BUNAGANA. Trade volumes between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has increased by USD 380 million, over the last three years, according to Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde.
Kyambadde explains that in the year 2020, trade volume between the two countries increased to USD 580 million compared to USD 200 million in 2017. She attributes this to an increase in the number of Ugandan traders targeting the market in the Democratic Republic of Congo with agricultural exports like beans, maize, millet, sugar, fish, and sorghum, among others.
Kyambadde was speaking as the chief guest at the launch of the construction of a USD 1.3 million Border Export Zone at the Uganda-DRC border of Bunagana in Kisoro district on Friday. The Border Export Zone, being constructed by Techno Three Uganda Limited with the supervision of KK Partnership Architects is funded by the World Bank in partnership with Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project (GLTFP) Uganda.
She says that if the volumes keep on increasing at this pace, Uganda has a chance of doubling its earnings from USD 2.6 billion to USD 5 billion in the next two years. She however calls for value addition to Ugandan exports, adding that at the moment, most goods exported to DRC are in raw form and as a result, she says, Ugandans are earning less than they should from their produce.
Kyambadde appealed to Ugandans and Members of Parliament to unanimously support the construction of roads in DRC to ease the transportation of goods to and from Uganda.
Several Ugandan traders opted for the DRC market following the closure of the Uganda-Rwanda border in February 2019. Rwandan President Paul Kagame accused Uganda of hosting and facilitating dissidents especially from Rwanda National Congress-RNC and the Democratic Forces for the liberation of Rwanda FDLR, which have declared war on the Kigali government, and abducting Rwandan citizens.
The closure suffocated business at Katuna Border in Kabale district and Chanika border in Kisoro district.
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