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Presentation bieac final-regional_conference_by_victor_ogalo

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Presentation bieac final-regional_conference_by_victor_ogalo

  1. 1. KEY MESSAGES FROM BIEAC PROJECT: Challenges and Succeses By Victor Ogalo CUTS Africa Resource Centre Nairobi, Kenya Email: [email_address]   November, 2010
  2. 2. Context <ul><li>Internal Integration of EAC Partner States </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Long impasse (1977-1999) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Umbricht Report on the Mediation of Assets of the defunct East African Community and in the Mediation Agreement 1984 on the division of assets and liabilities reveals the ghost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>lack of strong political goodwill; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>lack of strong participation of the PSOs and CSOs in the co-operation activities; </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>continued disproportionate sharing of benefits among the Member States; and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>lack of adequate policies to address such problems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Renewed commitment to rejoin but the ghost keeps revisiting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The entry of Burundi and Rwanda good but requires rethinking on how they can catch up with the rest & gain equitably. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inter-Regional Integration with COMESA-SADC </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What opportunities and challenges posed on EAC? </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Context (2) <ul><li>EPAs Negotiations with EU </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main innovation of Cotonou Agreement is the mandatory incorporation of CSOs and PSOs as new and equal actors on the political level and in determining the main development policies for their countries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Feb 2007, mid-term review of EPA negotiations had already announced  that EPAs would not have been concluded within the deadline (31 Dec 2007), due to very divergent positions and to lack of competency from ACP countries in withstanding the rhythms and the agenda of  the EU. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Since then, the EU seems to have adopted the pressure methods: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>under the threat of a tariff increase on exports of the ACP countries not classified as LDCs, 18 African countries have escaped from their regional trading blocks and have initialed different bilateral EPAs with the EU. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>There is no doubt that EU deals with those countries whose economy is still based on export chains to the EU market (Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya,) to whip the rest </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EAC-EU Negotiations have missed many deadline because of a logjam on issues of interest to EAC and that would honor the spirit of EPA objectives. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Context (3) <ul><li>Purpose for BIEAC Project </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To support a range of CSOs in EAC to build their capacity to carry-out policy advocacy and public awareness on arrange of issues in line with the challenges below related to EAC regional integration: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementing regional policies by Partner States such as phasing out fully the tariffs within the region, implementing the CET, as well as removing non-tariff barriers (NTBs). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Possible adjustments to the CET and external trade terms such as those relating to EPAs and the region’s wider regional integration process envisaged with SADC and COMESA. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adjusting to emerging economic and social dynamics to ensure that trade integration creates new opportunities and equitable redistribution of resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ensuring regional integration most effectively contributes to promoting inclusive developments and poverty reduction including assisting those marginalised to access new trading opportunities. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Key Messages <ul><li>Phase I on EPAs: Key Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>25 years of ACP-EU Cooperation (1975-2000) demonstrated that aid cannot create devt; trade is a determining factor but rules matter. </li></ul><ul><li>Tariffs are no longer the concern; unfair trade rules, and NTBs are key to unlocking potential of trade with EU; but the impasse on EAC-EPA negotiations remains on these issues. What is the purpose of EPAs then? </li></ul><ul><li>Main challenges in EAC-EU EPA remain rules of origin, MFN clause, agriculture sector, services, and sustainable development. </li></ul><ul><li>Trade impacts socio-economic and political fabrics of communities differently but EPA policies are not mainstreamed in EAC national dev’t plans and are not in sync with grassroots views, needs and aspirations. </li></ul><ul><li>There exists great asymmetry and incoherence on info on the status, content and understanding implications of the EPAs. This is the reason for tag of war pitting CSOs/MPs/small traders vs. gov’t & private sector. </li></ul><ul><li>Although the EAC Secretariat merely facilitate the EPA talks, the negotiating (hence contracting) parties are nation states and not Community as people have been made to believe and CSOs are largely missing from negotiations. </li></ul><ul><li>EPA discussions largely being driven by EU interests </li></ul>
