Denmark stakes $9m to help Ugandan women trade betterKyambadde (right) told Jakobsen that informal trade, small and women traders make up the majority of cross border transactions.
May 17—Denmark is using the non-profit consultancy, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA), to channel $9 million towards supporting small entrepreneurs, especially women traders, along the common border with South Sudan.
“Denmark is passionate about promoting private sector development in Uganda. We appreciate Uganda’s efforts to improve the business environment, but more needs to be done,” Majbrit Holm Jakobsen, Head of Mission at the Danish Embassy said at the Elegu One Stop Border during mid-week.
It was here to the north of Kampala where the four-year Uganda Program for Sustainable and Inclusive Development for the Economy (UPSIDE) project was signed between representatives of the two countries.
Trade minister, Amelia Kyambadde said informal trade, small and women traders make up the majority of cross border trade. This is why there is a need to put in place systems, regulations and environment that can up lift these groups of into bigger exporters and importers.
Jakoben said, “That is why Danida is glad to further partner with TradeMark East Africa in increasing trade in the region by creating the necessary conditions for the private sector, especially for informal traders who constitute the majority of cross border trade in Uganda. Informal trade directly impacts on the livelihoods of the bottom of pyramid which is a key element of Denmark’s engagement in development aid.”
“We thank the Danish Government for supporting trade facilitation in Uganda including the Uganda National Electronic Single Window and support to cross border trade. This support comes at the right time as my Ministry developed a National Export Development Strategy that seeks to increase the value of Uganda’s exports of the specified products and services to the targeted markets over the next five years,” Kyambadde said.
UPSIDE consists of the Northern Uganda Resilience Initiative (NURI); financial backing for the Agriculture Business Initiative(aBi) and support to TradeMark East Africa (TMEA). With UPSIDE, more trade is expected through removal of barriers and improvement of markets. There will be a focus on improved trading standards and reduced non-tariff barriers (NTB), better and more transparent trade processes and systems, and an improved trade regulatory environment.
Doris Akol, Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority said; “We appreciate the support from the Government of Denmark through TradeMark East Africa to enhance ICT trade systems. This support will improve the trade environment, increase efficiency, transparency and predictability of trade processes – through the implementation of the Electronic Single Window.”
Moses Sabiiti, TMEA Uganda and Sudan Country Director said; “In Strategy II, TMEA seeks to deepen engagement with borderland communities with the key aim of thinning borders so as to increase access to markets. TMEA will take a two pronged approach. Build upon ongoing infrastructure works such as the One Stop Border Posts for example, Busia, Elegu and Mutukula, to address key trading challenges faced by both formal and informal cross border traders. This will not only cement Uganda’s position as a regional logistics hub for both informal and formal trade, but will also further consolidate gains in increasing ease of doing business in Uganda.”
According to Richard Kamajugo, the TMEA Chief Operations Officer, Danida through TMEA, has to date supported Uganda with $18 million in grants to ease cross-border trade.