ACP-EU MPs converge in Nairobi over presidential term limits and trade

, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 18 – Parliamentarians from 79 countries from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific regions and 27 countries from the European Union will on Monday meet in the city to discuss ways of boosting trade as well as constitutional limits on presidential terms.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso, who is also the Leader of the Kenyan Delegation to the ACP-EU Forum, said the 32nd Session of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) will discuss the role of trade in the attainment of the sustainable development goals.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes international trade as an engine for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction.

The ACP-EU JPA is the only international assembly in which the representatives of various countries sit together regularly with the aim of promoting the interdependence of North and South.

“Another key focus area for this forum that Kenya is hosting for the first time, is the creation of appropriate conditions for the resettlement of migrants back home,” she said in the statement.

Laboso said debates will focus on creation of job and education opportunities for migrants while ensuring that they have access to basic social services including healthcare.

There are concerns that the world’s huge population of refugees could put unsustainable strain on the world’s resources.

Kenya has been at the forefront of advocating for a safe return of Somali refugees living in Kenya to selected destinations in Somalia.

Kenya is expected to get an opportunity to negotiate with the EU for bilateral terms of trade as members of the East Africa Community (EAC) bloc get on board with the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) approval.

The EPA is a scheme aimed at creating a free trade area between the EU and the ACP. The EPAs with different regions are at different states of play.

The EPA between the EU and the EAC needs to be approved by all EAC member states for it to take effect, however only Rwanda and Kenya have signed the deal.

LABAN WANAMBISI :Laban Wanambisi is a Parliamentary and Political reporter. He joined the Capital Newsteam in 2005. Since then, he has reported on many of the major news events over the years including his first major assignment covering the 2005 National Referendum on the Draft Constitution, and several other subsequent key national and international events.