Uganda-Algeria Business Forum launched, to propel intra-African Trade
The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Algeria to Uganda, H.E. Cherif Oualid is optimistic that the upcoming Uganda-Algeria Trade and investment Forum scheduled to take place from September 30, 2023 to October 2, 2023 at Hotel Africana in Kampala, will mark a critical step in propelling business relations between the two countries and fostering intra-African Trade which is still weak and standing at no more than 16% of the continent’s global trade.
H.E. Cherif Oualid revealed this on Wednesday afternoon at the official launch of the Uganda-Algeria Business Forum at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He added that, Algeria, under President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has set out as a matter of priority, to focus its trade and investment endavours within the African continent, especially with countries such as Uganda.
“Uganda and Algeria have a huge potential and complementarities to harness for the mutual benefit of their respective peoples. They are both endowed with tremendous natural resources waiting to be tapped. They can also both leverage markets offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Just like Uganda, Algeria is in discussions with the AfCFTA Secretariat with a view to integrating the Guided Trade Initiative (GTI). Both countries can partner with each other to be part of the GTI.” H.E. Cherif Oualid noted.
The Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Harriet Ntabazi officially launched the business forum after making her keynote remarks during media briefing held at Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Katureebe Tayebwa, Head-Regional Economic Affairs moderated the session inside Wapakabulo Auditorium.
Ministry of Trade, National Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) partnered to organize the two-day forum.
According to Vincent Bagiire, the Permanent Secretary- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the business forum offers an opportunity for the Algerian economic operators to explore the investment potential and business climate in Uganda as well as the reciprocal needs of the markets in both countries.
The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) Odrek Rwabwogo reiterated the value of having a Buyer-Seller Session during the business forum to match-make companies from both countries sector by sector and capacity by capacity. He called for regional cooperation and removal of the bottlenecks that hinder intra-African Trade. “Algeria has a huge economy that comes with huge opportunities”.
Geraldine Ssali, the Permanent Secretary-Ministry of Trade urged the Ugandan business community to take advantage of the opportunities that this business forum presents as Algeria offers big opportunities for off-takers in trade.
The President of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce, Olive Kigongo announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is due to be signed by the Chamber of Commerce of the two countries on the sidelines of the business forum.
Over 60 Algerian companies in various sectors; agri-food, leather, textile, marble, poultry equipment, fertilizers, steel processing and electrical appliances, have already confirmed their participation at the forum. Uganda expressed its interest in getting Algerian investors established in Uganda, particularly in the fields of energy and mining, agriculture and packaging.
Other members present at the presser were Shadrack Wasike, Humphrey Mutaasa from The Grain Council of Uganda, Matthew Bagonza, Brenda Karatikawe, Allan Mugisha (all from PACEID), Cleopas Ndorere from Ministry of Trade, officials from National Chamber of Commerce and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.