UGANDA, RWANDA TO BRING BUSINESS COMMUNITIES TOGETHER.

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  • Delegations from Rwanda and Uganda held a meeting to bring together the business communities of both countries.
  • Issues to be addressed as soon as possible included the removal of all non-tariff barriers that still make it difficult for cross-border trade.
  • Uganda’s national carrier, Uganda Airlines, will soon launch direct flights to Kigali.

A popular saying goes that two heads are better than one, but what happens when two countries combine resources?

Last week, delegations from Rwanda and Uganda held a meeting that was capped by a forum that brought together business communities of both countries, where they discussed different areas of mutual benefit.

This is a commendable action between the political delegations as they considered bringing on board the private sector, whose forum was conveniently held after the meeting by politicians, to strategize on how they will leverage the rejuvenated diplomatic ties to shore up investments between the two countries.

The primary issues that were raised, were thought to be issues to be addressed as soon as possible included the removal of all non-tariff barriers that still make it difficult for cross-border trade. The politicians took note of this issue and promised to work towards addressing them.

A diplomatic impasse that lasted for close to four years has set the countries aback and the responsible parties are willing to do all that is necessary to hasten the process that creates an enabling environment for the business communities of the countries to thrive.

 Before the hitch, both countries had taken very impressive steps in breaking such barriers under what was called the Northern Corridor Integration Projects, during which both countries, together with Kenya allowed for the use of national IDs for citizens of either country to enter one of these countries.

Such initiatives are very critical in accelerating economic integration and the biggest beneficiaries are the small-scale cross-border traders, which then has a repo effect on the economies of the countries involved.

Another key takeaway from the meeting was the announcement that Uganda’s national carrier, Uganda Airlines, will soon launch direct flights to Kigali, which is worth celebrating by the business community since it means more variety in terms of air transport.

This is however not enough in terms of transport since very few afford air transport and therefore a more effective means of transport like a high-speed railway line would come in handy because it carries more people and the capacity to ferry merchandise is also much higher. Most importantly, it is much cheaper.

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