Kampala. Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde has commissioned a new 12-member team to head Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) with a task of increasing the country’s exports.
While handing over the mantle to Mr Nimrod Waniala Nakisisa, the new UEPB chairman, in Kampala last week, Ms Kyambadde said: “As a board, you ensure efficient and full service delivery to export Uganda to a middle income country by 2020.”
Ms Kyambadde urged the members to ensure that the country’s exports growth helps to narrow the trade deficit.
Whereas total exports grew by an annual average of 13.8 per cent between 2005 and 2015, the country’s trade deficit was widening at an annual average of 9.98 per cent over the same period.
The trade deficit is not on account of declining exports but rather fast growing import demand.
“I challenge the board to see that the country’s National Export Development Strategy (NEDS) is implemented as a direction towards boosting the country’s exports,” Ms Kyambadde added.
The strategy, which is hinged on export development and export promotion, envisions a focused and dynamic export sector responsive to available opportunities, especially in preferential markets, with the objective of increasing the value of Uganda’s exports.
It priotises products such as coffee, base metals, fish, cement, tobacco, sugar, flowers, tea, hides and skins, cocoa, sim sim, maize, plastics, rice, cotton, fruits and vegetables.
In his remarks, Mr Nakisisa, who previously worked as deputy director of the Export Policy Analysis and Development Unit at the Finance ministry in the 1990s, promised to execute the assignment given to him together with his team following the principle of good governance.
“We will undertake some measures in strategy development. With the support from the ministry and assured financial soundness, we will take decisions to ensure that UEPB meets compliance as per the law of the land,” Mr Nakisisa said.
He said they will ensure Uganda takes advantage of the expanding regional and international markets.