Hon Rt. Hon. Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga, First Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for East African Community Affairs has reiterated her ministry’s support towards promoting trade.
Ms. Kadaga believes that the East African Community (EAC) is a dynamic and fast-growing region that offers immense potential for business and investment.
“With a combined population of over 180 million people and a GDP of over $200 billion, the EAC is a market that cannot be ignored. Our region has abundant natural resources, a young and growing population, and a strategic location that connects us to major global markets,” she said.
“My ministry is committed to working with our partners in the region and beyond to strengthen our integration efforts and create a business-friendly environment that enables our entrepreneurs to thrive. I am pleased to inform you that we are committed to supporting initiatives aimed at promoting regional integration and facilitating cross-border trade, including the establishment of a regional trade information portal and the development of a regional investment guide,” she added
The Minister made these remarks, in a speech that was read by her deputy, State Minister of East African Community Affairs, Magode Ikuya while officiating the launch of the East African Business Expo at Lugogo Show grounds in Kampala on Friday.
“To fully realize our potential, we must work together to overcome the challenges that we face,” she said.
The expo was held under the theme: exploring business opportunities in East Africa is a platform that seeks to bring together businesses from across the East African Community to showcase their products and services, exchange ideas, and explore business opportunities.
Ms Kadaga said all stakeholders in her ministry inclusive needs to continue to work together to address challenges such as non-tariff barriers, high transaction costs, and inadequate infrastructure. We must also promote innovation and entrepreneurship to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.
“To address some of these challenges, my ministry has continued to support a range of initiatives aimed at promoting trade and investment in our region. These include the establishment of a common market, a customs union, and a monetary union, as well as the development of regional infrastructure projects such as the East African Railway Master Plan and the Northern Corridor Integration Projects,” she said
In his own words, Ikuya said that Magode expressed his displeasure following the events that led to the postponement of the event. He says his ministry will review the outcomes and see whether there can be a repeat of the same event this year.
Mr.Magode first visited different stalls of the exhibitors before addressing the small number of exhibitors.
Different manufacturers showcased their products despite low turn up at the event held at the KCCA grounds in Lugogo, Kampala.
The Hon. Magode Ikuya who represented the senior Minister of East African Community Affairs, Rebecca Kadaga was disappointed at the low turn-up. The minister acknowledged that this could be attributed to the event which was rescheduled from March to May 2023.
The minister called for better ways of managing such public events by government officials especially when it comes to hosting such an international event.
The East African Business Expo is an annual event held interchangeably in the East African Community member states. This year has been Uganda’s turn to host the event that brings together different manufacturers from East Africa to showcase their products.