UMA Tasks EALA MP to Address Challenges

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In short
Mike Ssebalu, Ugandas said the meeting was part of the sensitisation process on implementation of the integration agenda. During the meeting, Godfrey Ssali, the Policy Analyst and Advocacy Officer at UMA, said East Africa member states enforce different standards in order to lock out competitors.

Local manufacturers under their umbrella body, Uganda Manufacturers Association- UMA have singled out lack of harmonized regional standards as a hindrance to trade under the East African Community.
 
 
The matter came to the fore during a meeting involving officials from the Trade Ministry, Immigrations Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and legislators from the East African Legislative Assembly at Parliament this afternoon.
 
 
Mike Ssebalu, Uganda's said the meeting was part of the sensitisation process on implementation of the integration agenda. During the meeting, Godfrey Ssali, the Policy Analyst and Advocacy Officer at UMA, said East Africa member states enforce different standards in order to lock out competitors.


 
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Uganda Manufactures Association also criticised various non-tariff barriers imposed by neighboring states on Ugandan exports. Ssali called for an advanced reporting mechanism on any non-tariff barriers that may be imposed by member states.
 
 
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UMA also cited the importation of goods outside the East African block such as sugar and language barrier as one of the challenges facing local traders and called for the use of English, saying most Ugandans cannot speak Swahili.

 
Ssebalu advised the private sector to petition EALA so that the matters are handled immediately. However, MPs warned that Uganda's Labour market is too liberalized.  



EALA MP Bernard Mulengani, said Uganda is the easiest market for job seekers and professionals in contrast to the neighboring states, which impose stringent requirements on Ugandans to work there.


 
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Mulengani was responding to a concern expressed by Jacob Siminyu, the Spokesperson of the Immigration Department. Siminyu noted that Uganda has waived all fees on work and resident permits as well as student passes, yet other EAC member states are selective in awarding permits.

 
Simunyu also informed EALA MPs that the launch of East African passport will phase out the current crop of passports.
 
 
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About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.