On the 23rd August 2019, the Minister of State for East African Community Julius Wandera Maganda sent the report on the Closure of Uganda-Rwanda Border. This report has been made to update the EAC Committee. Still, the public deserves to get the numbers and the gist of the closure. What it really means in the hard numbers and with the cross-border trade.
Clearly, the closure has had an affect on both republics. As the Report states are that:
“Following the closure of Cyanika, Katuna and Mirama Hills Border Posts on the 27th Feb 2019 by the Republic of Rwanda, as part of their mandate, the Ministry of East African Community (MEACA) has undertaken a number of steps as indicated below”.
There has been certainly new rules for entry between Uganda-Rwanda:
“i. There is still free movement of persons (Ugandan Nationals and other Nationalities) to and from Rwanda save for the Rwandan citizens who are only allowed entry and no ex;.t from Rwanda.
ii. The only Rwandan nationals allowed exit from Rwanda from the borders above are the drivers on transit to Kenya and not to Uganda.
iii. It was also noted that the Ugandans who cross to Rwanda only go there mostly to attend Parties or Funerals, and not business as the environment for Ugandan goods and products is hostile.
iv. Whereas Ugandan nationals are allowed to enter Rwanda, it is unfortunate that Ugandan goods/products arc not allowed entry. These are rejected with no reasons given, no rejection notes/documents are provided. Many drivers have suffered the disappointment of being told to turn back to Uganda”
All of this has consequences. Just as the financial implications by this alone. The Ministry can show that in FY 2017/18 value the imports from Rwanda at 160,293,270,436 UGX and in FY 2018/19 it has gone down to 123,338,816,439 UGX. This is downfall of imports of 23.05 % from the last year.
The consequences for the export to Rwanda is also hit. In FY 2017/18 was 585,436,037,282 UGX and in FY 2018/19 is 426,884,832,406 UGX. This is a downfall of export in the amount of 27,08 %. from the last year.
The results of the closure of the border at Katuna has ensured that there was no trucks passing this pass, between March 2019 to the June 2019. When the trucks started to crossover again. Still in a fraction of what was done in the past. Before February 2019, the average inflow and outflow of trucks was above 3000. However, in the months of March to June 2019, there was less than 500 every month. Even ZERO in the months of April and May 2019. Before, the numbers has started to rise, but not more than 300 in June 2019. Surely, One-Tenth is a major change and has affect.
This has resulted in more traffic, within the inflow and outflow at the Mirama Hill. Until February 2019, there was usually about 300 passing in both directions. However after this it was around 2000 trucks passing through every month between March to June 2019. Which is showing that there are blocking of trucks and also the total numbers of trucks passing on both passes is less than 3000 in both directions. That is really hurting the cross-border trade between the Republic’s. It is easy to see.
The closure has had an affect and the new measures on both sides. Has hit the trading, but also general movement. That is visible and surely, would be nice to see what the Rwandan Parliament would write as a counter to the Ugandan side. To see if their have another explanation for this. Peace.