Corruption disrupts trade between Rwanda and Uganda
Traders and investors from Rwanda and Uganda have highlighted corruption as a barrier to trade between the two countries.
Figures from Uganda’s finance ministry showed the value of what the country sent to Rwanda in the first three months of 2022 fell from $16.6 million a month in 2019 to $220,000 a month. .
However, in the last quarter of 2022, Rwanda’s imports from Uganda reached $60.55 million compared to $15.64 million in the nine months of this year.
In a meeting that brought together the private sector of the two countries on Thursday to discuss trade and investment opportunities, Uganda’s Foreign Minister, General Odongo Jeje Abubakhar, said non-fiscal barriers continue to be an obstacle to trade and investment of the two countries.
He said: “The joint meeting of the two countries decided on barriers that impede trade, including Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), fees for unknown traders, tariffs, fees for services and notifying traders.”
He went on to say that wherever he goes, he talks to government officials who tell him he won’t be sold, and he immediately senses that this is “corruption”.
“These barriers increase the cost of doing business. This morning we decided to continue working together to solve them all.
General Odongo said both countries have prioritized the private sector as the engine of the economy and there are business opportunities in both countries but the status quo is not good.
“Last year the business was down to $7.2 million. It forces us to put in a lot of effort on the part of the government and the people, to recover and change this business.”
He asked businessmen to take advantage of the relationship between the two countries which is getting back on track, all economic activities and participate in them.
The State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in charge of the East African Community, Prof. Dear Manasseh, he said that there are discussions to remove these barriers to trade.
He said: “There are non-tariff barriers that are created by people and removed by people. These and other hindrances in the face of corruption are not permitted, whether they are barriers, notifying people…”
Ugandan traders say that “there are problems at the border where you leave Uganda and spend two hours at the border, you leave Rwanda and so on, and they ask that these barriers which slow people down not deleted.
Sellers received missions
The Director General of the Development Department (RDB), Clare Akamanzi, said Rwanda and Uganda share a strong history in trade, investment and culture.
He said that in 2019, before the Covid-19 outbreak, Ugandan exports to Rwanda, mostly food and cement, were worth over $200 million.
He said “I think we can do more business between us than here…Rwanda is progressing and you will rally around”.
Rwanda is a country with an economic growth of more than 8% per year, which makes it one of the most dynamic economies in Africa.
Akamanzi said the economy has recovered from Covid-19 and is continuing, with an average growth of 8.2% in 2022.she said: “It is easy to do business in Rwanda. The World Bank has ranked Rwanda second in ease of doing business in Africa after Mauritius and 38th globally.
Registering a business is easy and takes six hours. You can do this on the Internet and get the document immediately. Rwanda is safe. Corruption is the third worst crime in the world.
More than 23 investment projects originating from Rwanda are registered at the RDB. This investment amounts to $252 million and has created more than 1,800 jobs.
Akamanzi said the economy had recovered after Covid-19 and was continuing, with an average growth of 8.2% in 2022.« It is easy to do business in Rwanda. The World Bank ranked Rwanda second for the ease of doing business in Africa after Mauritius and 38th in the world. she declared
Writing a company is easy and takes six hours. You can do it on the Internet and get the document immediately. Rwanda is safe. Corruption is the third worst crime in the world.
More than 23 investment projects originating in Rwanda are registered in the RDB. This investment is worth 252 million dollars and has created more than 1,800 jobs. Akamanzi declared : « I think that , can do more. We can trade between Rwanda and Uganda but also expand the market at the level of Africa.
Investor Denis Karera told traders that the African stock market offered many opportunities to traders and investors, urging them to take part.He assured that during the meeting between the two countries, the non-tariff barriers were discussed and solutions were sought.