Uganda will benefit from another round of funding to improve cross border trade with regional countries, the chief executive officer Trademark East Africa (TMEA), Mr Frank Matsaert, has revealed.
The decision to consider Uganda for the $100 million (Shs337 billion) funding comes after the country performed well with resources it was allocated over the last five years.
Speaking at a cocktail meeting organised by TMEA on Tuesday, Mr Matsaert said they have so far got a good return on their investment here, citing reduction in time spent on the road by the transporters. He said transporters now travel from Mombasa, Kenya to Kampala, Uganda within a week from previously 24 days.He said they are looking at further reducing that time, and that Uganda will be considered again for investment.
At present, Uganda has invested $100million with $75 million (Shs252.75 billion) going towards country programmes and trade facilitation and $25 million (Shs84.25 billion) in border post development.
The new funding, will among other things, be directed towards facilitating trade with South Sudan, Uganda’s biggest export market.
“We will be looking to do a border post at Nimule-Elegu for the country and also focus on Gulu logistic hub, put a lot of work into standards, addressing non-tariff barriers, and automation of trade processes particularly the single window and finally will also focus resources in certain key parts of Uganda to create jobs,” Mr Matsaert said.
The decision to reinvest is guided by the fact that Uganda seeks to address trade imbalances. The investment is aimed at a situation where Uganda exports more than it imports.
TMEA is looking to inject between $800-$850 million (Shs2.696 – 2.865 trillion) for the next phase of five years in the East African region. The investment will boost cross border trade between EAC and its neighbours such as Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.