KAMPALA – The Minister of Trade, Industry, and Cooperative, Amelia Kyambadde has reported an increase in Uganda’s merchandise exports, a majority of which are agricultural which rose by 40.2% between 2016 to 2019.
While giving the sector’s performance at the Office of the Prime Minister, Kyambadde said the exports increased from $2.92125bn in 2016 to $4.09565bn in 2019.
She further said since the launch of the Buy Uganda Building Uganda (BUBU) policy, there has been the growth of locally produced programs.
“Locally owned companies have continued to have an equal share of the national cake in terms of contract award in the value chain,” she said.
Kyambadde said with the COVID-19 epidemic, the responsiveness of local Industries has been enabled by BUBU policy to produce sanitizers, salt (Kampala), NYTIL (masks and protective wear).
She also said that the BUBU logo has been registered under the Trade Marks Act of 2010 and gazetted in the Uganda Gazette and will be rolled out in the next Financial Year 2020/2.
Kyambadde said “The Ministry trained and continue to train professional bodies and their membership on the reservation and preference schemes under Government procurement and the BUBU initiative.”
The minister further revealed that a total of 1,258 cooperatives were registered during the year, bringing the total number of registered cooperatives to 21,454.
“The cooperatives provide range services to their members which include financial services, agricultural marketing, transport, energy, housing among others,” she said.
She added that the ministry conducted offsite and onsite supervision of 1,251 cooperatives, trained 65 cooperatives in different aspects, and audited 201 cooperatives.
“59 cooperatives and Unions are engaged in agro-processing and value addition. Some of which are also involved in coffee and horticultural products export trade,” said Kyambadde.
According to the minister, the Industry sector grew by 5.8% in FY 2018/19, a slight slowdown from 6.1% FY 2017/18 mainly due to the marginal slowdown was experienced in construction activities as well as mining and quarrying.
She, however, revealed that there was a great improvement in the manufacturing sector.
“Manufacturing performed well growing at 2.8% in FY 2018/19 compared to 1.7 % in the previous FY because of newly commissioned factories, which increased industrial activity especially in food processing, production of cement, iron, and steel, ” she added.
Kyambadde revealed that two smelting plants for value addition to iron ore have been established by Tembo steels in Iganga and Dong Song in Tororo. The two plants will add value to 12000MT and 36000MT of iron ore per month respectively.
“Nine factories were commissioned at Liao Shen Industrial Park in Kapeeka. The commissioned factories manufacture Concrete products, Agricultural products, Food Items, electrical appliances, shoes and fishnets,” she said.
“Bukona agro-processors sugar factory and distillery at Lapem village, Koch Goma in Nwoya District was launched in March 2020. The factory has a Green fuel that produces energy stoves that use ethanol got from processed cassava,” she added.
The minister further reported that Mbale industrial park was commissioned by H.E in Feb 2020 and has four factories already in place Pearl Light Technologies manufactures LED bulbs, Ubon Personal Care which manufactures washing detergent, Victoria Cables (electric cables), and Kyoga textiles (making socks).
Luweero fruit factory. Procurement for Consultants to undertake revalidation of the 2013 feasibility study on the proposed fruit factory, development of the master plan, engineering designs, ESIA is on-going after which civil works and procurement of equipment will commence.
According to Kyambadde, Nwoya Multi Fruit Factory is being implemented under the collaboration between; NAADS, UDC, Delight Nwoya Ltd, and Nwoya Fruit Farmers’ Cooperative Society and located in Nwoya district with an EPC contractor being procured who will establish a “turn-key” 13MT/hr factory.
Kyambadde further revealed that the Uganda Development Cooperation (UDC) made an injection of Ugx4.62 billion to Mabale to partly settle the debt with KCB, other creditors, and provide working capital to return the Company to business.
“In exchange, UDC acquired a shareholding of 16.6% and has 4 members on the board, ” she explained.
Kyambadde said the trade ministry Conducted surveillance inspections in 178 supermarkets, 1,1000 shops and distribution outlets, 222 factories, 60 hardware shops, 22 Internal Container Depots, 3,745 distribution vans, 83 MSME mentorships and other 16 activities across all regions in the country.
She further noted that the e-portal system was enhanced to enable PVOC auto-clearance.
“PVOC auto-release process was launched on 27th November 2019 and is being implemented, said Kyambadde.
She added that, “Over 300,000 import consignments have been inspected under PVOC and as a result, the proportion of substandard products on the market has been reduced from 73% to 54%.”
The minister said with Support from TradeMark East Africa, construction of three One-Stop Border Posts (OSBPs) was completed; these include Mutukula OSBP with Tanzania, Busia OSBP with Kenya, and Mirama Hills OSBP with Rwanda.
“Construction of the Elegu border post with South Sudan was completed and opened in 2019. This has reduced the clearance time from 8 days in 2010 to 2 hours in 2018,” she said.
According to Kyambadde, the East African Community (EAC) engaging with third parties as a block, such as in the EAC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, the Tripartite Free Trade Area negotiations, and the Market Access Offer under the African Continental Free Trade Area.
“EAC economic integration deepened further, with both the Customs Union Protocol and the Common Market Protocol being implemented,” Kyambadde explained.
Minister Kyambadde said the ministry of Trade has plans to fulfill the goals that have not been accomplished.
“Three proposals to produce industrially refined sugar have been received from Kamuli, Mayuge, and GM sugar by the Ministry. These proposals are being reviewed by the technical team of the Ministry,” she added.
Kyamabbade revealed that there’s a need to increase the value of priority products exported to the selected unilateral preferential markets (US, India, and China) by an average of 40% annually over the next five years.
She added that the value of priority products exported should be increased to the selected unilateral preferential markets (US, India, and China) by an average of 40% annually over the next five years.