Economic Partnership Agreements: Losing policy space

We are pleased to share the research paper of Dr Andrew Ssemwanga as an external contribution to the HDRI. It has been presented at the Regional Policy Forum on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) in 2011.

Download the study


The general objective of this paper was to find out whether the EAC Partner states could lose or have lost policy space as a result of Economic Partnership Agreements(EPAs) between European Union (EU) and East African Community (EAC). The author used secondary data in form of research papers and other sources as indicated in the reference section.

EAC which consists of Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda is in general, geographically and economically homogeneous. EAC is currently a Common Market and could become a Political Federation in future (East African Community, 2011). EU has had a long trading relationship with EAC since 1957. Originally, the trading was between EU and ACP countries of which EAC Partner states are members. In 2000, EU was required by the WTO to engage in trading relationship with EAC which was compatible with WTO trading rules that dictate reciprocal trade protocols between the two parties. In 2000, EU and EAC signed a trade agreement which would make their trading relationship compatible with WTO trading rules. That agreement is referred to as Cotonou Agreement and also called Economic Partnership Agreement. Towards the end of 2007, the two parties initialled an interim trade agreement called the Framework of Economic Partnership Agreement (FEPA) which replaced the expired Cotonou Agreement (European Commission, 2011).

The author set out to test the following hypothesis:

EAC Partner states could lose or have lost policy as a result of EPAs between EU and EAC.

The authors also presents findings and recommendations in the paper available above.


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