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ITC, EAC Launch Project to Boost African Trade

Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) has dismissed Dr Olara Otunnu’s recent remarks that all party leaders appointed led by Lira Municipality Member of Parliament, prescription Jimmy Michael Akena as well as politicians nominated under the party ticket for next year’s elections would have to be dismissed.

At a press conference on Monday, abortion Dr. Otunnu after being handed the office of the President by High Court which nullified Akena’s election; he told press that the latter’s cabinet and all leaders nominated during his time would have to lose their positions.

In his response, Akena’s cabinet Chairperson Lawrence Okae told Chimpreports that Otunnu’s assertions were mere talk that should be ignored.

“The matter that was in court was not concerning cabinet or the candidates and even in the applicant Joseph Bossa’s prayers, this not included,” said Okae.”

“Mr. Otunnu himself knows that his tenure as UPC president ended back in March and he told the whole country that he would never involve himself in an election, which means he had excused himself from the leadership of the party; I wonder therefore, under which capacity does he stand to make such statements.”

UPC nominated a total of 36 candidates for Parliamentary seat who among others include; Jimmy Akena who was nominated to run for MP Lira Municipality, Betty Among, Viola Nahebwa.

Regarding vacating the party offices at Uganda House, Okae noted that their leadership would not leave since court never issued an order to that effect.

“It was one of the prayers made by Joseph Bossa in his application that the leadership of Akena be evicted from Uganda House but the judge declined that he would not grant such an order,” he said.


Otunnu maintains that government is behind Akena’s capture of power from him.

The Electoral Commission denied Otunnu’s Secretary General Fr. Jacinto Ogwal to officially nominate candidates; but rather received party nominated candidates signed by Edward Sseganyi, the Secretary General in the Akena’s cabinet.

The court ruling made by Justice Nyanzi stated that despite Akena winning the party District Conference elections, he is not the legitimate party president since UPC never held a constitutional Delegates Conference to have him endorsed by delegates.
The International Trade Centre (ITC) and the East African Community (EAC) on Tuesday announced that the two organisations are launching a new, doctor joint project to boost intra-African trade.

The Trade and Regional Integration Project (TRIP) for EAC was announced by the EAC Secretary-General Amb. Dr Richard Sezibera and ITC Executive Director Arancha González on the margins of the World Trade Organisation’s Ministerial Conference taking place in Nairobi, Kenya.

The new initiative aims to strengthen existing efforts by East African Partner States for closer economic integration, including the EAC Customs Union and the EAC Common Market.

The TRIP for EAC project also sets out to support the African Union’s Action Plan for Boosting Intra-African Trade and the recently agreed tripartite free-trade agreement among the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the EAC and the Southern African Development Community.

Specifically the project aims to boost the competitiveness of EAC-based small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), enabling them to step up intra-and inter-regional trade.

The project will have a strong focus on women’s economic empowerment, and will also support wider private-sector development in the EAC to spur deeper economic integration, including in agriculture, information and communication technologies, and tourism.

“Regional integration led by the private sector is a powerful vehicle for boosting growth, creating jobs and promoting economic development”, Ms González said.

“Enabling the private sector and policymakers to take advantage of trade opportunities is at the heart of what ITC does. We are looking forward to doing this in collaboration with the EAC, and to ensuring sustainable growth for East African countries and their SMEs, she added.

Amb. Sezibera said,  “This cooperation will contribute to improve the global competitiveness of our region and to trigger sustainable economic growth.”

“Implementation of the five-year US$ 8.5 million TRIP for EAC project is set to begin in January 2016. The Government of Finland has pledged to provide initial funding,” he added.

ITC and the EAC will intervene at three levels to provide integrated solutions to problems of SME competitiveness. At the enterprise level, they will work to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs in selected sectors, with a strong focus on women entrepreneurs.

At the institutional level, they will work to strengthen trade and investment support institutions, enabling them to better serve their SME clients, especially on export development and international marketing services.

Finally, at the trade policy level, the project will aim to enhance the business environment through improving trade facilitation and public-private dialogue to ensure that reforms correspond to business needs.

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