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Uganda bans import of blankets, mattresses, other items

Growing Chinese factories in Uganda have forced the Ugandan Government to push for a ban on import of products like military shoes, steel, blankets, mattresses, boda-boda tyres and mosquito nets that are also manufactured in the country. The proposed ban seeks to protect local manufacturers, create jobs for Ugandans and boost export earnings.

The finance ministry was asked to work with the Uganda Investment Authority, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards and the trade ministry to assess the capacity of local and foreign factories in Uganda to pick on the products to be banned from next financial year.

President Yoweri Museveni, who has earlier criticised importers of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) and described Uganda as ‘a supermarket of foreign products’, recently warned government officials to stop importing goods that can be manufactured by local firms. He was commissioning six factories in Namanve.

KACITA spokesperson Issa Sekitto criticised the move, saying stakeholders were not consulted. The process, he said, should be gradual or else Uganda risks being isolated by other regional blocks that accept Ugandan products.

Investment minister Evelyn Anite said the ban on import of locally-produced products starts immediately and in the next budget, prohibitive tariffs will be put in the Finance Tax Bills to discourage the import of some products. (DS)


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