African governments should remove trade barriers, says Otafiire

Monday November 23 2015

Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, minister of Justice

Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs . File photo 

By Mark Keith Muhumuza

Mombasa. African countries continue to have trade barriers restricting the movement of goods and services despite efforts to unify the continent.
In East Africa, for instance, the presence of nontariff barriers has restricted trading, especially where goods have to enter markets such as Kenya and Tanzania from Uganda.
The global chairman of the Pan African Movement and minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, says the barriers need to be broken down by African governments if they are to create jobs and boost investment on the continent.

“African countries need to tear down artificial borders in order for the continent to get economic freedom. We have had political freedom for a while, but economic freedom remains a dream for most African countries,” Maj Gen Otafiire said at the launch of a partnership between the Pan African Movement and TAL Group in Mombasa.
TAL Group runs a nine-acre Makupa Transit Shade at the Port of Mombasa.
In June 2015, a coalition of three regional economic communities representing 26 African countries bringing together a population of 600 million people came together to form the Tripartite Free Trade Area. This is aimed at boosting intra-African trade.

The continent, despite being resource rich, is one of the poorest with unemployment being a big problem.
Unemployment among the youth in Uganda, for instance, is at about 63 per cent.
“It is not until we pull our resources together so we can develop this continent. It hurts to see Africans drowning in the Mediterranean Sea, leaving resource-rich Africa because we have failed to exploit our resources,” he added.
The partnership between the TAL Group and Pan African Movement will allow the company to use the logo of the movement on their containers, documents and goods.
At least 50 per cent of goods handled by the TAL Group are destined for Uganda.

“We are creating jobs for fellow Africans. As entrepreneurs, we have been empowered to create the jobs and build businesses that will make Africa an economically independent continent in the future,” says Mr Hatayan Twalib, the chairman TAL Group of Companies.

mmuhumuza@ug.nationmedia.com

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