FINN’S FACTS: How Mramba, Mwapachu gave away our future to Europe


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FINN’S FACTS: How Mramba, Mwapachu gave away our future to Europe

Finnigan wa Simbeye
THIS DAY

SOME members of the African Union who are also party to Africa, Caribbean and Pacific states bloc currently negotiating economic partnership agreements with European Commission have expressed concern over the signing of an interim agreement between East African Community members and the EC.

Trade, Industry and Marketing Minister Basil Pesambili Mramba signed on behalf of Tanzania alongside his counterparts from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

Mramba has assured the public that the interim EPA deal is provisional and that detailed negotiations leading to the signing of a comprehensive trade and development agreement will be concluded in the next two years.

On his side, EAC Secretary General Juma Mwapachu, the man who shoulders the bulk of the blame for taking the region into a disastrous trade pact that will witness massive job losses and depletion of government revenue by 2022, is putting on a brave face and emphasizing that it will benefit the smallholder coffee farmer in Kilimanjaro and his peer in Mbeya who plants tea.

The argument is pretty good and powerful, if we don’t sign the interim deal, then come January 1, 2008, EAC commodity exporters would have lost the market in Europe because then a five-year WTO waiver issued in favour of ACP-EU preferential trade regime which discriminates against other WTO members, would be expired.

But as a least developed country, does Tanzania need to worry about that? We certainly signed to save cut flower producers from Kenya whose government was increasingly under pressure from trans-national corporations which include Unilever, Home Grown, Oserean and many others, which feared to lose the lucrative European market come January 1, 2008.

Kenya is a developing country and the EC argues that under EPA trade deal, Nairobi should open up its market to European exports by 2022. By any means, Nairobi has no option but to sign the EPA deal by December 31, 2007 and start the 15 years countdown to trade reciprocity with Europe on January 1, 2008.

Nairobi which negotiated the EPA through Eastern and Southern Africa�a faction of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa), had asked for a 25-year period of grace before opening up to superior European exports.

The EC rejected the proposal from ESA and stuck to its proposed 15-year-grace period but this time around Nairobi managed to drag along four LDCs which include Tanzania to fall prey to the EC�s carefully calculated move. After all under the East African Customs Union which we kick-started in January 2005, the EAC members will cease imposing duty on most of the goods manufactured in the region by 2012.

Currently, its only Kenyan exports that are attracting duty while entering other EAC member country markets.

Until mid this year, the EAC EPA bloc was non-existent and Tanzania was negotiating the EPA under Southern African Development Community while Kenya alongside Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda negotiated under ESA.

So what was signed by the EAC was actually an ESA position which was heavily influenced by Kenya and which many ESA LDCs didn’t subscribe to.

Ultimately, Kenya’s position is that of trans-national European corporations which have heavily invested in Nairobi�s economy including cut flower producers.

The EAC is under company rule but its people who will heavily suffer the consequences are silent, some cheering.

While, we in the EAC have thus surrendered our future economic prowess to Europe, some senior officials from the Economic Community of West African States who are pressing for an extension of time to negotiate EPAs, are concerned that what the Arusha based bloc has done, puts the other six EPA negotiating blocs within the ACP group in a difficult position.

As Mramba and Mwapachu argue that the interim trade pact is only temporary and was necessary to ensure that our smallholder tea and coffee farmers as well as Lake Victoria fishermen continue accessing the European market come January 1, 2008, their peers at Ecowas feel that in fact, the EAC bloc has sold off Africa’s future because the EC has already started dividing and weakening them.

A united front by the ACP bloc which includes Ecowas and EAC, would have given the members a stronger bargaining platform with the mighty EC unlike the functioning which has been triggered by the Arusha based regional bloc.

Ecowas, which was the first of the ACP blocs to start negotiating an EPA with the EC in 2003 argues that it needs more time to address sensitive issues put on the table by the Europeans which are pending at World Trade Organizations such as government procurement, trade facilitation, investment protection and trade in services.

