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Ruto reverses Uhuru’s policy on trade imports from Uganda

President William Ruto has reversed retired president Uhuru Kenyatta’s trade policy on imports from Uganda.

Speaking during Uganda’s Independence Day celebrations in Kampala, President Ruto suggested Uganda is now free to sell its maize, milk, and eggs to Kenya.

“It is our place as leaders and citizens of the East Africa Community (EAC) to work together to transform our borders which today stand out as barriers and convert them to bridges so that goods, people, and services can move across this East Africa without any impediments,” said President Ruto.

Adding: “There is absolutely no reason why food cannot be available in our region. If there is food in Uganda, it should find its way to Kenya. If there are opportunities in Kenya, Ugandans should be able to access those opportunities.”

Former president Kenyatta’s regime consistently barred Ugandan products, especially maize, milk, and eggs from the Kenyan market in a trade war that witnessed a reduction in the volume of trade between the two countries in the past year.

Analysts believe the retired Kenyan president was reacting to a move by Uganda to snub the Kenyan ports of Mombasa and Lamu as the transit destination for Uganda’s oil via pipeline in favour of Tanzania’s Tanga port.

Ruto’s move to allow Ugandan food products into Kenya could however impact Kenya’s farmers considering food from Uganda is relatively cheap.

Kenya is Uganda’s biggest trade partner with exports to Uganda in 2020 amounting to Sh81 billion while Uganda’s exports to Kenya stood at Sh56 billion during the same period.

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