President Museveni told a business forum in Mombasa, Kenya yesterday that Uganda does not believe in the practice of closing its border if when a “neighbouring country chooses to do so.”
Museveni’s said closing the borders affects trade with neighbours which is the lifeline of the country.
He said in the late 1980s when Uganda had differences with Kenya, President Moi closed the borders with Uganda but he refused to take the path, saying it was foolhardy.
“Today, Uganda is exporting more to Kenya than it imports,” he said.
Museveni’s comments come at a time when Rwanda has closed Katuna border post over political and other differences with Uganda.
Museveni, who is on a three day state visit to Kenya did not mention Rwanda by name but analysts believe that Kigali was a target of this veiled comment.
Meanwhile during meetings between Uganda and Kenya yesterday, the two countries agreed to deepen economic ties.
According to a statement by Don Wanyama, the senior presidential press secretary, Uganda will increase its sugar exports to Kenya from current 36,000 metric tonnes annually to 90,000 metric tonnes.
It was also agreed that in a week’s time, Uganda should resume its poultry exports to Kenya, which had been stopped when local dealers sought “protection” from the Kenyan government.
The two countries also agreed to do away with the red tape that Ugandan dairy producers were facing in trying to access the Kenyan market.
For example, Ugandans will no longer need to obtain authority from the Principal Secretary, Livestock Department, to export dairy products to Kenya.
Also the long-standing ban on beef imports from Kenya to Uganda has been lifted immediately.
This ban, which dates back to 1996, was imposed following a mad cow outbreak in Kenya.