East Africa: Museveni Warns Europe On EPA

East African leaders have delayed to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) recently agreed with the European Union (EU) so as to ensure a better trade deal.

Speaking during the July 14 French national day (Bastille) celebrations at the French ambassador's residence in Nakasero, President Museveni said leaders would not sign on July 18 as planned.

"This is because there was no proper coordination on our side. This very important matter was not brought to the heads of states. It was being handled by ministers. This is, however, not an issue of just ministers," he said.

"The presidents should have been fully briefed. I have read the treaty myself, all the 146 articles of that treaty and we are going to discuss it at the summit level, possibly the end of this month or early August. Therefore, I would urge the commissioner of the EU not to be excited."

Recently, a senior Tanzanian diplomat said his country would not sign the pact because EU is engulfed in "turmoil" caused by Britain's exit.

Museveni said trade premised on mutual benefit should be top of the five areas of cooperation between 'Uganda and Africa on the one hand and Europe on the other.

"Trading together creates mutual support for each other's prosperity. When I buy what you produce, I am supporting your prosperity. I am giving you resources. I am supporting jobs in your country. Similarly, when you buy what I produce, you are supporting my prosperity," Museveni said.

Ambassador Sophie Makame said France, together with its 32 companies in Uganda, have invested 450 million Euros here.

Source: The Observer