Your Excellency Honourable William RUTO;
Deputy President of the Republic of Kenya;
Honourable Fellow Ministers;
Your Excellencies Ambassadors and Heads of Mission;
Honourable Alhaji Muhammad MUMUNI, Secretary-General of the ACP Group of States; Distinguished Guests;
Ladies and Gentlemen;


First of all, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the Authorities and people of Kenya who, through their combined efforts, have shown us, since our arrival here, exactly what the word “hospitality” means in the Kenyan tradition.

The warm, personalized welcome that every delegation has received, as well as the excellent facilities provided for our meeting, leave no doubt regarding the dual objective: that of ensuring that we have a pleasant stay in Nairobi and that the deliberations of the 99th session of the ACP Council of Ministers take place in conditions conducive to success.On behalf of mycountry, Tanzania, and on the behalf of the ministerial delegations present here today, I wish to sincerely thank the government and people of Kenya and to pay tribute to their senseof hospitality and fellowship.

This sensitive and generous attention on the part of the Kenyan Authorities and people is ever-present despite all the difficulties and constraints that this country must face to ensure the safety of people and property against horrific terrorist acts on a scale rarely seen. Lawless, armed gangs with no particular beliefs are making every effort to ensure that Kenya pays a high price for its determination to take an active part in the process to restore security to the East Africa sub region.

This is an appropriate time and place to pay a rousing tribute to the courage and selflessness of the Kenyan government which continues, with remarkable resilience, to play its frontline role in the war on terrorism and subversive actions designed to destabilize the entire Horn of Africa.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Kenya’s struggle for peace serves to remind us that the ACP space continues, unfortunately, to be rocked in many regions by conflicts and instability. We have been monitoring with unease and indignation the deterioration of the situation in Central Africa Republic, a sister country which with every passing day seems to be sinking further into the horrors of inter-religious clashes. I am appealing to my Central African brothers and sisters to stop and reflect and understand that these blood baths are not helping anyone and will ultimately lead to the isolation of a country that the world had hit herto considered as peaceful and full of promise.

In other areas like the Sahelo-saharan zone and the Great Lakes Region, periods of calm and the resurgence of violence alternate, constantly reminding us of the extreme fragilityof balanceand the need for all the parties concerned to intensify their efforts to cultivate, through inclusive and meaningful dialogue, lasting political solutions, the guarantee of lasting peace.

Aware now more than ever of the nexus between safety and development, the governments of all the ACP States have placed as key priorities on their programmes the fightagainst insecurity, cross-border crime, terrorism and all illicit trafficking – all of them scourges that are destroying our countries and regions and constitute a permanent threat to economic development and social progress.

Today’s news is largely dominated by the distress caused in various places by armed groups and gangs which detonate bombs in public places, kidnap, imprisonand massacre innocent people, foster hatred and intolerance, and all in the name of ideologies which only find these cowardly and shameful means of expression.

We all know that no religion in the world justifies or condones such horrors and atrocities. No one fooled and we all understand that the only aim of all this violence is to disturb the established order and to destabilise our countries and regions to better entrench cross-border crime.

As politicians, it is our duty to thwart all these attempts to destabilize conducted by terrorist groups, criminal organizations and narco-traffickers; we can achieve this by combining our programmes to combat these scourges through close cooperationamong our States and regions.

As politicians, we also need to engage more resolutely, with the help of our partners, in implementing our development programmes for the welfare of our populations, because it is this factor that will foster social cohesion. It is also the factor that will convince our fellow citizens that their countries can offer them what they are tempted to seek elsewhere, to the point of risking theirlivesin desperate sea voyages.

Of course, I am alluding here to the thorny issue of migration, which remains one of the major challenges that we are striving to tackle in the framework of our partnership with the European Union. The ongoing ACP-EU dialogue on migration and development aims specifically to ensure that the two sides understand each other on concrete and harmonious policies and actions, capable of promoting the positive impact of migratory movements on development, with strict adherence to legality, dignity and human rights.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

During this 99th session of the ACP Council of Ministers and the 39th session of the ACP-EU Council of Ministers, we will have the opportunity to take stock of some of the main aspects of the ACP-EU partnership.