The Europeans know that trade is fundamental to their sustainable development and survival hence the decision by politicians to stay away from the EPA negotiating process and let experts, the EC which is an executive arm of the European Union (EU), take the lead.

The EC has on several occasions been criticized by some ACP leaders of being too aggressive in the EPA negotiations and until a fortnight ago when the Mramba, Mwapachu and other EAC trade ministers signed that interim EPA deal in Kampala, the Arusha based bloc was also critical of the EC’s aggressive approach.

While pushing for trade reciprocity, which is the bane of EPA negotiations, the EC is said to have categorically refused to negotiate its agriculture subsidies arguing that the same is a pending subject of negotiation at the WTO.

For the EAC bloc, however, little should be expected even if the negotiations could have gone on for decades because our leaders are insensitive to trade matters, they prefer to spend sleepless nights negotiating aid packages.
 
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Hivi ni vitu ambavyo wanasiasa (both CCM and Upinzani) inabidi wawaelimishe wananchi nikitu gani kinaendelea....i.e. faida na hasara.........sasa watu wamekaa kimya kana kwamba its ok kwa wananchi wa Tz.............yaani huyu Mramba huyu.......

Au mimi ndio nimepitwa pengine kulikuwa na public awareness ya hii kitu.............i don't think so!!
 
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As Mramba and Mwapachu argue that the interim trade pact is only temporary and was necessary to ensure that our smallholder tea and coffee farmers as well as Lake Victoria fishermen continue accessing the European market come January 1, 2008, their peers at Ecowas feel that in fact, the EAC bloc has sold off Africa's future because the EC has already started dividing and weakening them.

Yaani hili ndilo Goli lenyewe................

For the EAC bloc, however, little should be expected even if the negotiations could have gone on for decades because our leaders are insensitive to trade matters, they prefer to spend sleepless nights negotiating aid packages.

loooohhhhh!!!!! maskini sisi
 
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Hivi ni vitu ambavyo wanasiasa (both CCM and Upinzani) inabidi wawaelimishe wananchi nikitu gani kinaendelea....i.e. faida na hasara.........sasa watu wamekaa kimya kana kwamba its ok kwa wananchi wa Tz.............yaani huyu Mramba huyu.......

Au mimi ndio nimepitwa pengine kulikuwa na public awareness ya hii kitu.............i don't think so!!
Ogah

Ni kweli kaka. Mjadala wa umma Tanzania kuhusu EPA umekuwa mdogo sana. Kuna thread nilianzisha hapa sijui imeishia wapi. NSA walipewa fedha kwa ajili ya kuhakikisha wananchi(soma wadau) wanashiriki katika huu mchakato na mijadala yake. Vyama vya siasa vina dhima kubwa sana ya kuibua huu mjadala na kuhakikisha ushiriki wa umma.

Mod, ile thread nyingine iko wapi?

Jj
 
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Hii habari ya EPA kuna wakati mh kijana Zitto aliibua Bungeni, lakini waheshimiwa wakaamua kuupindisha mjadala kwa kuanza kujadili LUGHA aliyotumia badala ya HOJA aliyotoa. Kwamba ati kasema "mh waziri haelewi anachokifanya" hiyo ni kumdhalilisha waziri! Hata Mzee Sitta alimjia juu na kumwambia kuwa hata awe na utaalam kiasi gani kwenye fani yake haimpi madaraka ya "kuwatukana" mawaziri kwamba hawajui wanachokifanya. Mjadala wa EPA ukaishia kwenye malumbano ya kipuzi, siku hiyo nilikuwa Tz niliangalia kipindi cha Bunge, niliudhika sana. Mbona huku UK wakuu wanasemana maneno makali kuliko, na mjadala bado unaendelea vizuri tu bila kuondoka kwenye hoja, au ni ile kasumba ya "shikamoo", kwamba kama mtu kakuzidi umri ati hupaswi kumwambia ukweli? Mkubwa akiachia shuzi (samahani kwa mfano huu), ati inabidi mvumilie harufu au mumsingizie mdogo, ukisema kweli huna adabu? Tutafika kweli?
 
