Uganda Merges Free Zones Authority and Export Promotions Board

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Uganda Merges Free Zones Authority and Export Promotions Board
Parliament

The Ugandan parliament has proposed merging the Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) and the Uganda Export Promotions Board (UEPB) into a single entity: the Uganda Free Zones and Export Promotions Authority. This new organization will be overseen by the Ministry of Trade.

Presenting the Committee report on the floor of Parliament in a sitting chaired by Speaker Anita Among, the Chairperson of the Committee on Trade Mwine Mpaka is quoted saying “The Proposed merger between Uganda Free Zones Authority and Uganda Export Promotion Board will present challenges of practical implementation, leading to misalignment with the East African Community treaty, protocols, Policies, Laws and Regulations to which Uganda is signatory”.

The Chairperson of the Trade Committee of Parliament also says the Committee notes that Article 25 of the Customs Union Protocol empowers partner states to design and support export promotion schemes in the Community for purposes of accelerating Development

“Merging the Export Promotion Board with the Free Zones Authority is permissible and the merger will not lead to the creation of an institution which is convoluted with inadequate role and an identity crisis”. Mwine Mpaka said.

To some members including Catherine Lamwaka, Atukwasa Rita, Dr. Apio Melsa Naima Gule and Richard Gafabusa, merging the two entities will further disrupt Uganda’s engagement in the regional, continental and global special zones ecosystem as a result of inconsistencies in the Institutions framework.

The Bill now awaits the President’s assent before it’s the responsible Ministry implements it.

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