Rebecca Kadaga, the Third Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Community Affairs, has criticised Kenya and South Sudan for engaging in trade practices that she perceives as unjust, hence impeding the operations of Ugandan corporate entities.
During her address at the two-day East African Business and Investment Summit and Expo 2023 held at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kadaga voiced her discontent with the recent treatment of grain exporters by South Sudan. She explicitly referred to the act as impunity since the authorities in Juba detained products within a warehouse in Uganda and retained possession of the keys, citing substandard quality.
Kadaga expressed curiosity regarding the intention of Kenya’s practice of first permitting the importation of Ugandan milk for a specific duration, only to halt the entry of these products before the agreed timeframe has elapsed. According to her statement, these practices have a disruptive impact on the trade value chain, which encompasses many stakeholders such as farmers, processors, and packaging manufacturers.
The forum was convened with the overarching objective of evaluating the region’s preparedness to embrace the Continental Free Trade Area, focusing specifically on the issue of “Private Sector-Driven Regional Integration for Increased Intra-African Trade and Investment.”
Given that certain African nations had not yet ratified the trade pact, Kadaga also questioned if the remaining nations were committed to it. She went on to ask why Uganda had not yet finished integrating into the Customs Union.
After the conference, numerous resolutions were passed, including ones advocating for harmonised tax laws and outlining plans to boost intraregional trade to 40% of all EAC markets within five years.