DAR ES SALAAM, April 15 (Xinhua) -- A German expert on Monday advised African countries, including Tanzania, to reject signing of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) saying the deal has no economic benefits.
Helmut Asche, an economist and sociologist from the University of Leipzig in Germany, said Tanzania and other African countries do not need to sign the EPA agreement because it is not beneficial to them. The German economic professor made the remarks at a news conference in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
Asche said most African countries were in talks with European countries on the signing of the agreement, adding that if some countries preferred to sign the deal, nothing will happen to countries that will reject the deal.
In February 2017, Tanzanian President John Magufuli described the EPA as a "form of colonialism", dampening Tanzania's possibility of signing the deal with the EU.
"It is bad for our country," Magufuli told a joint press conference with visiting Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at the State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
Magufuli disfavored EPAs, which were aimed at creating a free trade area between EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States.
Magufuli noted that after studying EPA, he had realized that African countries would not benefit from it economically as its architects touted.
He noted that terms included in the agreement were not intended to help African countries to grow economically.
Ugandan President Museveni warned African countries that EPA might break up their unity. "It's better if the signing of the deal is shelved until further consultations are made."
Museveni noted that the fact that many African countries had not signed EPA showed that the proposal was meant to create disunity among African countries.
There has been criticism in other quarters that the non-reciprocal and discriminating preferential trade agreements offered by EU are incompatible with World Trade Organization rules.