Kenya lifts ban on Uganda sugar

Kenya has lifted the ban on import of Uganda’s sugar; a move set to give local manufacturers more opportunities in East Africa’s largest economy.

The decision to lift the ban was made at a regional meeting of leaders from Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda last week in Kigali.

“The two states signed a protocol that waived off the ban on export of Uganda’s sugar to Kenya that had affected trade in the last two and half years ,”Henry Okello Oryem, Uganda’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs told Afrika Reporter.

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Uganda’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem

“That matter has now been resolved, Kenya now allows Ugandan sugar to go there. In fact Kenya has given us a quota of 97,000 metric tonnes that Uganda can export to Kenya per year. ,” Oryem noted.

The three countries plus South Sudan form the northern corridor. Uganda had been locked in trade dispute with Kenya since 2011 when claims emerged that traders from Uganda were simply repacking cheap sugar from COMESA countries for resale in other regional markets.
This saw Kenya slap a ban on Uganda sugar in October 2012, which was later replaced by stringent vetting of consignment that takes up to three months before shipment permits are issued.

This decision coincides with that of COMESA to give Kenya a one year extension on sugar safeguards from regional states thereby limiting the entry of sweetener into the East African nation.

The news of lifting the ban on export of Uganda’s sugar to Kenya has excited both traders and manufacturers of Sugar in Uganda. Everesto Kayondo chairperson of Kampala City Traders Association says this will improve trade in sugar.

Ballan Hassan, one of the managers at Kakira Sugar Works Ltd,the leading sugar producing company welcomed the decision taken by Kenya. He says the company would increase production volume since they had reduced production after the ban was imposed.

Annually, six established Uganda sugar manufacturers have a capacity of 373,000 metric tonnes of Sugar of which, 70,000 metric tonnes is consumed locally and the rest is exported to South Sudan, Rwanda and Tanzania.

The manufacturers are Kakira Sugar Works Ltd, Kinyara Sugar Works Limited, Sugar & Allied Industries Limited, Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited, Sango Bay Estates Limited and Mayuge Sugar Industries Limited.

Data from Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association show that Uganda exported 31,767 metric tonnes of sugar to Kenya in 2012, about 7000 metric tonnes to South Sudan and 11,954 to Rwanda. As of last month, the companies had slightly more than 60,000 metric tonnes of sugar in stock and this figure is expected to grow as the companies increase their production capacity.

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