Uganda’s Exports to Kenya Plummet Amid Trade Tensions

Eggs await for customers after collection. Prices of eggs have started easing in the city due to increased supply (PHOTO/Courtesy)

Uganda’s exports to Kenya have significantly declined in the first quarter of 2024, dropping by 9.09% compared to the same period last year. The value of goods imported from Uganda through formal routes decreased to Sh7.48 billion, down from Sh8.23 billion in 2023.

The decline is attributed to the ongoing trade dispute between Nairobi and Kampala, which has seen a blockade of Ugandan goods such as eggs, sugar, milk powder, and grains. Kenya’s protectionist policies aim to shield its farmers, but have resulted in reduced imports from Uganda.

Brookside Limited, a leading dairy company, has been severely affected, with 114 export permits denied by the Kenya Dairy Board since March last year. This has forced Uganda to seek alternative markets, primarily in North and West Africa.

Despite being Uganda’s main market for dairy products, Kenya’s trade restrictions have led to a significant decline in Ugandan exports. The East African Community (EAC) Customs Union Protocol allows for the free movement of goods, services, capital, and labor within the bloc, but Kenya’s actions have undermined this agreement.

The trade tensions have also affected other Ugandan products, such as grains, which were restricted by Tanzania last year. The rules required traders to register offices in Dar es Salaam and obtain licenses and tax clearance certificates to export maize and other grains.

Uganda’s exports to Kenya have been a significant contributor to the country’s economy, and the decline has raised concerns about the impact on trade and economic growth. The trade dispute has also highlighted the need for a resolution to ensure the free movement of goods and services within the EAC region.

In recent developments, Kenya’s President William Ruto and Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni have agreed to resolve the trade disputes and ensure unimpeded trade between the two countries. However, the implementation of this agreement remains to be seen, and the impact on Ugandan exports to Kenya remains a concern.


Most Popular

To Top