President Yoweri Museveni has revealed that Uganda’s sugar exports to neighbouring Kenya will increase as well as that Uganda will resume exportation of poultry products to Kenya.
The President is in Kenya for a two-day State visit where he held bilateral talks with his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta and a joint press briefing in Mombasa on Wednesday.
In a tweet, President Museveni said: “I am glad that our counterparts have agreed to let Uganda increase its sugar exports to Kenya from 36,000 metric tonnes to 90,000 metric tonnes annually. Also, it is important that Uganda will resume exporting poultry to Kenya within a week from now.”
Kenya stopped importation of poultry and its products from Uganda when local dealers sought “protection” from the Kenyan government.Uganda banned the importation of beef from Kenya in 1997, saying that it was not sure that Kenyan beef met the required standards to be imported in Uganda.
Kenya ruled out then the presence of mad cow disease in the country, but Uganda argued that its imported cattle feeds could be contaminated with the disease.
However, following the talks between the two Heads of State, the ban has been lifted immediately.
“In return, Uganda will immediately lift the ban on beef imports from Kenya, since the mad cow disease that occasioned this ban is no more.
There are more areas of trade cooperation that we should look at and I ask our technocrats to explore these opportunities,” revealed the President.
According to the President, the other sectors in Uganda that should benefit from these agreements are dairy producers who will have less paperwork to go through in order to export to Kenya and that the tile makers will also access the Kenyan market.
The red tape that Ugandan dairy producers were facing as they exported to Kenya will significantly reduce with the elimination now of the requirement to obtain authority from the Principal Secretary, Livestock Department, in order for one to export dairy products to Kenya.
In a fortnight, Kenya standards agencies and their Ugandan counterparts will undertake a joint verification on the quality of tiles from Uganda, to expedite the process of them being sold in Kenya.
The Heads of State also reached agreements on security, immigration, work permits, referred visas, human trafficking, cattle rustling, alcohol abuse (Uganda to stop packaging alcohol in plastic sachets by May), boundary demarcation, single customs territory, and on education.
Kenya has also undertaken to harmonize fees charged on Ugandan students in its public universities.
Kenyatta and Museveni also agreed to open up more border crossings between Uganda and Kenya in a bid to further ease the movement of people.
The development comes weeks after Rwanda closed its border with Uganda at Katuna causing a customs paralysis.
Speaking at a business forum during his visit to Kenya on Wednesday, President Museveni said he will never close Ugandan borders even if a neighbouring country chooses to do so.
Meanwhile, the President will Thursday use the train on the Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Nairobi.It will take him only four hours on a journey of over 480kms thus becoming the first visiting Head of State to use this facility.