Uganda Eases Restrictions on Kenya Fish Export to D.R. Congo

Uganda and Kenya have finalized plans to set up an agency to coordinate the aquacultural business between Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Both countries have been at loggerheads over the use of Lake Turkana where fish consignments heading for Congo and caught and processed. A delegation of public officials from both Kenya and Uganda met at the border town of Busia over the weekend to identify challenges facing the fishmongers and recommend ways of resolving them.

Last year Ugandan security officers impounded at least 300 tonnes of fish worth 40 million shillings that was being transported to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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This led to protests from Kenyan fish exporters to DRC who appealed to President Uhuru Kenyatta to intervene and prevail upon Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni to ensure compensation for the affected traders.

According to the EAC Principal Secretary Dr Kevit Desai, efforts to provide a lasting solution to the fish exporters was laudable. “This is a very important development in the fish market, our main aim is to attain value addition through high-level outcome, improved small scale processing and packaging to stand high in the expo-market,” he said.

On his own part, the Permanent Secretary of the Ugandan Ministry of Agriculture, Major General David Kasura-Kyomukama said his team had come to join the Kenyan team in finding the solution on how to structure the fish trade from Turkana through Uganda to DRC. “I will ensure that fish from Kenya passes to Congo unhindered as long as it has the seal and has been cleared by the KRA and URA. We do not have any problem, every good system requires to be checked once in a while. We want to improve the current system,”

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The Busia transhipment and auction centre is a fish market and transhipment infrastructure that, due to its proximity to the One-Stop Border Post  (OSBP), facilitates East African Community regional integration through cross-border trade.


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