Regional Consultations on Draft Sanitary and Phytosanitary Bill ongoing in Nairobi, Kenya
A regional consultative meeting to finalize draft EAC Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Bill is ongoing in Nairobi, Kenya. The meeting, which was convened by the EAC Secretariat and the USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub, is being attended by Partner States’ experts in trade, agriculture, health, livestock, food security, standards, legal, regional integration, and other stake holders.
Presiding over the opening session, the EAC Deputy Secretary General in-charge of Productive and Social Sectors, Hon. Christophe Bazivamo, highlighted the growing importance of sanitary and phytosanitary measures and noted that SPS had become an important topic of debate in international trade as well as regional integration.
Hon. Bazivamo informed the participants that the fundamental importance of SPS matters is linked mainly to Agriculture and trade in agricultural products, which is the mainstay of the economies of EAC Partner States. The EAC official acknowledged that agricultural trade continues to represent a notable portion of intra-EAC total trade flows and that there was enormous potential to increase and urged the EAC Partner States to adequately address and enforce issues around SPS measures and standards.
Taking stock of the progress, Hon. Bazivamo commended the EAC Secretariat, Partner States and non-state actors for the progress made and milestones reached in 2016. He noted that following adoption of the SPS Protocol in 2013; a strong foundation for supporting implementation of the Protocol had been laid. This includes finalization of SPS measures and setting in motion the process of developing SPS Bill. The SPS Bill is expected to facilitate effective implementation and enforcement of the SPS Protocol in the entire Community.
Hon. Bazivamo commended USAID East Africa Office for their sustained efforts in supporting Regional Integration and USAID East Africa Trade and Investment Hub for supporting the EAC SPS agenda.