East African trade and investment news

Kagame, Kutesa hold confidential meeting

Published on July 11, 2019

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa met privately on Wednesday night, as both countries seek an end to political tensions that have paralysed the flow of people and goods across their common border. The two-hour meeting happened shortly after Mr Kutesa landed in Kigali, well-placed sources confirmed. The minister delivered a sealed envelope from President Yoweri Museveni to President Kagame but the contents remained a mystery. Sources said the minister was given a response to deliver to the Ugandan leader. Read more. Source | East African

Uganda has excess cane, but govt says it’s not selling to Kenya

Published on July 02, 2019

Uganda has blocked a request to export excess sugar cane from outgrowers in Busoga region to Kenya. Farmers say they have an overproduction of some 500,000 tones of sugar that processors are unable to absorb but the Minister for Trade, Industry and Co-operatives Amelia Kyambadde says the surplus is only temporary and should not cause alarm. Ms Kyambadde told parliament that sugar factories in Uganda have been producing below capacity since 2010 due to a shortage of cane and that opening up the market to neighbouring countries like Kenya would worsen this problem. Read more. Source | East African

Rwanda scoops five awards at tea forum in Kampala

Published on July 02, 2019

Rwandan companies have won five awards at a regional meeting of tea stakeholders underway in Kampala, Uganda. Rwanda also produced the winner of the overall award at the 4th African Tea Convention on Wednesday. The firms including Rwanda Mountain Tea (overall winner), Kitabi BP 1, Nyabihu PF1, Gisovu PD, and Kitabi D1. The companies were recognised for their “best quality tea” after shinning in a recent East African team competition. The convention was organised by the East African Tea Traders Association and attracted participants from mainly across Africa. Read more. Source | New Times

New COMESA project on food health standards to enhance market access

Published on July 02, 2019

Regional countries are set to increase market access for their agricultural products following the commencement of a new capacity building project to mainstream sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards (SPS) priorities into national policies. The project is titled: ‘Mainstreaming SPS capacity building into the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and other National Policy Frameworks to Enhance Market Access’. The project has a budget of US$464 out of which US$390 is provided by the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) a World Trade Organization (WTO) agency. Read more. Source | CapitalFM

Border: Women traders sue Uganda, Rwanda

Published on July 02, 2019

Women traders operating between Uganda and Rwanda have sued the two governments seeking compensation for losses they have incurred since the border was closed in February. The suit was filed in the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) in Arusha, Tanzania on June 21 by a consortium of three civil society organisations (CSOs) on behalf of about 600 affected women traders. The CSOs are East African Sub-Regional Initiative for Advancement of Women (EASSI), Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) and Centre for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROTH). They want the court to order the immediate opening of the border, arguing that the reasons for closure are not trade-related. The petitioners argue that the two countries are EAC members who subscribe to the regional Common Market Protocol which should not be violated by political disagreements. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor

Bid to boost trade between Ethiopia, Kenya faces hurdles

Published on July 02, 2019

Kenya and Ethiopia are still struggling to conduct robust trade between them despite penning a number of bilateral agreements and instituting several trade-friendly measures. This is according to Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba, who singled out non-tariff barriers for the current subdued bilateral trade. The barriers include long bureaucratic procedures, bans and sanctions. Another hindrance cited is a strict foreign currency regulatory regime by the National Bank of Ethiopia, which cuts across all the foreign nationals, especially those doing small enterprises. Read more. Source | Daily Nation

Civil Society Groups Sue Uganda, Rwanda Over Border Closure

Published on July 02, 2019

Three civil society groups in Uganda have filed a lawsuit against the governments of Rwanda and Uganda in the East African Court of Justice over the continued border closure between the two countries. The closure - now in its fourth month - has resulted in financial losses not only for the two governments, but also for local business people. On February 27, the government of Rwanda closed the border posts of Gatuna-Katuna in Kabale district and Cyanika in Kisoro district.  Today, the border posts are still closed. Three regional civil society organizations - including the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade information and Negotiations Institute - say they filed a suit on June 21. The lawsuit asks the court to issue a permanent injunction against the governments of Rwanda and Uganda to keep them from closing the border posts between the countries and ensure the free movement of people and trade. Read more. Source | Voice of America

Rwanda To Revise Investment Code To Attract More Investors

Published on June 26, 2019

Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has revealed plans to revise the current investment code in order to meet set investment targets from both local and foreign companies registering in Rwanda. This year’s target for RDB is to reach at least $2.1 billion compared to $2 billion that was reached in 2018, with 50% of the investments being local. The current investment code is dated back in 2015, when it was first revised from the initial one enacted in 2005, but RDB officials said a lot has changed over the last four years, which calls for a review. Read more. Source | KT Press

New tool could double loans to agriculture sector

Published on June 26, 2019

With the aim of increasing loans to the agriculture sector, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have committed to scale up a tool kit dubbed “Rural Invest” that will enable farmers to design bankable business plans and projects. The approach, that targets especially small and medium rural investment projects, will also be used by banks and other financial institutions as a planning tool to improve loan distribution to agriculture sector. Patrick Karangwa, the Director General of Rwanda Agricultural Board, said that banks shun providing loans to investors in agriculture due to poor quality of designed projects and lack of agriculture and livestock insurance scheme. Read more. Source | New Times

City of Kigali pitches investment opportunities

Published on June 26, 2019

For Rwanda to achieve its development goals, there is need for the private sector to seize investment opportunities in the service sector. The observation was made yesterday during the Kigali Investors Forum, a platform through which the City of Kigali pitches to investors opportunities in the city. City of Kigali Mayor, Marie-Chantal Rwakazina, told investors that there were investment opportunities in the housing sector, especially in affordable rental houses. Read more. Source | New Times


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