At the #UEUBF2024, I made three requests to our EU partners as a way to drive trade and keep both parts of our world growing. Uganda now has balanced her trade with the EU, thanks to the drive by our export effort as a country but much of our side (60%) is commodities of low value.

We know the EU faces pressure from three areas:

1) A rising China that combines trade with infrastructure, something we like in Africa (partly the reason the EU set up the Euros 300bn export fund a year ago),

2) Increasing US unilateralism in trade and protectionism

3) The structural pressure on the EU with Brexit gives ground for other potential exits.

Uganda and Africa on the other hand face pressures of:

1) Export of raw commodities that keep us less employed as young populations keep rising

2) import restrictions based on increasing demands on the environment, plastics, and things our young institutions are not yet able to handle

3) Restrictions on patents and technology to do what our young markets need

Therefore, the meeting should be in the middle given we share language, culture, and history more than other parts of the world.

For example, McKinsey estimated trade and export rebalancing of USD2.9 trillion to USD4.6 trillion to the southern part of our globe including Africa given COVID disruptions. However, We still are importing and manufacturing in China because of the high cost of inputs in Africa yet 26% of our imports come from the EU!

Can we not work together to reduce this and trade under AFCTA!!!?

Secondly, can we not incentivize large-scale processing and sale within and beyond Africa if we work with dairy companies such as Campina, Alla, Danone, Lavazza, and Illy in coffee?

Why process in Europe and sell to Africa when we can jointly process, pack, and distribute here in Africa and in Europe?

why doesn’t the EU remove agricultural subsidies that distort the pricing of our food and make us uncompetitive?
Why don’t we work together on trade-supporting measures instead of aid?

My ask!

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