  6. 6. Key Messages: Main Challenges <ul><li>Phase I on EPAs: Key Recommendation </li></ul><ul><li>More than ever, CSOs need to be vigilant, they cannot afford to be fatigued by the EPA process until they see their inputs in the final result; </li></ul><ul><li>CSOs must ensure the goals and objectives of the CPA enshrined in the EPA are adhered to e.g. persistently check the agreement qualifies as a tool for true development, addressing the supply side constraints facing EAC states and preserving requisite policy space. For that reason, they need support in their capacity and resources to follow up and understand the evolving terms of EPA. </li></ul><ul><li>East African people need to be sensitised enough on the negotiations to enable them keep track of the evolving terms and bridge the gap on info. </li></ul><ul><li>Before the region signs a comprehensive EPA (if it ever gets to agree) with the EU, an assessment must be made involving civil society, private sector, government, and parliamentarians on the suitability of the EPAs first on their intended objectives and secondly on the development benchmarks set by the EAC and on the dev’t plans of National states. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Key Messages: Main Challenges <ul><li>Phase II on Regional Integration: Key Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Regional integration in EAC is still very much state-centric, biased to the market side and lacking in people-centeredness c.f. the defunct EAC </li></ul><ul><li>The NTB monitoring mechanism is dysfunctional. </li></ul><ul><li>Questions linger on what measures can fully exorcise the ghost of 1977; we can forgive but not forget is common but some fears are over exaggerated . The spirit of brotherhood is still not yet inculcated among E. Africans </li></ul><ul><li>The EAC Treaty is clear on involvement and role of CSOs generally in regional integration process but it is not clear on their entry points. </li></ul><ul><li>A major challenge is lack of awareness and a lot of misinformation. Low sharing of information among CSOs & their projects remain duplicative; many researches done by EAC remain technical and in shelves. </li></ul><ul><li>CSOs in some Partner State do not enjoy the freedom of free thought as is enjoyed by counterparts in other countries. Their ineffective participation cannot be blamed wholly on insufficient capacity but a lot more on constrained freedoms, democracy and recognition by the state. </li></ul><ul><li>Some PSOs feel CSOs are not fit to work on an area of their domain but they lack evidence to effectively advocate change. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Key Messages: Main Challenges <ul><li>Phase II on Regional Integration: Key Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple membership in RECs is still a problem; </li></ul><ul><li>Treaty and Protocols are in unfriendly language as many people in EAC do not speak English. They are also technical even for the English speakers. </li></ul><ul><li>Invitations of CSOs at High-level taskforce is haphazard </li></ul>
  9. 9. Key Messages: Main Challenges <ul><li>Phase II on Regional Integration: Key Recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>The problem of multiple REC membership by EAC PS can be addressed through fast-tracking the Tripartite discussions involving EAC-COMESA-SADC </li></ul><ul><li>There is strength in forming coalitions between CSOs and PSOs and with state and promote triangular dialogue on regional integration. </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy and mobilisation is the key mandate of CSOs but they need to do evidence-based advocacy hence need to carryout more research is required; these can be done jointly to avoid duplications and CSOs should provide alternatives. </li></ul><ul><li>There is need to continue enhancing capacity to engage and increase awareness from the Capitals to the grassroots. </li></ul><ul><li>build capacity to monitor the protocols </li></ul><ul><li>Put in place legally-binding structures of engagement with CSOs </li></ul><ul><li>CSOs should form themselves into effective networks, share information and avoid duplicative projects </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance national civil society networks </li></ul><ul><li>Need to do specific studies that identify specific opportunities for the poor </li></ul>
  10. 10. Key Messages: Main Challenges <ul><li>Phase II on Regional Integration: Key Recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Tripartite will help solve the problem of multiple REC membership but this needs to be fast-tracked. </li></ul><ul><li>There is need to speed up harmonisation of national policies with the regional policies. </li></ul><ul><li>There is need to form and strengthen coalitions between CSOs and PSOs and with state and promote triangular dialogue on regional integration. </li></ul><ul><li>Need to inculcate spirit of brotherhood and a change of mindset among E. Africans </li></ul><ul><li>Right to food should be upheld in the region and we need to balance interventions and policies promoting food crops and cash crops </li></ul>
  11. 11. Thank you! Thank you for your time, attention and comments

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