Kenyan President, William Ruto has finally accepted to open his country’s market to Ugandan milk and chicken products.
This followed back and forth negotiations over the matter between the two governments to help solve the impasse.
On Friday, President Museveni received a special message from Ruto about the development .
The message was delivered to Museveni at State House, Nakasero, by Kenya’s Special Presidential Envoy for the Tripartite Free Trade Area who is also the Cabinet Secretary for Investment, Trade and Industry, Moses Kuria.
Museveni and his guest discussed a wide range of issues pertaining to the strengthening of the trade bodies in the region and the importance of bigger markets.
“I am very happy. I thank President Ruto for opening the market for milk, chicken and eggs,” he said.
The two also discussed the need to have comparative advantage in the production of agricultural products to avoid the tendency of competition.
The meeting was attended by the Minister of Energy Ruth Nankabirwa and the Minister for Trade Francis Mwebesa.
Also present were the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem and the Minister of State for Investment, Evelyne Anite.
For several years, there has been an impasse after Kenya blocked the entry of Ugandan maize, chicken products and milk into their market.
Whereas Kenya has always benefitted from Uganda’s open trade policies, the coastal country has however for past four or so years exhibited protectionist tendencies in a bid to block Ugandan products from entering their market.
Ugandan products like milk, beef, eggs, cereals, sugar and maize among others have been blocked by Kenyan authorities leading to a trade war between the two neighbouring countries.
However, the election of Ruto as president was seen by many as a blessing to Uganda in this regard.
Late last year, Ruto hinted at opening the country’s market fully to Ugandan products.
“Uganda should bring cheaper milk here because they can produce it more cheaply. We should (also endeavour) to add value to our milk,” Ruto said during a function at the Kenya Association of Manufacturers in November last year.
He argued that he would do away with protectionism exhibited by the previous government of Uhuru Kenyatta.
The latest development is expected to open a new chapter of trade between the two brotherly and neighbouring countries in East Africa.