Trade Policy at Work

Leveraging Opportunities in Multilateral and Free Trade Agreements: a Case for the East African Community

With agriculture playing an intricate role in the economies of the East African Community (EAC) Member countries, it is essential that the sector be harnessed in a way that promotes equitable agricultural development. Currently, over 80% of the EAC population lives in rural areas and depends on agriculture. The sector is dominated by smallholder farmers who make up 75% of the labor force in the EAC. For the region, it is the agriculture sector that would benefit more from trade opportunities availed through Multilateral and Free Trade Agreements. In this policy brief, the opportunities and challenges presented by the WTO Agreement on Agriculture and the EC-EAC Economic Partnership Agreement are reviewed, along with recommendations for the creation of an enabling environment towards equitable agricultural development.