Kampala: Uganda’s First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for East African Cooperation, Eriya Kategaya has dismissed fears among some East African Community partner states that Kenya would dominate regional trade because of its bigger economy. Mr Kategaya said while the free movement of goods under the EAC Common Market Protocol (CMP) may kill a few marginal or peripheral industries, it has immense benefits for the economies of the five EAC partner states.
'Cross border investments have increased, especially in communication services, banking and insurance,' said Kategaya on Wednesday during a joint sensitisation meeting for border officials, implementing agencies in Malaba, Kenya.
The minister said that the implementing agencies should be sensitised on the provisions of the CMP, saying most customs officers are unaware of the EAC Customs Management Act.
The Ugandan minister called for elimination of tariffs on all goods produced and circulated within the region as enshrined in the CMP. The improvement of infrastructure at the border posts is critical for the quick clearance of goods which would be a plus for increased regional trade, he said. He added that Malaba is generating lots of revenue for both Kenya and Uganda but has little to show in terms of infrastructural development.
Mr Kategaya rooted for increased collaboration among partner states in agricultural research and capacity building, saying individual efforts will not yield much.