The Minister for East African Affairs, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has revealed that Uganda is considering retaliatory measures over Kenya’s continued ban of its agricultural products.
Ms Kadaga said Cabinet has asked the Agriculture ministry to identify and list Kenyan products that would be prohibited by the Ugandan government within a ‘short period of time.’
“We have been too patient. In the past, we have not reciprocated, but now we are going to. This has gone on for too long and within a short time, they too will understand what we are going through,” she told a press on Tuesday.
While Kenya is Uganda’s biggest trade partner, with Kenyan exports to Uganda in 2020 amounting to $673.66 million and Uganda’s exports to Kenya stood at $465.55 million during the same period, the two countries have been embroiled in a trade dispute since 2019.
Kenya has stopped importing Ugandan milk and sugar, claiming that they are substandard. Kenya also banned maize grain from Uganda, saying the imports have high levels of mycotoxins that are consistently beyond safety levels
In October, Uganda invited Kenya’s Agriculture and Trade ministerial teams to Kampala for dialogue to clear the stalemate. But Kenya last month postponed a trade mission to Uganda.
In April, the two countries had struck a deal to resolve the persistent trade dispute between them following a seven-day visit by Kenyan officials led by Ms Maina to Kampala.
In addition to discussing non-tariff barriers (NTBs) affecting trade between the two countries, the Kenyan delegation sought assurances that the sugar exported to Kenya was wholly produced in Uganda.
Following the visit, the two nations signed a framework of trade co-operation and agreed that Kenya would import up to 90,000 metric tonnes of Ugandan sugar per year from July 1, 2021.
The officials also agreed to abolish a 35 percent excise duty on liquid petroleum gas cylinders manufactured in Uganda. However, all these have not been implemented.