Kenya And Uganda To End Trade Deadlock With Bilateral Agreement In April
March. 02, 2021
Last week, Uganda presented its complaints to the East Africa Summit, hoping to end the annual blockade of certain products, such as milk, sugar, poultry and meat products.
Details of the meeting are scarce, but a Kenyan official familiar with the matter told the Star confidently that a trade deal between the two countries could be reached in April.
Earlier this year, the two neighbors agreed in principle to a bilateral deal on sugar, juice and pharmaceuticals.
Kenya' s Permanent Secretary of Commerce told a regional newspaper that Kenya had accepted a request from Ugandan authorities to allow more Ugandan sugar into the country in return for a relaxation of tariffs on Kenya' s fruit juice exports. and verification tariffs for pharmaceutical products to Uganda.
Uganda has around 11 functional sugar factories producing around 510, 000 metric tonnes, with local consumption estimated at 360, 000 metric tonnes per year with a surplus of around 150, 000 metric tonnes reserved for export.
The Ugandan Manufacturers Association (UMA) had given President Yoweri Museveni' s government until December last year to involve Kenya or seek redress in the regional court.
" If that fails, our next route will be to take the case to the East African Court of Justice, " the business lobby warned.
However, this is not the first time that Uganda has threatened to bring Kenya to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ).
Earlier last year, Uganda protested the Kenyan authorities' decision to confiscate Lato milk produced by Pearl Dairy, sparking a simmering trade wor between the two countries.
According to Kampala, the seizures made on three occasions violated CAO' s customs union protocol and forced Kenya to immediately release the shipments and refrain from taking action against its exports or risking prosecution.
Last week Daniel Birungi, executive director of the Ugandan Manufacturers Association (UMA), told the Daily Monitor that it was unfair for Uganda to continue to play a secondary role, acting as a supermarket for the products. other countries, but for their products. they are refused entry into the markets of partner states
" Ugandan manufacturers, especially those involved in the export market, have suffered at the hands of EAC partner states, which have continuously blocked the entry of some products without explanation, " he said.
Besides Kenya, Tanzania had excluded sugar from Uganda on the grounds that the country imported and repackaged sugar for export markets.