The long-standing ban on beef imports from Kenya to Uganda has been lifted immediately. The ban which dates back to 1996, was imposed following a mad cow outbreak in Kenya.
The decision was reached at during a meeting between Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and his Kenyan counterpart H.E Uhuru Kenyatta in the coastal city of Mombasa. The duo also reached a number of agreements including the increase of sugar exports by Uganda to Kenya from current 36,000 metric tonnes annually to 90,000 metric tonnes.
The leaders also agreed that in a week's time, Uganda should resume its poultry exports to Kenya, which had been stopped when local dealers sought "protection" from the Kenyan government.
President Museveni arrived in Kenya on Tuesday evening for a 3 day visit on the invitation of Kenyatta.
During their meeting, the duo agreed that the problems faced by Ugandan dairy producers as they exported to Kenya will significantly reduce.
“These ‘sign here, sign there’ demands had greatly affected dairy exports. For example, Ugandans will no longer need to obtain authority from the Principal Secretary, Livestock Department, to export dairy products to Kenya” the presidents agreed.
Adding that in a fortnight, Kenya standards agencies and their Ugandan counterparts will undertake a joint verification on the quality of tiles from Uganda, to expedite the process of them being sold in Kenya. Let's say there has been a lot of ground covered.
Other agreements reached at were on security, immigration, work permits, referred visas, human trafficking, cattle rustling, alcohol abuse (Uganda to stop packaging alcohol in plastic sachets by May), boundary demarcation, single customs territory, and in education, Kenya has undertaken to harmonize fees charged on Ugandan students in its public universities.
Speaking later at a business forum, President Museveni said he will never close Ugandan borders even if a neighboring country chose to do so, noting that trade is Uganda's lifeline. He quoted an example in his early days in power, when President Moi closed the borders with Uganda but he refused to take the path, saying it was foolhardy. “Today, Uganda is exporting more to Kenya than it imports! If you know.”