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Implications of the European Union Trade Strategy for Eastern Africa

Join regional stakeholders in a workshop to talk about relevant European Union (EU) trade initiatives and explore and review their implications for East Africa. The workshop will create awareness on the current EU’s trade strategy and implications for East Africa, present the sustainable trade index (STI) and use it to define the trade-offs and synergies that may advance or limit the region’s progress towards a balanced, inclusive and sustainable trade.

25 May 2022 at 09:00 CAT

ending at 17:00 CAT

Kigali, Rwanda and Online
CBAM poster

Graphic: EU.

Knowledge gaps

The workshop will also identify knowledge gaps relevant to environment and trade policies for the region and propose measures to address emerging challenges from the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) implementation.

Significant risks to international cooperation in both trade and climate change areas are likely to arise with the implementation of the proposed CBAM by the EU. A recent study by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) notes that the introduction of carbon pricing, coupled with a CBAM may help reduce carbon emissions inside and outside the EU, but the implementation of the CBAM may result in a decline in exports in developing countries in favour of developed countries, which tend to have less carbon intensive production processes. In this regard, views and perspectives from EU trading partners in the developing world, including in East Africa can inform measures to mitigate potential negative impacts of the proposed CBAM. At the same time, this world-first policy is an opportunity to generate international momentum that could facilitate a green level playing field that leads to trade policy becoming a climate good.

A view of the Kenyan Rift Valley showing signs of degradation

A view of the Kenyan Rift Valley showing signs of degradation. Photo: Lawrence Nzuve / SEI.

Scoping study

SEI is undertaking a scoping study on the potential impacts of the EU trade strategy, including the CBAM implementation in Eastern Africa in order to generate evidence to inform policy measures both by the EU and the Governments in the East African Community (EAC). This scoping study is supported by the Green Trade Network (GTN), a network established in 2021 to promote a European agenda for a better alignment of trade policies and trade-impacting measures with key environmental and climate objectives. GTN consists of European research organizations including SEI, that conduct evidence-based research and outreach activities on the trade and environment nexus.

The initial focus of the GTN is on the European trade strategy and key environmental trade policy measures such as the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM).


Participants in the workshop will include experts, policymakers and practitioners from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, including ministries of environment, trade, industry, and finance, as well as academia, civil society organizations and private sector.


Session I – Welcome and Introduction

9:00 – 9:10: Welcome and opening remarks

  • Dr. Philip Osano – Director, Stockholm Environment Institute, Africa Center
  • Dr. Fortunate Muyambi, Deputy Executive Secretary, East Africa Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO)

9:10 – 9:30 Introduction to the workshop objectives and outputs, and participants

Facilitator: Dr. Anderson Kehbila – SEI Africa

9:30 – 9:50 Keynote address: The private sector perspectives on climate change effects on the East African export markets

Speaker: Mr. Richard Ngatia, President, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and
Industry (KNCCI)

9:50 – 10:20 Group Photo and Tea/Coffee Break

Session II- Presentation of Trade Policies and Breakout Session

10:20 – 10:40 Presentation on the Sustainability trade index (STI)

Speaker: Dr. Anderson Kehbila, Stockholm Environment Institute

10:40 – 11:20 Plenary Reflections on the sustainable trade index presentation

11:20 – 12:30 Group Breakouts for 5 groups for each sustainability trade index.

Discussions will focus on solutions to overcome the challenges highlighted by the analysis of the sustainability trade index.

Group 1: Macroeconomic performance
Group 2: Governance and Institution
Group 3: Social Equity
Group 4: Environmental Protection
Group 5: Monitoring and Evaluation.

Facilitator: Dr. Anderson Kehbila, Stockholm Environment Institute

12:30 – 14:00 Lunch

Session III – Plenary

14:00 – 15:00 Presentation and discussion on the outcomes of breakout group discussions

Facilitator: Prof. George Outa, Technical University of Kenya/Stockholm Environment Institute

Session IV– Panel Discussion

15:00 – 16:00 Panel discussion on balanced, inclusive and sustainable trade in a Covid-19 era

Facilitator: Prof. George Outa, Technical University of Kenya/Stockholm Environment Institute

16:00 – 16:15 Summary of workshop outcomes and closing remarks

  • Dr Philip Osano – Director, SEI Africa
  • Dr Fortunate Muyambi, Deputy Executive Secretary, East Africa Science and Technology Commission

16:15 – 17:00 Tea/coffee break and departure

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