Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations between EU and Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) countries were launched in 2002 and were supposed to be concluded and ratified by 2008. The East African Community (EAC) is a regional intergovernmental organization of six partner states: the Republics of Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, the United Republic of Tanzania, and the Republic of Uganda, with its headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. The EAC is home to 150 million citizens, of which 22% is urban population. With a land area of 1.82 million m² and a combined Gross Domestic Product of US$ 146 billion (EAC Statistics, 2016), its realization bears great strategic and geopolitical significance and prospects for the renewed and reinvigorated EAC.
The EPA negotiations between the EU and the EAC were concluded in 2014 after 12 years of negotiations. However while Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi have not signed, Rwanda and Kenya have individually signed, with Kenya ratifying and depositing the ratification instruments with the European Union in 2016. As the EAC is one economic entity with a common external tariff, the EPA cannot be implemented because not all the EAC partner states have signed and ratified it.