NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The Common Market for Eastern and
Southern Africa (COMESA) plans to mediate between Kenya
and Zambia trade dispute, officials said on Monday.
Mageni, COMESA Director for Trade Customs, told
journalists in Nairobi that Zambia has prevented milk
and palm oil exports from Kenya over health standards
and rules of origins respectively.
working closely with officials from Kenya and Zambia in
order to resolve the issue in order to promote
intra-regional trade,” Mageni said during the Fourth
COMESA Heads of Customs Sub-Committee meeting.
Zambia has rejected milk imports from Kenya because it
contains a total bacteria count beyond the maximum
levels permitted in Zambia.
“It has been
argued by Kenya that whatever the bacterial count, milk
that has gone through the ultra heat treatment (UHT)
kills all pathogens making it safe for human
consumption,” Mageni added.
In order to
unlock the trade impasse, scientists from the United
Nations Food and Agricultural Organization have also
been consulted to determine if Kenya’s milk is safe for
said that whether the trade dispute will be resolved
hinges on the COMESA member states but there is no set
are good to gauge progress or achieve results but there
are certain things if you fix timelines you set up
yourself for failure,” he added.
official said that Zambia officials have already being
invited to inspect the safety of Kenya’s milk value
chain in order to find a holistic solution.
also imposed restrictions on Kenyan palm oil exports
because it doubts whether they have enough local content
to get preferential access into the Zambia market.
that COMESA has facilitated Zambian officials to visit
Kenyan palm oil production facilities to confirm if the
edible oils are produced in Kenya.
He said the
trading bloc has managed to eliminate over 150 Non
Tariff Barriers (NTB) between the member states over the
past two decades.
that the most difficult NTBs to remove is where
influential players who own industries encourage their
government to put in place barriers that will shield
domestic industry from foreign competition.