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The First Major Trade Deal between the EU and an African Country since 2016

On Monday, a ceremony in Nairobi marked the official end of talks for the EU-Kenya Economic Partnership Agreement under the leadership of Kenyan President William Ruto. Kenya would get duty-free and quota-free access to the EU, its largest market and the destination of around one-fifth of all exports, once the agreement is confirmed and implemented. Progressive tariff reductions will be applied to some imports from the EU to Kenya over a 25-year period, however, some delicate goods would be exempt. According to Ruto, the EU is second in importance to the World Bank as a development partner for Kenya, and this deal with the EU would give Kenyan farmers “assurance of a predictable market” and new potential to expand this trade. “It ensures a stable market for industrialists, for our farmers, and also industrialists in the European Union,” he said. This new deal comes after China went on a spending binge on expensive infrastructure projects throughout the continent, and it is the first significant trade agreement between the EU and an African country since 2016.