The Minister of State for Trade, Ms Harriet Ntabazi, has said Ugandans will officially start investing and trading in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) following its recent admission into the East African Community (EAC).
Addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on Monday, Ms Ntabazi said President Museveni and his DR Congo counterpart, Mr Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, have already signed a memorandum of understanding and agreed that the two neigbouring countries further their trade ties.
“Uganda has gone high in promoting trade across the globe. Our target now is the DRC, where we are assured of market from the population of more than 80 million people. Uganda People’s Defence Forces have worked hard to restore peace in the country,” she said.
Ms Ntabanzi said the process of officially penetrating the market will kick off with a Uganda-Congo Investment Summit slated for June 27 to 28 in DR Congo.
The local delegation will comprise of officials from Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and the private sector members from the manufacturing industry, commercial agriculture, Information Communication Technology, among other sectors. The participants are currently being registered by UIA. So far, about 176 companies have been registered.
Ms Ntabazi urged Ugandans to supply quality products to remain competitive
Promoting Pan Africanism
The State Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of Regional Cooperation, Mr John Mulimba, said the move is aimed at actualising the Pan African agenda.
“Recently, we had a West Nile investment summit, where a delegation from DR Congo’s Office of the President and the provinces of Ituri, South Kivu and North Kivu participated, and we agreed under resolution number four to go to DRC to continue with the good work of collaboration,” Mr Mulimba said.
DR Congo was admitted to EAC on September 29, 2021 and on April 4, the chairperson of the East African Community Heads of State Summit, who is also the Kenyan president, Mr Uhuru Kenyatta, together with Mr Tshisekedi signed the treaty of accession in Nairobi.
Mr Mulimba said DR Congo has up to September to ratify the treaty before it is fully integrated in the community.