President Museveni has said the current restrictions that some countries [Rwanda in particular] have imposed on goods entering their territory will provide opportunities for Uganda to expand its market elsewhere.
For last two weeks, Rwanda has blocked goods from Uganda.Rwanda Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Richard Sezibera recently listed three main complaints with Kampala, including incidents of continued harassment and arrests of Rwandan nationals, Uganda offering safe haven to terrorist groups that have committed crimes in Rwanda and are still bent on destabilising the country, and seizure of Rwandan exports.
Uganda exports goods worth $250m per year to Rwanda. Rwanda only exports a paltry $16m. Uganda has over 30,000 professionals and semi-skilled people working in Rwanda. Ugandan companies have multi million dollar contracts to supply goods and services in Rwanda, others have made investments there.
Rwanda sends a large number of students to study in Ugandan schools from primary to university, not to mention over 150,000 tourists per year and they stay the longest. It is possible therefore that Uganda earns over $500m in foreign exchange from Rwanda – which is about 8.5% of our export earnings and 2.2% of our GDP.
The Head of State says Uganda’s market for its goods remains big especially in Kenya and Ethiopia.
President Museveni, was responding to a question from one of the Members of Parliament attending the NRM Caucus Retreat in Kyankwanzi , The President’s remarks come as Rwanda continues to impose restriction
Rwandan President Paul Kagame was recently in Tanzania on a two-day visit, seen as a quest to firm up relations with Dar in the wake of escalating tensions with Uganda. Analysts say, Kagame looking for an alternative route to sea
About 80 per cent of Rwanda’s import cargo is handled through the Dar port, but its major exports — minerals, tea and coffee — go through Uganda to the port of Mombasa.