Uganda continues to lose substantial revenue due to a growing list of unregistered trade across its borders, according to Ms Amelia Kyambadde, the minister of Trade.
Speaking at a Comesa meeting in Kampala early this week, Ms Kyambadde said: “There is a lot of informal trade going on across our borders. We need to attain statistical data in terms of volumes and amounts harvested from trade carried out at such points.” She said this and the growing insecurity across the country’s borders have substantially affected government revenue and people’s incomes.
For instance she said, the growing insecurity and maltreatment of Ugandan traders in South Sudan has cut into government and businesses’ revenue.
According to data from the Ministry of Trade, Uganda’s trade volumes with South Sudan grew to about Shs2.2 trillion in 2008; however, data indicates that the trend has since been declining due to insecurity and maltreatment of traders by South Sudanese nationals and security agencies.
However, Mr Sindiso Ngwenya, the Comesa secretary general said Uganda’s trade growth is largely hindered by the slow growth in productive areas especially agriculture. He said there is need for the government to offer support to both established manufacturers and SMEs as a way of beefing up production.
By Flavia Nalubega, Daily Monitor