National News


By Nyeko Christopher

KAMPALA: Uganda’s first Deputy Prime minister and Minister for East African Affairs Rebecca Kadaga  has praised the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo for supporting its citizens to attend the East African trade Exhibition amidst the havoc by the  M23 rebels in the country.

Kadaga shored DR Congo with praises while addressing the exhibitors at the ongoing  East African Community  trade exhibition  at  Kololo Independence Ground in Kampala on Saturday.

Kadaga described DR Congo as an active participatory baby in the event.

“I must praise the leadership of His Excellency Felix Tsheisekedi, the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo whose country is grappling  with  insecurities but managed to send traders to participate in the ongoing East African Trade show for the first time since joining the East African community,” said Kadaga.

DR Congo, which shares geographical boundaries with various East African countries, was last year 2021 admitted into the East African Community after meeting all the requirements.

Its admission increased the membership  of  the East African Community to  seven countries including Rwanda, Kenya,  Burundi, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The protocols require the member states  to participate in any activities of the community.

Kadaga noted that  Africa has the best textile industries in the world and that  there is no need to import textile from the foreign countries like China, Japan and India.

“The product I saw being exhibited here meets International standard plus … there is a need to promote and market it so that it can be known globally,” she noted.

Kadaga urged all the EAC  members  to embrace Swahili language  in order to ease communication during the events that brings the citizens of the community together.

She revealed that Uganda  has already moved a step by organising Kiswahili lessons for its cabinet members every Monday.

Bira Bbosa, the  chairperson of the Confederation of the Medium and Small Enterprises Organisation(C-MSEO) Uganda Chapter revealed that they  had registered a total of 1,500 traders from the seven  East African Community  Nations for the  exhibition.
According to Bbosa, 600 of these  are Ugandans, 120 Burundians, 360 Kenyans ,  350 Tanzanians while    South Sudan and Rwanda presented 100 traders each.

Bbosa revealed that the  organising  committee had allocated  only 500 slots to  Ugandan traders but it was  overwhelmed by  the number that turned up for the event.

Bosa lobbied the Government of Uganda to donate land to C-MSEO within Kampala City where they can put a permanent exhibition center.

In response, Kadaga  promised to present  the request to the cabinet for consideration.

Cleopas Ndorere, the assistant commissioner in the  Ministry of trade, Industries and Co-operative revealed that  only 15 percent of the African countries are   trading with African countries while the rest are still  trading  with European countries.

He therefore  called  upon  the African countries to embrace regional and cross border  trade that he said  will create regional ties and  end  cross border conflicts.
The commissioner also  tipped the  exhibitors on  the   business opportunities in Uganda and urged them  to tap into them by investing  in the country.

“If you invest here in Uganda you will not regret, because we in Uganda don’t tax your interest, all you earn from our country you are free to carry  it to your country of origin”, he said.

Robert Kabusenga, one the model exhibitors dealing in coffee and tea  value addition, called upon the organisers to scale up the publicity of the event so that  more people know about it.

“If the masses  are made aware of the event ,many of them may  come and buy our products hence supporting the exhibitors”, Kabushenga stressed.

The event, which  is rotationally organised within  the East Africa community, was  initiated by  President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta in 1999 and it was later  adopted under Article 172 Of the East Africa treaty.

The treaty dictates that traders with low cost commodities are allowed to cross to the neighbouring countries hosting the event to sell or showcase them  without being taxed.

Kampala is hosting the event after meeting the standard required of the City to host such event.

The requirements include good quality Hotel facilities, large space for hosting exhibitors,  and well improved transport infrastructure.

During the event, the exhibitors are required to showcase their talents, Art and craft innovation,Technology as well as  quality display of their goods and services.

The exhibition  started on  8th December  2022  and will end on 18th December 2022 when the best performing  exhibitor  team, entities or countries will  be awarded certificates of recognition  by the organising  committee.

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