February 10th 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – The government of Uganda, said it will double its trade with South Sudan following completion of the first phase of the Nimule One-Stop Border Post (OSBP), the Ugandan media report quoting the country’s Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde.
The border point, which links Uganda to Juba, is a major entry point for much of Uganda’s exports to South Sudan.
The other border point – Elegu – is already operating under the OSBP arrangement.
Speaking at the handover of the OSBP in Numule, South Sudan last week, Ms Kyambadde , said the $5m (about Shs18.3b) facility was an important link not just for South Sudan and Uganda but the rest of East Africa and regional trade.
“I expect exponential rise in trade. We expect to grow our trade with South Sudan by close of the year,” she said, urging traders to form orderly associations so as to manage cross border trade.
Ms Kyambadde also indicated that South Sudan is a key market for Uganda’s exports, considering that it accounted for $239.2m in 2016 and $355.9m in 2018.
The border point is seen by Private Sector Foundation Uganda and Kampala City Traders Association as a new trade opportunity. However, the two have warned that traders against continued insecurity across much of South Sudan.
Dr James Wani Igga, the South Sudan vice president, said the border point is important for trade, noting it is a catalyst for peace and the anticipated regional and continental integration agenda.
South Sudan became a key export market for Ugandan goods in 2008 but a debilitating civil war has disrupted much of this trade.
Ms Damali Ssali, a trade analysts and the Trademark East Africa acting country director, said the Nimule OSBP was designed not to just enhance trade, but facilitate informal cross border trade, especially among women.
Before South Sudan plunged into war, Uganda’s export earnings from the country had risen to $3.93b. However, it later fell and has recently been recovering.
According to data from Uganda Export Promotions Board, Uganda exported goods worth $364m to South Sudan for the year ended December 2019.