Tuesday, May 30, 2023 – President William Ruto has revealed how Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni called and reprimanded him over Kenya’s bureaucratic tendencies.
Addressing delegates attending the African Private Sector Dialogue on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Ruto revealed that Museveni was angered by Kenyan government officials he accused of bureaucracy in handling goods from Uganda.
The Head of State wondered why Kenyan officials were becoming bureaucratic with traders, yet Uganda was Kenya’s second-largest trading partner.
“The Ugandan President called (me) and he was not happy because of the bureaucratic tendencies of some of our government officials yet Uganda was the second largest trader partner to Kenya,” Ruto stated while warning government officials from both countries to think of each other as partners.
Ruto, therefore, warned African leaders and Kenyan officials, in particular, that there was a need for cooperation in trade since it would yield mutual benefits.
He also challenged African Private Sector Dialogue on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to think of Africa, not as individual countries.
“A good example is what Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda and Eritrea are doing, where we are seeking an agreement to create a regional airline that would be mutually beneficial to all of us,” Ruto revealed.
The Head of State urged partner countries to remove non-tariff trade barriers in order to establish a conducive business ecosystem that will inspire growth and development across partner states.
As members of the East African Community (EAC), Kenya and Uganda have had a long history of trade and economic cooperation.
The main exports from Kenya to Uganda are cement, palm oil, and coated flat-rolled iron. The main exports from Uganda to Kenya are raw sugar, milk, and plywood.
The trade relationship between Kenya and Uganda is important to both countries. Kenya is Uganda’s largest export market, while Uganda is Kenya’s second-largest export market.
The Kenyan DAILY POST