The Uganda-Algeria Trade and Investment Forum & Exhibition took place last week from 30th September to 2nd October at Hotel Africana in Kampala as a follow up to the directive made by Presidents; Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda and Abdelmadjid Tebboune of the People’s Republic of Algeria in March 2023 where the latter led a delegation of 150 business people and entrepreneurs from Uganda for a business forum in Algiers.
Hon. Francis Mwebesa, Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and Hon Tayeb Zitouni Minister of Trade and Export Promotion for Algeria held Bilateral discussions and officially opened the first ever Uganda-Algeria business forum witnessing the signing of an MoU between the two chambers of commerce and later the establishment of the Uganda-Algeria Business Council that will spearhead and oversee trade between the two countries.
The forum was attended by Hon Francis Mwebesa, Hon Frank Tumwebaze, Minister of Agriculture, Geraldine Ssali, Permanent Secretary-Ministry of Trade, Odrek Rwabwogo, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development (PACEID), Hon. John Mulimba, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Harriet Ntabazi, Minister of State for Trade, MS. Olive Kigongo-President of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry among other prominent leaders.
Hon Teyeb Zitouni leader of the Algerian delegation was accompanied by Mr. Kamel Moula-President of the Algerian Economic Renewal Council Employers Foundation, Mr. Zaoui Hoicine, Director General Algerian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Ms. Ahlem Rahmani, Deputy Director in the Algerian Ministry of Trade and Export Promotion among others.
The forum was also attended by Uganda’s Ambassador to Algeria H.E Alintuma Nsambu, Algeria’s Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Oualid Cherif, senior Government officials and captains of industries and private sector from both countries.
The ministers restated the commitment of their respective countries in resolving challenges to businesses in Uganda and Algeria, among these are;
- Strengthening corporate relations between private sector and governments
- Strengthening trade business linkages for favorable balance of trade between Uganda and Algeria
- Removal of all trade barriers and enhancement of free movement of goods, services, capital and labour.
- Operationalizing of the Algerian Ugandan joint business council established to handle challenges of existing business communities.
- Revenue authorities of both countries to hold regular meeting with the private sector to address challenges.
- Accelerating processes of mutual recognition of standards and compliances for goods and services.( A draft agreement was drafted and was submitted by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards to IANOR in this regard).
The following are the commitments welcomed by the forum;
- Bilateral cooperation in the field of education as one of the strategies of consolidating Uganda’s human resource development efforts with an addition of 500 scholarships.
- Further discussions to implement visa free entry between Uganda and Algeria in partial realization of the African continental free trade area (AFCTA)
- Direct air linkage between Uganda and Algeria to facilitate trade through conclusion of a Bilateral Air services agreement (BASA). The ministers agreed that the two countries can start by using the existing infrastructure of Ethiopian airlines which has direct flights from Addis Ababa to both Entebbe and Algeria.
- Rectification of the concluded agreements and memorandum of understanding in the fields of trade, energy, agriculture, animal health tourism, higher education and scientific research
- Uganda asked for duty free access for its powdered milk worth USD 700m, coffee, beef, fruits, and tea in line with quality and standard requirements of the Algerian market.
- Adhering to the guided trade initiative (GTI) of the African continental free trade area (AFCTA), a frame work for adopting reciprocal tariff offers on the agreed upon products originating and traded between Uganda and Algeria.
Through the PACEID frame work, during the Business to Business (B2B) sessions, business deals and partnerships were welcomed;
- A poultry factory in Uganda that also produces and packaging materials for poultry products, all eggs produced from this factory to be exported to Algeria in a period of 1 month.
- An irrigation and water reservoirs demonstration facility in western and northern Uganda effective immediately.
- Collaborations in production and exportation of Shea butter from Uganda to Algeria.
- Power distribution and street lighting in northern Uganda
In addition, investment projects in Uganda agreed for further discussions through the joint business council were proposed in the production of pipes, cement, poultry, steel and iron, oil and gas, cosmetics, assembling of cranes and machinery, manufacture of irrigation systems, shoe manufacturing and manufacture of equipment for sewage.
Furthermore the two delegations applauded the commitment by 14 Ugandan companies to export to Algeria as well to 17 Algerian companies who agreed to export products to Uganda, the Algerian delegation appreciated the government of Uganda on its progress and its promotion of the and exploitation of the oil and gas industry during a tour of the Kabalega Industrial Park located in Albertine Graben in western Uganda.
The Algerian delegation commended the government of Uganda for convening the Uganda-Algeria trade and investment forum and exhibition, and expressed gratitude for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to them, the delegation also appreciated Uganda’s cultural diversity displayed during the welcome working dinner hosted by the Presidential Advisory Committee on exports and Industrial Development (PACEID) on 30th September 2023 at the Sheraton Hotel, Kampala.
The sponsors of the forum were; PACEID, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, National Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Housing Finance Bank, African Export Import Bank, Pearl Dairy, Uganda Coffee Development Authority, Uganda Marketers Society and other stake holders were applauded by the 2 delegations for their role in the making of the forum possible and further noted that this kind of partnership between the government and the private sector is critical in growing business between the two countries.