KAMPALA. Uganda’s exports with regional market dropped with the largest drops reported in Kenya, DR Congo and South Sudan.
The three countries, especially Kenya and South Sudan, are some of Uganda’s largest trade partners.
However, according to data from Bank of Uganda, trade with the three countries declined in April, resulting from, among other trade blockades and civil unrest in some of the regional trading partners.
During the period Uganda exports to Kenya declined to $38.4m (Shs136b) down from $49.9m (Shs177b) in March, which is the lowest the country has earned since July 2020 when earnings dropped to $38.3m (shs135b).
Uganda has experienced trade wars from her biggest regional markets, with exports such as maize, sugar, milk and poultry products all banned from entering countries such as Kenya.
However, there has been progress in negotiations to lift such blockades that have since last year cost Uganda huge earnings.
Uganda and Kenya are currently working out modalities in which Uganda will export 90,000 metric tonnes of sugar per year and beginning July 1.
Other discussions touch on maize and poultry exports that also Kenya had banned at the start of this year.
“Kenyan authorities would immediately implement the March 2019 Joint Ministerial Commission Decision that allowed Uganda to export to Kenya, duty free, 90,000 metric tonnes of wholly originating sugar annually,” a joint communique from the government of Uganda and Kenya indicated earlier this year.
However, the process has been slow and sugar producers fear modalities might not be completed by July.
In an interview with Daily Monitor, yesterday Mr Jim Kabeho, the chairman, Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association, said they had not been furnished with details almost two-months after the meeting.
South Sudan, which is the other important export destination for Ugandan exports registered a decline during April with goods worth $37.7m (Shs133b) to the country down from $45.7m (Shs162b) in March, indicating a 21 per cent decline.