DAR ES SALAAM
Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian Foreign
Minister Augustine Mahiga said on Wednesday the east African
nation will host the 17th extraordinary East African Community (EAC)
heads of state summit on Sept. 8.
Yoweri Museveni and Rwandan President Paul Kagame have confirmed
While Kenya and Burundi will send representatives to the
summit to be chaired by Tanzanian President John Magufuli in the
commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
The signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with
the European Union (EU) will be on top of the agenda of the
summit, Mahiga told a news conference.
Mahiga reiterated that Tanzania will not sign the agreement
unless its industrial economy policy is included in the
agreement and the exit of Britain from the EU discussed.
He said Tanzania should also be assured that signing the EPA
agreement will not affect other trade agreements within the EAC,
especially the EAC single customs territory.
"EU is an industrial giant; there are many issues that must
be addressed because there are a lot of issues that have changed
since we started the negotiations on EPA," said the minister.
Kenya and Rwanda have already signed the pact despite the
requirement that countries must sign together as a bloc for the
agreement to become operational.
The EAC council of ministers met in Arusha this week and
failed to agree on the way forward following Tanzania’s stance
on the matter.
European countries have been soliciting EA countries to sign
EPA through offering customs-free access to European markets.
Mahiga said the Burundi crisis and South Sudan, a new member
of the regional bloc, will also be discussed by the summit.