Farmers, entrepreneurs in Khartoum to search for markets

Some of the participants from Uganda in Khartoum, Sudan ahead of the Expo. Ugandans have heightened the search for markets with and beyond East Africa. Photo / Betty Ndagire  

What you need to know:

  • The expo, which opened in Khartoum on Wednesday under the theme: Fostering economic prosperity through regional trade, will seek to introduce farmers and entrepreneurs to new markets and opportunities.  

At least 50 farmers and entrepreneurs are in Khartoum, Sudan with the view of seeking market for their products through the maiden Uganda-Sudan Tourism and Trade Expo. 

The expo, which opened in Khartoum on Wednesday under the theme: Fostering economic prosperity through regional trade, will seek to introduce farmers and entrepreneurs to new markets and opportunities. 

Speaking in an interview yesterday, Ms Proscovia Nannozi, the Operation Wealth Creation coordinator to the executive assistant, said the more than 50 farmers and entrepreneurs had come with one common goal of establishing a sustainable market.

“We need to come up as members of cooperative unions and improve our quality so that we can have an organised bargaining power,” she said, noting that most businesses in Uganda are SMEs, which means that they lack capacity to enter new markets on their own. 

“Sudan (Khartoum) is a low hanging regional opportunity whose exploration as a market in the maiden Sudan-Uganda Expo comes on the back of other efforts recently to establish meaningful trade relations with DR Congo and South Sudan by government and the private sector,” she added. 

The expo is organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Operation Wealth Creation, Trending Marketing Operations Agency, Uganda Manufacturers Association, Foreign Affairs and the Sudanese business community. 

Data indicate that bilateral trade between Uganda and Sudan is estimated at less than $200m dominated by coffee.  Sudan imports most of its food some of which Uganda has potential to supply, which therefore, the expo creates an avenue to spearhead trade facilitating organised between business people in the two countries. 

Ms Babra Wasagali, the Bugisu Co-operative Union Limited general manager, said they expect bigger market from the expo and diversification of their farmers to agri-products such as fruits, bananas, noting that they also expect to open markets for value addition on their coffee powder and roasted beans to be exported to Sudan.

However, Ms Nabatazi indicated that government is capitalizing Uganda Development Co-operation with the view of increasing public private partnership to operationalise industrial projects prioritized in industrial sector strategic plan.

She also indicated that government is trying to establish a manufacturing development credit facility in partnership with commercial banks to ease access to long term development funding.

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