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Regional solidarity a must

Tuesday December 10 2019

EDITORIAL
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The two-day ninth heads of state summit of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group being held in Nairobi confirms the desire to see the countries located in the poor southern hemisphere work together for their mutual benefit.

Left on their own, they are more vulnerable to exploitation and subjugation through unfair international trade practices.

This is what informs the need for negotiations with the European Union as a bloc to get favourable concessions.

After all, the poorer countries have, for ages, been consigned to being mere providers of raw materials in lopsided trade arrangements, which they must fight.

Kenya is expected to play a pivotal role in the bloc as President Uhuru Kenyatta has just assumed the leadership of the ACP group.

CHALLENGES

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He has pledged to spearhead reforms to reinvigorate the 79-member country group in his next three years at the helm.

He sees the revitalisation of industries as a means to reduce the region’s economic vulnerability.

Some 48 of the member countries are in the sub-Saharan Africa region and are among the poorest.

President Kenyatta has also singled out climate change as a huge challenge for the group.

These countries are experiencing the consequences of climate change in the erratic and unpredictable weather patterns with swings from long periods of drought to horrendous flooding.

FAIR TRADE

Deeper South-South partnership through the ACP is crucial for the region to play a bigger role in global affairs.

Fair trade and partnerships hold the key to the region’s future at a time when donor fatigue has set in and the promise of external benevolence continues to diminish.

As a well-organised group, it will be possible to push through agreements that enhance the integration of the ACP countries into the global economy.

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