The minister of Trade, industry and cooperatives Hon Amelia Kyambadde has said that trading of manufactured goods between Uganda and Rwanda has dropped significantly over the political squabbles between the two countries.
Kyambadde while addressing journalists about Africa Industrialization Day in Kampala today, revealed that trade in manufactured goods between Ugandan and Rwanda over the past months had dropped from USD 300 million to USD 73 million.
She attributed this mainly to the closure of the Katuna boarder, which remains closed since March.
Rwanda has continued to show less interest in having the stand off resolved.
Recently Rwanda pulled out of the second meeting of the peace talks between officials of the two countries in which the reopening of the border was supposed to be discussed.
The meeting was scheduled for November 18th but last week, Rwanda postponed it to an unannounced date, providing no grounds.
Today, Uganda joins the rest of Africa to commemorate Africa Industrialization day with the objective to raise awareness on opportunities and challenges faced by the continent in respect to Industrialization.
This year’s theme is “positioning African industry to supply the African continental free Trade area (AFCFTA) market” which was launched on 7th July 2019 by African Heads of State in Niamey, Niger.
AFCFTA provides a market of about USD 3 trillion and a consumer base of 1.3 billion people.
With this, Kyambadde said Africa’s manufacturing sector is projected to double in size by 2025 and create millions of jobs.
She said that government targets to exploit the abundant renewable energy sources to increase power generation to 2500MW by 2020.
“The commissioning of Isimba hydropower plant in March 2019 increased the country’s installed generation capacity to 1200MW”
“The commissioning of Karuma hydropower plant (600MW) is planned for December 2019 and will increase the capacity to 1800MW. After commissioning of Karuma, government expects electricity tariffs for industrial use to reduce to about USD 5 cents per KWH from USD 8 cents” said Kyambadde
Other efforts towards strengthening industrial support infrastructure, she noted that government embarked on acquisition and development of land to make available 22 industrial and business parks across Uganda.
“Works have so far been commissioned in a total of 10 industrial parks including four privately owned parks”
The public parks include Kampala industrial business park Namanve, Bweyogerere, Luzira, Jinja, Soroti, Mbarara and Kasese business industrial park.
Presenting brief highlights of national industrial sector performance, she said that the sector grew by 5.8% in 2018/19 financial year, manufacturing sub sector registered 2.8% growth in 2018/19 financial year compared to 1.7 in 2017/18 financial year, the number of industries has grown to more than 4780 and iron and steel industry now has 28 steel industries and its installed capacity has doubled to 1.7 million tons per annum from 866,000 tons five years ago.
“The cement industry has expanded to five cement factories more than doubling annual production to 4.43 million tons from 2 million tons five years ago,” she added
Among the planned activities for the national commemorations include a symposium at Uganda industrial research institute in Nakawa on 11th December 2019 during which industry stakeholders will present memoranda to government in line with the theme.
The symposium will be attended by ministries, departments and agencies of government, private sector, international organizations, civil society and the academia.