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Uganda Establishes First Free Zone at Entebbe Airport

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The government of Uganda through the Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA) has finalised plans to establish the first public free zone at Entebbe International Airport. The free zone is projected to boost export-oriented investment in the country.

The project will be implemented by the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) on a five acre piece of land acquired from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) at the Entebbe International Airport premises.

Under the arrangement, the project targets sectors which include food processing, mineral processing, warehousing, storage and simple assembly, where all operators in the public free zone will process their products for onward export through Entebbe International Airport.

The development of the Public Free Zone projected to cost UGX 48billion will, on completion house seven production units and trade houses such as offices of the Uganda Free Zones Authority, Uganda Revenue Authority, and other government offices to promote enterprise. The Government of Uganda (GoU) has already awarded UGX 12.5 Billion for the first phase of the project.

Speaking at the site handover event, Hez Kimoomi Alinda, the Uganda Free Zones Authority Executive Director, said the project is expected to contribute cargo volumes, create hundreds of direct jobs and significantly improve Uganda’s exports.

“On completion, the project will support increased production quality assurance and value addition to commodities that are widely produced by the masses to improve household incomes, create employment and eliminate poverty as well as improve the value of Uganda’s exports,” he said.

Alinda was speaking while handing over the site for the construction of the Entebbe International Airport Free Zone at which he said they had acquired five acres from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority for the development and contracted National Enterprise Corporation, the commercial arm of the UPDF for the construction.

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Kenya To Host 2020 Virtual Africa Delivery Exchange Summit

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Kenya will host the Virtual Africa Delivery Exchange (ADX) Summit 2020 to deliberate on service delivery in Africa amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, an official source said in Nairobi on Sunday.

The event will be organized by the President’s Delivery Unit (PDU) in partnership with the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) as well as the Africa Development Bank (AfDB).

The organizers did not indicate the summit dates but there are indications it will possibly be held before the end of the year.

It will bring together senior government officials, delivery experts and development partners to exchange experiences and learn from one another about ensuring effective delivery in government.

Participants will discuss the importance of delivery, the problems they face and the solutions they have found, including those related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic, among other things, has provided a real-time lesson in the importance of delivery by governments for their citizens.

According to the TBI Centre of Government and Delivery Lead, Eden Getachew, TBI supports 15 governments across Africa directly.

It supports the governments in achieving their development goals and has had an in-country presence in Kenya since 2015.

Getachew says TBI helped to establish Kenya’s President’s Delivery Unit, drawing on its experience of working with governments across the world in coordinating and supporting delivery efforts, and continues to support its work today.

She said Kenya had really benefited from the unit, saying: “The President’s Delivery Unit (PDU) has grown to become an important cog in the engine of development.”

Since its creation in 2015, the PDU has been instrumental in tracking over 2,000 projects and ensuring they are either completed on time or remain on course.

This is achieved by tracking the progress, identifying ‘sticky’ issues which pose problems and, where necessary, bringing those issues to the attention of decision makers.”

Getachew said the committees formed under the Executive Order No. 1 of 2019 to coordinate development at various levels of government had also found PDU useful.

“It has a presence at the grassroots, as its officers are secretaries to regional and county development implementation and coordination committees (RDICCs and CDICCs).

“PDU uses its capacity to escalate issues upwards and ensure that bottlenecks in projects are addressed as soon as possible,” she said.

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Uganda Exported 5.4 Million Bags, Worth $513.99M In October

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Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) on Friday announced that the country’s coffee export earnings in October rose by 4.5 per cent over September, as it exported about 13 per cent more in quantity.

The UCDA made the announcement in its monthly report adding that the east African country exported 428,015 60-kg bags and earned 38.6 million dollars in October.

The UCDA attributed the increase to rising output and favourable weather.

Italy remain the largest buyer of Ugandan coffee exports, accounting for 38.5 per cent, followed by Sudan, Germany, India and Belgium.

Europe is the main destination of Ugandan coffee, purchasing 61 per cent of the country’s total export, according to the report.

The UCDA projects that Ugandan coffee export in November would increase to 500,000 60-kg bags, even though the prevailing rains could affect coffee drying and transport from the countryside.

In October, Uganda exported 5.4 million bags, worth 513.99 million dollars, up from 4.5 million bags for 435.81 million dollars of the previous year, rising 21 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

Coffee is one of the major commodities prioritised by Uganda to boost economic transformation.

The country, according to UCDA, is looking at new markets like China to increase export volumes.

About 1.7 million households in Uganda depend on coffee production, according to the UCDA.

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Kenya Makes Over $1Bn From Flowers’ Exports In 10 Months

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Earnings from horticulture in the first 10 months of the year have defied the Covid-19 economic fallout to rise 8.6 per cent to Sh126 billion compared to a similar period year earlier.

The earnings were boosted by high demand of fruits as Europe, Kenya’s major market for fresh produce, saw most of the countries open up following the easing of restrictions that had been occasioned by Covid-19.

The value of exports like cut flowers reached $1.1bn (£845m) between January and October, almost 9% more than the same period last year.

Kenya’s Horticultural Directorate said there was an increase in global demand, despite concerns that the coronavirus pandemic would hit the industry.

Earlier this year the industry was alarmed at disruption caused by airlines being grounded and so unable to fly flowers as cargo to customers in Europe.

Business may have picked up recently but the sector is now growing concerned that the second wave of Covid-19 in Europe is creating uncertainty about demand for flower exports in the coming months.

Alongside exports of tea, horticulture is a major earner of foreign exchange for Kenya, which is the world’s fourth biggest exporter of flowers – after the Netherlands, Colombia and Ecuador.

Fruits export earnings rose to Sh17 billion from Sh11 billion while flowers, which normally account for the largest portion of the income from horticulture exports, raked in Sh89.6 billion — an improvement from Sh83.7 previously.

Horticulture is a major foreign exchange earner alongside tea, remittances from Kenyans living abroad and tourism.

Avocado boosted fruit sales but its harvest season has come to an end with the closure of export for the two main export varieties.

Vegetable earnings fell to Sh19 billion from Sh21 billion.

“The fruit sub-sector has been expanding and growing owing to exports of avocado and high demand for the produce in the world market,” said Benjamin Tito, head of Horticulture Directorate.

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