The Kenyan government has sent a high-power delegation to Kampala to resolve a protracted trade row regarding export and import duty charges on frequently used commodities.
The delegation will inspect Uganda's sugar processing plants to verify the claims that President Yoweri Museveni's country imports sugar from Brazil and repackages it to sell to Kenya.
The delegation team, formed through the Ministry of Trade, seeks to erase the allegations and find ways to improve bilateral trade between the two countries.
"This delegation from Kenya has officially come to Uganda to unpack all the barriers that are affecting trade between the two countries, but specifically with the mission to do a verification of our sugar factories.
For sugar to be exported to Kenya and Tanzania, it has to be wholly obtained and manufactured from Uganda. So Kenya has come to erase all those false allegations," stated Uganda Ministry of Trade Industry & Cooperatives Senior Commercial Officer Dan Ssekamwa.
Kenya had in 2020 banned a section of Ugandan products into the country over concerns that the goods were imported from outside the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region.
Uganda, however, demanded that Kenya allows it to import its excess sugar lest they ban Kenya's exportation of duty free fruit juices and pharmaceuticals.
The two countries subsequently made a deal that would see both parties safeguard their export goods and put to an end the trade dispute.
"We will do our part and we have no doubt that Kenya will also do their part as well given our common ground in fostering regional integration for the mutual benefit of our people," said Uganda Trade Industry PS Grace Adong.
Kenya’s Trade Principal Secretary Johnson Weru stated that COMESA had allocated more than 11,000 metric tonnes per annum increase in amounts of Uganda’s sugar exports to Kenya.
“There was a question of the sugar quota that they (Uganda) have been allocated by Comesa to export to Kenya. Now they seem to have more sugar to export than the quota they have been allocated," he said.
Due to insufficiency in the local market, Kenya imports more than 350,000 tonnes of sugar from East Africa and COMESA.