News & Up­dates:

On Tues­day 14th May 2019, Rt. Hon. Speaker Re­becca Kadaga held a press con­fer­ence at Par­lia­ment on the African Growth and Op­por­tu­nity Act (AGOA) two-day sen­si­ti­za­tion work­shop and ex­hi­bi­tion which in­tends to cre­ate aware­ness on AGOA to both the pub­lic and Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment. The Speaker in­formed the press that the work­shop and ex­hi­bi­tion were to take place on 14th and 15th May 2019 un­der the theme: “Readi­ness to meet the needs of a USA con­sumer.”

The Africa Growth and Op­por­tu­nity Act (AGOA) is a piece of leg­is­la­tion that was ap­proved by the U.S Con­gress in May 2000. The ob­ject of this leg­is­la­tion is to as­sist the economies of Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa to boost eco­nomic re­la­tions be­tween the States and re­gion. This Act grants duty-free ac­cess for el­i­gi­ble prod­ucts to the largest sin­gle mar­ket on the globe. The Act fur­ther pro­vides ben­e­fi­ciary coun­tries with a no­table com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage over Non- AGOA coun­tries that are en­ti­tled to pay­ing nor­mal tar­iff rates to in­fil­trate the United States.

On Tues­day 14th May 2019, Rt. Hon. Kadaga who was the Chief Guest of the event of­fi­cially launched the work­shop and ex­hi­bi­tion at the Par­lia­ment Con­fer­ence Hall. Ad­dress­ing the au­di­ence, she nar­rated the back­ground of the event in­form­ing them that years ago, Par­lia­ment learned of the ex­piry of AGOA and Uganda had not ben­e­fit­ted from it due to in­ad­e­quate sen­si­ti­za­tion. She re­searched on the ex­portable prod­ucts in Uganda and re­al­ized that there was plenty to the coun­ty’s dis­posal in­clud­ing art and lo­cal craft prod­ucts such, cof­fee, ma­tooke prod­ucts, and many oth­ers.

Kadaga had then trav­eled in the ac­com­pa­ni­ment of some Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment to Wash­ing­ton for the U.S and suc­cess­fully lob­bied of­fice by of­fice for the ex­ten­sion of the op­er­a­tion of the AGOA leg­is­la­tion. On re­turn­ing to Uganda, she learned that AGOA had no of­fice in the coun­try thus re­solv­ing to or­ga­nize a sen­si­ti­za­tion work­shop and ex­hi­bi­tion to cre­ate aware­ness of the leg­is­la­tion to Mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and the gen­eral pub­lic. She urged Ugan­dans to uti­lize the ben­e­fits of the Act ex­ten­sively to their de­vel­op­ment.

The Speaker com­mended Hon Amelia Kyam­badde, Min­is­ter of Trade, In­dus­try, and Co­op­er­a­tives for lob­by­ing for funds and mo­bi­liz­ing ex­porters. She also ac­knowl­edged the se­nior Pres­i­den­tial ad­vi­sor on AGOA and Trade; Suzan Muh­wezi whom she said has been on the top of pro­mot­ing Ugan­dan prod­ucts. Af­ter her speech, she vis­ited the trader’s stalls that were set at the Par­lia­men­tary park­ing yard ap­pre­ci­at­ing their work and en­cour­ag­ing them to en­sure pro­duc­tion of good qual­ity prod­ucts that are suit the re­quired mar­ket.