Uganda invites Kenya team to dialogue on milk export deadlock
Uganda has invited Kenya’s Ministerial Agriculture and Trade teams to Kampala for a dialogue to clear up trade disputes over Ugandan milk imports to Kenya.
Two months ago, Kenya imposed a seven percent tax on milk imports from Uganda, which further strained relations between the two EAC countries.
Ugandan High Commissioner to Kenya and Seychelles, Dr Hassan Wasswa Galiwango, while extending the invitation, said; “Uganda is supposed to export milk to Kenya, but there is a problem that will be resolved soon. We invited the government of Kenya to send a delegation to inspect Ugandan dairy factories, to verify Uganda’s ability to produce [exportable] excess.”
Mr. Galiwango was speaking in Nairobi on Friday during Uganda Week in Kenya in commemoration of Uganda’s 59 years of independence.
“It is suspected that the milk exported to Kenya does not come from Uganda and that it is powder imported and then processed into milk.
“I assure you Uganda has a lot of dairy animals. We are producing more than enough for local consumption.
The dispute has been going on since July, when the Ugandan Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries, Frank Tumwebaze, asked Kenya and Tanzania to allow Ugandan milk in their markets, but due to the effects of Covid-19, no meeting has taken place between the countries.
Kenya’s Chief Livestock Secretary Harry Kimtai said they were ready to travel to Uganda for a verification mission, but the latter was hit by the third wave of Covid-19, hence the delay.
“We also face similar challenges in exporting sugar.
“We invite countries to meet and resolve these issues,” added Mr. Galiwango.
He called on neighbors to adhere to the EAC’s common market protocols that allow free movement of goods and services, including sugar.
Uganda Week (October 4-9) in Kenya was a hybrid event, with virtual and physical segments, making it easy for participants to follow the program.
This year’s theme was “Securing Uganda’s Future through Promoting Tourism and Education for Economic Development”.
The highlight was a two-day exhibition of Ugandan products, Friday and Saturday, with a special focus on promoting education and tourism.
The events of the week were jointly organized by the Ugandan missions in Kenya, with the support of the Ugandan diaspora in Nairobi.