5th September , 2023
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) hosted the East African Community (EAC) Secretariat in a courtesy visit to strengthen collaboration between the two parties, to facilitate trade within Uganda and the East African region.
During the visit, the Deputy Secretary General of the EAC Secretariat, Ms. Annette Mutaawe Ssemuwemba highlighted a number of programs have been coordinated by the East African Secretariat to boast trade and development in the region.
“A couple of years ago, it used to take more than thirty days to move goods from the port of Mombasa inland to either Kampala or Kigali. It now takes five days. If we can reduce the barriers, continue to infuse the technology, improve our monitoring, the days will continue to reduce.” Mrs. Ssemuwemba said.
“We have one stop border posts that have been built, we have regional cargo tracking systems that are in place and there’s a lot more being done to reduce these barriers.” Mrs. Ssemuwemba added.
The UNBS Deputy Executive Director in charge of Standards, Ms. Patricia Bageine Ejalu affirmed that harmonisation of standards has also contributed a lot in addressing trade challenges in the EAC.
“We have made progress at the EAC most especially the EAC Standards Committee. More standards have been developed and harmonised, which has led to the growth of exports from Uganda to the region.” Said Ms. Patricia Bageine Ejalu.
The Deputy Secretary General of the EAC Secretariat, Ms. Ssemuwemba further highlighted the major areas of focus in strengthening the collaboration for trade facilitation. These include;
The EAC Secretariat Deputy Secretary General commended UNBS for the work done in facilitating trade within the East African region through harmonisation of standards, mutual recognitions, capacity building initiatives, working collaboratively with other EAC Partner states’ National Standards Bureaus.
Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is a Government Agency responsible for the Developing, Promotion and Enforcement of National Standards in order to protect the Health and Safety of the Public and that of the Environment against Harmful and Sub-Standard Products, as well as promoting Fair Trade and Competition.