
agenda is likely to change, the report said.
DFID has played an influential role over the past 15-20 years in
setting a progressive agenda for EU development aid.