KAMPALA Uganda (Xinhua) --
Uganda and the Democratic Republic
of Congo (DRC) have agreed to remove non-tariff trade
barriers in a bid to boost trade between the two African
agreement was reached during a Wednesday meeting
attended by Uganda’s trade minister Amelia Kyambadde and
DRC’s external trade minister Jean-Lucien Bussa Tongba
in Uganda’s Kasese. Kasese hosts one of the major border
trade points between Uganda and DRC called Mpondwe.
communique signed by the two ministers said the meeting
had reached an agreement to also enhance management and
control of standards and quality as well as exchange of
information and statistics.
the DRC had banned the importation of certain products
such as drinks from Uganda, prompting traders at the
border district to complain.
the meeting, there is hope that more goods will be
allowed to cross the border line.
ministers considered and approved the list of products
for the Simplified Trade Regime (STR),” the communique
said. STR was recently implemented by the Common Market
for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in a bid to
help the small traders to benefit from the preferential
rates enjoyed by commercial traders when importing or
exporting goods within member states.
exports to DRC reached 177 million U.S. dollars while it
collects 2.5 million dollars from Congolese imports.
Whereas Uganda exports lime and cement, iron and steel,
cereals, vegetables and fruits, it brings in oils,
cosmetics, iron and steel from DRC.
Uganda announced it had secured a loan from the World
Bank to construct three modern markets across the border
DRC have in the past undertaken joint campaigns such as
the fight against rebels of the Allied Democratic
Congolese refugees have also found shelter in Uganda due
to the ethnic clashes in eastern DRC.
Successful elections in
DRC crucial to peace in Great Lakes: UN
UNITED NATIONS New York (Xinhua)
-- The United Nations said
Tuesday that the successful elections in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (DRC) was crucial to peace and
stability in the wider Great Lakes region of Central
inclusive elections in the DRC, followed by a peaceful
transfer of power, would have a positive effect on
peace, stability and development in the wider Great
Lakes region of Central Africa, speakers said as the
Security Council debated regional developments that also
included humanitarian concerns and the activities of
special envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the Great
Lakes Region, urged the Council “to remain united” in
its support for the implementation of the Dec. 31, 2016
political agreement among Congolese political leaders
under which elections would be held on Dec. 23, 2018 for
a successor to President Joseph Kabila.
Lakes was among Africa’s most volatile and complex
regions, but it was also one that could make a
meaningful contribution to the continent’s stability and
development,” he said.
encouraged the Council to keep urging the parties
concerned to work toward the common goal of peace,
stability and sustainable development for the region and
Mavita wa Lufuta, permanent representative of the DRC to
the UN, said the country is undoubtedly “the nerve
center” of the Great Lakes region, adding that the task
at hand is to help that country regain stability so it
could become a catalyst for lasting peace in the wider
regard, he added, the international community must
mobilize around regional efforts with strengthened
coordination and cooperation.
ensuing debate, which followed the Council’s renewal on
March 27 of the mandate of the United Nations
Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic
Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), several speakers drew a
link between the forthcoming elections and improving the
lives of millions in the wider Great Lakes region.
attention to other challenges, too, including human
rights abuses, the humanitarian situation in the east of
the DRC and the flow of refugees and internally
permanent representative to the UN, Francois Delattre,
emphasized the importance of elections in the DRC and a
peaceful handover of power, stating that regional
stability is at stake.
human rights and the electoral calendar is key, he
asserted, underscoring the role of regional
organizations as well as the need to confront armed
groups and the illicit trafficking in natural resources.
Also speaking were representatives of Britain, Russia,
China, Cote d’Ivoire, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Kuwait,
Netherlands, Bolivia, Poland and Peru.
of the Congo
boycotts donors' conference in Geneva