By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/Umoja Standard.
Lugogo, Kampala–Uganda: While officiating the grand opening of the 28th Edition of Uganda International Trade Fair yesterday at Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) Show Grounds, Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, Uganda’s 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs cited the challenge of barriers in the East African Common Market Protocol which has made it difficult for regional traders especially from Uganda to benefit from their merchandise.
Hon. Kadaga made this revelation after the Association of manufacturers presented a number of issues that are slowing trade across the region and at the international scene.
She revealed that the East African Community is pushing hard to ensure that there is use of a common currency to ease transactions amongst traders in the region citing that absence of this brings about currency rate fluctuations which deprives traders/business people of expected returns.
She appealed to Uganda Airlines to speed up the roll-out of Air Cargo system to ease transportation of goods to intended destinations in time.
She said, business people have been delayed many times and at times they end up transporting their goods in shifts which stagnates their trade.
Uganda’s Minister for Trade, Industries and Cooperative Hon. Francis Mwebesa assured manufacturers that he will push for industrial policies aimed at empowering investors to increase production of required standard.
He reveled that Uganda’s government is on the road of developing infrastructures, improve and implement policies, strategies and plans in line with revitalizing manufacturing sector in Uganda.
He cited an example of African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which is avenue for African producers to export their products to the U.S. market. He told manufacturers to use this opportunity as well to grab dollars from U.S.A out of goods produced here.
Earlier on, Mr. Deo Kayemba the Chairman of Uganda Manufacturers Association had highlighted lack of guarantee for their export products in cases of any uncertainty in transit.
He also cited that the mode of exchange affects manufacturers who export products on the regional and international market saying that multiple conversion of currency deprive its value there by losing on returns.
He also sought relief on taxes citing that these at the end of the day affect their returns and discourages continued large-scale production.
On the same day Dr. Monica Musenero, Uganda’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Secretariat launched the National Exhibition Week for Science that will be running from the 6th to 10th of November, 2022 at Kololo Independence Grounds bringing together thousands of innovators showcasing their products.
Dr. Musenero reckoned that science and Technology holds a key for the development of any nation.
“50% of economic development of any nation is due to how much they embraced science and technology”. She remarked.
She added that that science and technology builds wealth creation, improve quality of lives, water, energy supply and others.
She is optimistic that as the country recovers from the great effect of Covid-19, this year’s innovation will impact greatly on innovators there by fostering Uganda’s economic development.
About 920 exhibitors were confirmed for this year’s exhibition.
25 foreign countries are also confirmed, among them are Kenya, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, UAE, Turkey, Thailand, South Africa, Malaysia, Netherlands, Somalia, Iran, Morocco, Bangladesh, DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Jordan, and Tunisia, among others.
This year’s exhibition is organized under the theme “Harnessing Economic Recovery Through Local Sourcing and Deepening Value Chain Integration”.