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Business leaders call for quick preparations to tap the continental free market

FILE PHOTO: Trade shipments

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Business leaders in Kampala have asked government to immediately make preparations to tap into the opportunities of the continental free trade agreement.

This means government must emphasize standards, skilling of the workforce and value addition to local produce to compete favourably on the continent.

This is after the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) came into force on Monday in Niamey, Niger. The agreement will allow African countries trade together with minimal restrictions, opening up a market of more 1.2billion people.   At least 54 countries have signed the agreement, including Nigeria. Only Eritrea has not signed.

Paul Higiro, the Managing Director Universal Freight, who attended the Niamey summit, hailed the agreement, saying Uganda shouldn’t sit back and wait but start preparations in earnest.

Higiro says the mood at the launch was good but there is need to see this political  mood trickle to the ground.

Hussein Kiddedde, the Chief Executive of Graben 4PL, a logistics service organization, says there are opportunities that come with a bigger market and Uganda must get what to take there.

He says everyone must at this moment start playing their part from government, civil society to individual Ugandans. Uganda already trades more with other African countries compared to any other continent around the world.

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