We will take stock of the negotiations on theEconomic Partnership Agreements (EPA) to ascertain the stage reached in the various regional configurations and assess the prospects available in this sphere. Let me recall in this regard that for several years now these negotiations have been among our primary concerns. The ACP side is working with a positive momentum and striving to conclude the negotiations and effectively implement those Agreements that have already been concluded.

There has been some progress but it is still not exactly what the ACP Group has been calling for, namely full incorporation of the development dimension so that the main purpose of the partnership – the fight against poverty –becomes truly meaningful. The philosophy that continues to motivate us in the EPA negotiations is simple: in the final analysis, no ACP State should find itself in a disadvantageous position as a result of the conclusion and application of these Agreements.

The Council of Ministers will also be presented with the conclusions of the Working Group on the post-2015 Development Agenda. The Council will therefore be required to consider a draft ACP-EU joint declaration that will reflect the common vision of the ACP Group and the European Union on the programme that needs to be implemented to ensure development after 2015.

The issue of private sector development as one of the vectors of development in ACP States will also occupy our attention. In that regard, we will review, with a view to adoption, an ACP strategic framework which is articulated around four priority areas, namely improving the business environment, developing and building entrepreneurship and micro-enterprises, improving access to credit for micro-, and small and medium-size enterprises and building competitiveness and the access of these enterprises to regional and global markets. Going beyond this framework, it will be a question of agreeing with the EU side an official framework for ACP-EU cooperation for private sector development.

As regards development finance, we hope that at the end of our discussions with our European partners, we will achieve an outcome to enable us to develop a strategy for intra-ACP programming under the 11th EDF based on core sectors agreed by the two sides.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There is perhaps no need to mention that the availability of the 11thEDFis contingent on the ratification of the text derived from the 2nd revision of the Cotonou Agreement by at least two-thirds of the ACP States and all the 28 Member States of the European Union. To date, 57 ACPStates and only 21 EU Member States have ratified the text and submitted their instruments of ratification according to standard procedure.

I commend the ACP States that have honoured their obligation and so enabled the ACP Group to achieve the minimum required. I urgently appeal to the other ACP countries to do likewise because, if not, they will not be able to benefit from the multiannual financial framework once the EU side has fully completed its ratification process.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In conclusion, I wish to recall and also to inform those who are not yet aware, that the ACP Heads of State and Government will hold their 8th Summit in Paramaribo, Suriname on 6 and 7 November 2014.

The primary aim of the Summit will be to chart the future of the ACP Group building on the reflections that were initiated during the previous Summit held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on 12 and 13 December 2012. The outcome of the 7th Summit is aptly captured in the “Sipopo Declaration”. In November, our leaders will have an opportunity of considering the Report of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) which would have taken into account the recommendations of the Ambassadorial Working Group on the Future Perspectives of the ACP Group beyond 2020.

The setting up of the Eminent Persons Group was an initiative of the erstwhile Secretary-General, an action which was applauded by the Council of Ministers and endorsed by the ACP Summit. This move was borne out of the need to rejuvenate the ACP Group, enabling it to respond to global developments within itself and with present partners and thereby justifying its continued existence.

Talking of the future, some renowned economic analysts tell us that in conservative terms, the world economy is projected to double in size by 2032 and nearly doubling again by 2050. China is projected to overtake the US as the largest economy before 2030. India should become the third ‘global economic giant’ by 2050, a long way ahead of Brazil, which is expected to move up to 4th place ahead of Japan. Russia could overtake Germany to become the largest European economy before 2035. Emerging economies such as Mexico and Indonesia could be larger than the UK and France by 2050, and Turkey larger than Italy.

Outside the G20, Vietnam, Malaysia and Nigeria all have strong long-term growth potential, while Poland should comfortably outpace the large Western European economies for the next couple of decades. These are projections by some analysts. It is time for us to start making projections of where we want to see our group in the years ahead.

I am informed that the EPG under the wise, able and committed leadership of Chief Olusegun, Obasanjo, and former President of Nigeria is doing a commendable job. I would like to encourage them to continue with their good work and we look forward to receiving their progress report in the course of our deliberations.

Remembering the adage that the “future is in our hands’ I call on Colleague Ministers and other Heads of Delegation here today to convey the message about the Summit to their respective Heads of State and Government. We hope that by participating in large numbers, our leaders will ensure that the 8th Summit is a success in a manner commensurate with the stakes involved in securing the future of our Group.


Thank you for your kind attention.