Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli will today officially launch the $12 million (Shs43.8 billion) Mutukula One Stop Border post (OSBP) facility that is aimed at reducing the cost of doing business.
The United Kingdom’s Development for International Development (DFID) funded the infrastructure component while the Canadian development agency and Global Affairs financed the operationalization of facility through Trademark East Africa.
The OSBP is a “one stop” form of border crossing point jointly managed by neighboring countries and where activities are streamlined to maximise efficiency. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Ministry of Trade has urged clearing agents and traders to embrace the Uganda Electronic Single Window System in order to speed up trade and customs clearance activities for goods and services.
The electronic single window, launched in 2016 by the ministry, is an online trade facilitation government initiative that, among others, enables international cross- border trade.
Through the system, traders are able to electronically submit their documents and information for clearance and certification to various government and regulatory agencies from a single location. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
The Ugandan economy is not yet technology driven, but there are several innovations in the country that continue to show a future where technology is a major player.
Notably, the innovations around Fin-Techs have completely transformed the banking sector and exchange of goods.
In banking, the rise of mobile money has led to banks innovating products that reduce queues in banking halls. The innovation ecosystem continues to grow and this shows in the entries made into awards. At least 45 innovations are targeting Shs92.7m to win the MTN Innovation Awards 2017. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Brainchild Burson-Marsteller has announced its Shs400m project to stimulate innovation in business and service delivery.
The project dubbed “innovation series” is a pack of leadership events to be held in Kampala three times a year.
“Through the innovation series, we seek to bridge the current innovation gap in the country by inspiring business owners to invent and seek new solutions to their challenges and those of their customers,” Brainchild Burson-Marsteller business unit head Walter Wafula told guests on Monday in Kampala. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Uganda has outlined strategies geared at enabling the country tap into the growing the regional food market. According to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, food crops where Uganda has a comparative advantage over others and can be marketed in the East African Community (EAC) will be prioritised.
Okasaai Opolot, the director crop resources at the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, the move will help position Uganda as a regional food basket. Food crops, including maize, rice, beans, bananas, and cassava, which are mainly consumed in the region, have so far been identified under this strategy.
“We are looking at staple foods because Uganda is privileged to be having two rainy seasons that favour the production of the selected crops which makes it a regional food basket,” Opolot said. Read more. Source | New Times
The new boards of directors for the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) has been tasked to improve coffee exports so as to enable the country achieve its target of exporting 20 million bags of coffee by 2020.
While officiating at the inauguration ceremony of the 8th UCDA board of directors in Kampala on Wednesday, state minister for agriculture Christopher Kibanzanga urged them to promote production across the value chain since it is one of the priority crops meant to spur the country to middle income status.
“In the financial year 2016/17, Uganda earned more than $489m from only 4.2 million bags of coffee exported which we last earned in 1979. This shows that with more efforts invested, we shall hit the 2020 target,” he said. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
East African Community (EAC) member states have prioritised development expenditure as countries look to further strengthen the growth agenda of the regional economies.
In the national budget estimates presented yesterday, Tanzania will be spending $14.21 billion and Uganda $8.09 billion in the fiscal year 2016/17. Rwanda plans to spend some Rwf2.09 trillion compared to the Rwf1.95 trillion spent this fiscal year.
Kenya’s budget for the 2017/2018 fiscal year was presented in March to give room for the forthcoming general elections in August. The EAC states presented their 2017/18 budgets under the theme, ‘Industrialisation for job-creation and shared prosperity’. Read more. Source | New Times
In a bid to benefit from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) extension, US companies will now partner with Ugandan companies especially in agribusiness.
The business partnerships are expected to step up Uganda’s production and capacity of the agricultural sector, levels of trade and investment between the two countries.
This was one of the outcomes during the meeting between the US agricultural trade mission and the Private Sector Foundation Uganda stakeholders in Kampala last week. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) has issued two developer’s Licences to M/s Fiduga Limited and M/s Royal Van Zanten Limited.The companies are meant to develop Free Zones in Mukono and Mpigi Districts in Uganda.
A Free Zone is a special designated area where goods introduced into the area are generally regarded, so far as import duties are concerned, as being outside the Customs territory. These include Export Processing Zones or Free Port Zones. Ms Evelyn Anite, the minister of State for Privatisation and Investment, speaking during a field tour at Nsimbe estates recently, said the two companies that are already in the business of exporting, will further contribute to towards addressing the export gap by investing up to a tune of US$ 365 million (about Shs1.3 trillion) by 2021. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor
The secretary general of World Customs Organisation Kunio Mirukiya has called for combined efforts towards boosting intra-African trade, proposing a number of reforms to ensure customs facilitate trade within the region.
“First is infrastructure at borders because what is lacking is systems that can facilitate movement of goods and people. Customs should coordinate border management, have one stop border post or a single window and more security by collaboration is what Africa should be looking at,” Mr Mirukiya said at the 22nd World Customs Organisation East and South Africa council governing meeting in Kampala last Thursday.
The meeting that attracted 22 countries from East and South Africa was aimed at looking at how best customs can facilitate trade and creating a platform for countries to collaborate and fight mutual challenges within the region.
According to Mr Tom Moyane, the commissioner of South African Revenue Service, intra-African trade is an opportunity for the continent to look at the comparative advantage and economies of scale it can enjoy. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor