Kenya, European Union signs trade agreement

Kenya and the European Union have signed a long-negotiated trade agreement to increase the flow of goods between the two markets, President William Ruto said, as Brussels pursues stronger economic ties with Africa.

“Although today represents a moment of monumental promise, it is also the beginning of a historic partnership for historic transformation,” Ruto said at a ceremony attended by European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

The Economic Partnership Agreement will give Kenya duty-free and quota-free access to the EU, its biggest export market, while European goods will receive progressive tariff reductions.

“The core of this arrangement is to put real money into the pockets of ordinary people,” said Ruto.

EU chief von der Leyen said the partnership was a “win-win situation on both sides” and called on other East African nations to join the pact, which came after years of negotiations that concluded in June.

“We are opening a new chapter in our very strong relationship and now our effort should be focused on implementation,” she said.

Both the Kenyan and the European parliaments must ratify the deal before it comes into force.

The European Council said last week that the deal was “the most ambitious economic partnership” it had with a developing country.

The council said in a statement, it includes commitments to sustainable development in areas such as labour rights and environmental protection.

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Comfort Samuel

I work with TV360 Nigeria, as a broadcast journalist, producer and reporter. I'm so passionate on what I do.

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