NEWS: EPAs high on agenda during EU President’s Tanzania visit
Brussels, 22 July 2012/ EU Press Release / ACP: The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, accompanied by European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, visited Tanzania over the weekend. He met with the President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete and senior ministers of the government. The visit contributes to reinforce the high-level political dialogue and economic cooperation with Tanzania. Six new development programmes will be launched to improve access to water and sanitation, strengthen the road transport sector and rural road infrastructure, as well as good governance and social accountability.
Ahead of the visit, President Barroso stated: "Tanzania has become one of the EU's main partners in Africa, and is also playing an increasingly important role in the stability of the whole region. We now want to deepen our regular political dialogue with Tanzania and further increase our cooperation in areas like energy, security, anti-piracy, counter-terrorism or migration; issues which are of concern both for Africa and the European Union."
Noting the considerable prospects for growth in Tanzania, he added: "I am also pleased to further increase our development cooperation by launching new programmes that will encourage inclusive growth and help us to make even more of a difference in the fight against poverty."
Six new financing agreements were scheduled to be signed during the visit, worth a total of €126.5 million. This new support will help to rehabilitate more than 200 km of roads or provide access to drinking water for 500,000 people and to improved sanitation infrastructure and services for some 140,000 inhabitants.
The signature of the East African Community (EAC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union is also high on the agenda of the discussions as Tanzania's commitment will be instrumental to reaching an agreement soon.
Tanzania will become the chair of the SADC (Southern African Development Community) troika after the August SADC summit. The SADC's goal is to reinforce socio-economic cooperation and integration, as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states. It complements the role of the African Union. Tanzania will accordingly play a key role in mediating conflicts on the continent (Zimbabwe, Madagascar, DRC/Rwanda).
Tanzania is part of the East African Community (EAC), an intergovernmental organisation which includes also Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda which has established a customs union and a common market for its member countries.
Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) aim to create a free trade area (FTA) between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). The EPAs are a key element of the Cotonou Agreement, the latest agreement in the history of ACP-EU Development Cooperation. Negotiations between the EU and the EAC are not yet completed.
Tanzania is also an important partner of the European Union in the fight against Somali piracy, which also threatens their off-shore gas activities.
Under the 10th European Development Fund (2008-2013), more that €606 million have been allocated to cooperation with Tanzania; focusing on three main areas: general budget support, infrastructure, and trade and regional integration (particularly agriculture).
For further information visit EuropeAid Development and Cooperation DG: http://ec.europa.eu/europeaid/index_en.htm
MEMO/12/584 – EU Cooperation – Tanzania