Trade Minister’s Full Statemement on Phased Lifting of Lockdown Measures


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I as a Minister of Trade, Industry & Cooperatives would like to inform you about the Trade Performance for March and April 2020.

Trade Performance (March & April 2020)
Month Imports Exports
March 2020 264,431,582

There has been some relaxation on the Lockdown Measures by H.E the President as of June 1, 2020.

Subsequent to the Cabinet Meeting, of 1st June 2020, H.E. the President issued Guidelines on the gradual relaxation of the Lockdown measures intended to balance the control of COVID- 19 Pandemic and the socio-economic environment and productivity.

The following guidelines on the Phased Opening of the Lockdown measures are to be adhered to.

• Shopping Malls are allowed to open starting with the 4th June, 2020 provided they observe Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) but Arcades are to remain closed until further notice.

However, let me give justification for that decision;

Differences between Shopping Malls and Arcades
No. Mall Arcade
1. Space
Have ample and convenient space for packing Congested and lack convenient parking space

2. Entrances
Have two major entrances and one emergency exit Have multiple entries

3. Space for outlets
Spacious (Over 40 sqm2) Smaller (approximately 20 sqm2)

4. Occupants per outlet
One occupant Multiple occupants

5. Control of Human Traffic
Easy to control Crowded human traffic

6. Security
Fire control measures in place
Have security at Quarter
Guard entrances Rare control measures in place
Lacking such security

7. Enterprises
Have Banks, electronics, Pharmacies, bookstores, supermarkets, specialized merchandise shops and offices General merchandise shops

8. Access
Organized and controlled VariOus and uncontrolled access points

9. Mobility
Organized movement of human traffic Congested and mixed with luggage carriers

10 Examples
Acacia Mall
Village Mall
Imperial Mall
Metroplex Mall
Oasis Mall
Garden City Mall
Kingdom Kampala Mall
Shoprite (Lugogo Mall)
Victoria Mall
Marigold (Ntinda) i.

Arcades:

Mutaasa Kafeero
Ggaliraaya
Energy Center
Kizito Arcade
Arua Park Arcade
Nalubwama Arcade
Nabukeera Arcade
Qualicell

• General Merchandise shops outside shopping Malls and Arcades to open. These include; all non-food items sold by wholesale and retail as long as they are located outside arcades and malls and food markets are allowed to open.

• The ‘stand-alone’ merchandise shops are also allowed to open but must observe all SOPs (as explained by the President; Nasser Road and Nkrumah Road inclusive)

• To avoid congestion in the markets, sellers of non-food items shall remain closed.

• The merchandise shops shall have occupancy that ensures social distancing of at least 2 meters within the premises, have a washing
point/ sanitizers at the facilities, and customers should have masks. One customer shall be served at a time.

Cooperatives and SACCOs: These must be functional but must observe all SOPs.
Local and urban authorities through the District Commercial Officers are called upon to ensure compliance with the guidelines.
Transport

• Private vehicles allowed but with a maximum of three people including the driver who must be wearing masks.

• Public Transport means of minibuses, buses, and taxis and passenger trains are allowed to operate from 4 th June 2020 provided they carry only one half of their normal capacity of passengers plus the conductor. But each vehicle to have sanitizers on board and all passengers, driver and conductor must wear masks. In addition, use of branded buses by companies for the employees and walking and bicycling to work is still encouraged. Motorcycles (bodabodas and tuk-tuks) are allowed to continue carrying cargo provided they don’t carry passengers.

• Public transport is still prohibited at the 40 border districts that are next to our neighbouring Countries.

However, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and guidelines which were issued by the Ministry Of Health must be adhered to in managing all the above operations and wearing of masks is now mandatory.

ACHIEVEMENTS BY MTIC DURING THE LOCKDOWN PERIOD
• Facilitation of trading across borders and has ensured certainty of supplies of raw materials and consumer goods/ essential commodities during the Lockdown period through engagement with the EAC and the Logistics Bodies.

• Contributed to Government efforts to raise awareness on the Lockdown measures through Media Centre periodical briefings

• Scaled up Government efforts to prevent hoarding of goods: This was achieved through the District Commercial Officers who were co-opted into the District Task Forces to ensure tracking of available quantities and prices of essential commodities in their respective Districts

• Contributed to Government efforts to ensure import substitution for previously imported products. For example two companies are final stages of acquiring UNBS certification to commence local manufacturing of salt. The Companies are; Herbal Salt Plus Ltd and the Kampala Industries and Infrastructure Development Ltd.
• Engagement of the traders in management of the Lockdown.
• Ensured that factories/ industries remain operational during the lockdown period which has prevented scarcity of essential commodities and price escalations.
I recently visited Industries in Mukono, Buikwe and Jinja to assess their operations during this Lockdown period. Some of the Industries include:-
1. Kampala Salt Industries (first Salt manufacturing Industry in
Uganda)
2. GM Sugar Limited
3. Modern Distilleries Limited
4. Modern Laminates
5. Nile Agro Industries Limited
6. MMP Industrial Park (Will if fully operational host up to 25 Industries dealing in diversified commodities including; Rubber, Starch, Tyres, automobiles, among others). The Park currently has 6 operational factories.
7. Pramukh Steel Limited
Supply of sanitizers, masks and other protective gears. MTIC ensured that all manufacturers of sanitizers, masks and PPEs are supported to acquire certification with UNBS.
140 Companies with over 150 brands have been certified by
UNBS
6 Companies out of 55 that have applied have been certified to manufacture non-medical masks. The companies are Lida Packaging Products Limited, Southern Range Nyanza Limited,
Evergreen Safaris Limited, Jude Colour Solutions Limited, Winfred Fashion Designers Limited and Fine Spinners Limited.

UNBS has played a big role by carrying out testing of all supplies of donations for food stuff and other products.

MTIC has promoted e-Commerce through launching on-line Platforms such as Jumia and ZOCTU.

Harassment of Foreign Business Persons: MTIC worked with the law enforcement organs, particularly the Uganda Police Force, were asked to ensure that no such harassment against foreign nationals suspected of having Covid -19 took place.

Ensured continued distribution of Essential Commodities: distribution of essential commodities including foods and beverages continued since delivery vans, and pick-ups, ‘boda bodas’ strictly for delivery of food and essential commodities are allowed. Depots/ stockiest stores and distribution chains of foods and beverages also have remained operational.
There is optimism for economic recovery as reflected by the response of the business community. Although, the purchasing power is still low, we are confident that once the lockdown is fully eased; Uganda’s economy will adopt the ‘new normal’ in the management of socioeconomic development.

MINISTER/ TRADE, INDUSTRY & COOPERATIVES
June 3, 2020

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