YUMBE/MOYO. The authorities in Uganda and South Sudan in a joint security meeting held at Kajokeji county over the weekend agreed to promote cross border trade between the two countries.

Border conflict and insecurity along the borders had been hampering trade but the leaders have asked the security personnel to strengthen security at the borders to achieve the resolution on the promotion of cross border trade.

Mr Williams Anyama the Moyo district chairperson said Moyo district local government has secured over 200 acres of land in Moyo sub county specifically with the focus of promoting cross border economic activities.

"We shall use the piece of land to build a market and industrial park to promote trade. All that we are doing, the good security and peace must translate into promoting cross border trade between Uganda and South Sudan," he said.

He said they cannot perform the task alone but the local government will continue to consult the South Sudan government so that they can achieve the bigger common good for the people.

Mr Emmanuel Leju, the chairperson of Moyo district business community said peace and security matters a lot in carrying out business.

"For us in the business community, we do business in a place where there is peace and in most cases we don't have borders in carrying out our activities. We shall be grateful if the plans of establishing cross border markets on both sides of Uganda and South Sudan are implemented because it will strengthen our relations," he said.

Mr Tom Sebit Wani, the central equatoria's minister of trade and industry said what is killing cross border trade is the illegal trade being carried by some individuals.

"We as Central Equatoria state, we trade with our neighbouring countries particularly in the commodities related to the exportation of the logs, timber or lumbering. There is the tendency of our items or resources being exploited illegally," he said.

He said the illegal exportation of the resources are being encouraged by some of the people from Uganda and they engage in such activities without any proper documentation which needs to be addressed.

Mr Jenesio Moro the minister of local government in Central Equatoria state said the issue of trade in relation to logging is very challenging.

"As a government, we are under authority to question whoever exports or imports goods without proper documentation because it’s an obligation. If you can help us, we would be able to help the situation," he said.

He said there should be a proper communication channel so that whoever comes from Uganda bringing in goods should inquire how the goods came from Uganda and take into account the issue of documentation and the same should apply on the South Sudan side.

Mr Emmanuel Adil Anthony, the governor of Central Equatoria state said they shall establish economic zones to encourage cross border trade.

"I would like to take this opportunity of Kajokeji meeting to announce and give directives to the commissioner of Kajokeji county and the minister of trade and industry to establish an economic area here in Kajokeji county to promote our interactions in trade and business," the governor directed.

"I urge you (commissioners) in South Sudan to share contacts with resident district commissioners (RDCs) and other leaders in Uganda so that some of the issues are handled at a lower level without involving Kampala or Juba because it's within your docket that you are bringing peace", he added.

 

He said the South Sudan commissioners bordering Uganda shall coordinate routine meetings to trace out some of the challenges that confront day to day operations of the two countries.