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Mbona huku UK wakuu wanasemana maneno makali kuliko, na mjadala bado unaendelea vizuri tu
Aisee siku nyingine huwa naangalia Commons huwa mpaka nataka kucheka jinsi jamaa wanavyopigana madongo kama watoto wa shule ya msingi (complete with the rowdy partisan noise and bench thumping kama kwenye gulio la illiterate traders).

Lakini true hiyo hawauichukulii personal na mijadala inaendelea kujadiliwa kwa kina.Inabidi tuwe na such a sense of humor na lightheartedness.
 
Bongolander

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Hivi ni vitu ambavyo wanasiasa (both CCM and Upinzani) inabidi wawaelimishe wananchi nikitu gani kinaendelea....i.e. faida na hasara.........sasa watu wamekaa kimya kana kwamba its ok kwa wananchi wa Tz.............yaani huyu Mramba huyu.......

Au mimi ndio nimepitwa pengine kulikuwa na public awareness ya hii kitu.............i don't think so!!
Ogah tatizo tulilo nalo hapa nymbani ni kuwa wanasiasa wanawaongoza economists, na sio economists kuwaongoza wanasiasa. Ukiangalia nchi za Asia ambazo leo zinapata maendeleo partly kwa kutumia soko la Ulaya, hawana hiyo EPA lakini wanapeta, weakness hapa iko kwenye miundo ya uzalishaji na sio kwenye EPA, kama tukiwa na miundo imara ya uzalishaji Tanzania hata EPA isipokuwepo tutapeta tu, cha muhimu hapa ni kushughulikia issue hii kutoka ndani kwanza. Wanasiasa wengi wanaozungumzia issue hii hawaelekezi mtizamo wao kwenye mzizi wa tatizo, wanapiga politiki zaidi kuliko kuangalia tatizo na kutafuta suluhisho la kudumu.
 
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Huu mjadala ungekuwa ni moto kweli kweli; lakini angalia hata hapa JF ulvyopooza!
Priorities zetu kwa kweli zinatisha mno! Yaani hata hapa hakuna watalam wa uchumi wkatuelezea faida na hasara ya mpango huu? Mbona Tanzania tumekuwa watu wa kuvutwa tu kama mabogi ya gari moshi?
 
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Ogah

Ni kweli kaka. Mjadala wa umma Tanzania kuhusu EPA umekuwa mdogo sana. Kuna thread nilianzisha hapa sijui imeishia wapi. NSA walipewa fedha kwa ajili ya kuhakikisha wananchi(soma wadau) wanashiriki katika huu mchakato na mijadala yake. Vyama vya siasa vina dhima kubwa sana ya kuibua huu mjadala na kuhakikisha ushiriki wa umma.

Mod, ile thread nyingine iko wapi?

Jj
Nafikiri thread ilisema EPA ipo namna... bofya hapo chini..
http://www.jamboforums.com/showthread.php?p=107307#post107307
Kwa kweli mitazamo mengi humu ndani ya JF haijaangaza kwenye mchakato huu wa EPA...Huko tunapoenda ni colonial era kama wadau wengine wanvyodai only this time tunaweka sahihi wenyewe ku-endorse 'Kuendelea Kugandamizwa' na Kukubali ukoloni mamboleo!

Bwana Mnyika sijui Chama chako kimejiandaa vipi? "Kuibua mjadala na kuhakikisha ushiriki wa umma!"
 
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Atanaye

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Huu mjadala ungekuwa ni moto kweli kweli; lakini angalia hata hapa JF ulvyopooza!
Priorities zetu kwa kweli zinatisha mno! Yaani hata hapa hakuna watalam wa uchumi wkatuelezea faida na hasara ya mpango huu? Mbona Tanzania tumekuwa watu wa kuvutwa tu kama mabogi ya gari moshi?
Where is mnyika? au ndio kabakia vipisi?-(nimesoma chadema kugawanyika mara tatu)!
 

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