Country Context

Uganda strategic geographic position makes it a vital node for the region’s trade with

South Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda and DRC. Since 2010, Uganda’s annual economic growth rate has averaged 5.4% with the country surpassing the MDG target of halving poverty by 2015 (United Nations Development Programme MDG Goals Report 2015).

The country continues to face economic challenges including a high trade deficit, high cost of doing business due to poor infrastructure and low value addition to its agriculture exports. A stagnant domestic revenue mobilisation and uncertainity around oil production further compounds the situation.These challenges, hinder the development of key sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and services, thus limiting their ability to satisfy the demand for jobs and contribute to poverty reduction. Uganda poverty level currently stands at 19.5%.

The Government of Uganda’s flagship Second National Development Plan aims to tackle some of these challenges.

Strategy 2 Total Programme Budget Summary

  • Outcome 1 -reducing barriers to trade



    Reducing Barriers to Trade

  • OUTCOME 2 - Enhancing Private Sector Markets for Trade



    Enhancing Private Sector Markets for Trade




Total Budget US $61 Million

TMEA in Uganda

TMEA’s programme in Uganda is well aligned with the NDP 2020 to create prosperity through trade. We funded over 30 projects for a programme value of $100M in Strategy 1.

Table: Highlights of key projects and impact in Uganda – 2010 to 2017

Increased Physical

Access to Markets

•  Construction of One Stop Border Posts (OSBP) at Busia, Mirama Hills, Kagitumba and Mutukula

•  Upgrade Mirama Hills Road

Reduce time to cross border by 30% •  Busia, Mutukula and Mirama Hills OSBPs completed and handed over to GoU

•  Road construction started in September 2014 and is 60% completed

Enhanced Trade


Modernise Customs Business Systems:

1) Customs Management System(ASYCUDA World)

2) Authorised Economic Operators(AEO)

3) Electronic Cargo Tracking System (ECTS)

•  Clear goods in customs by 50%

•  Reduce cargo transit time within Ugandan borders

•  Customs modernisation programme (AEO, ECTS, ASYCUDA) have contributed to a reduction in transit cost from US$ 3,390 to US$ 1,176 and reduced average transit time from 34 days in 2010 to 13 days in 2016

•  Reduction in clearance time from 3 days to 1 day for AEO companies ( 80% of customs revenue)

All these reforms contributed to a 48% increase in customs revenue

Support improvements in testing by Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) Reduce time to test export products Reduction from 19 days in 2013 to 8 days in 2015
Increase in no. of products certified with quality mark Increase in number of sample products tested by the bureau of standards from 7,277 in 2013 to 9,940 in 2015
Eliminate NTBs Reduce no. of NTBs 54 out of 64 NTBs identified by new SMS reporting were eliminated in 2015
Improved Business


Set up a Logistics Advocacy  Platform- Advocacy for removal of auxillary shipping costs 2 positon papers developed by Shippers Council:

– Use of local insurance; and

– Revamping Lake Victoria Transport System

Upgrade Quality Standards for Maize


Critical no. of farmers growing higher grade maize •  Approval of legislation on Sesame Standards by the World Trade

Organisation. Training of over 1,667 farmers (400 women);

•  Adoption of quality based pricing leading to increase of maize

price from UGX400 per kg to UGX 700 per kg in these districts

Continuity and Innovation in TMEA Strategy 2:

TMEA aims to deliver further reductions to time and costs of doing business in Uganda. This will be achieved through support to ICT for Trade, enhancing coordination among trade agencies and up scaling successful interventions such as ECTS and AEO to the regional level. TMEA will encourage export-led growth by supporting the production of higher value added tradable products. Supporting private sector advocacy around standards, quality and market access for high potential products will increase export capability of Uganda. To complement this, the programme will facilitate reforms in technology, skills and data within the logistics sector to enable agile, lean and efficient supply chains.

New areas of work will include an intermodal logistics hub at Gulu, which will elevate the Gulu-Juba Corridor; supporting the increase in trade with DRC and South Sudan; and greater inclusion and gender mainstreaming- through support to Women in Trade.

Intermediate Impact

  • economic growth
    Economic growth

    $ 1.2B net added to total trade

    (2.4% increase above trend)

  • Exports from EAC to the rest of the world
    Exports from EAC to the rest of the world

    $ 0.4B net added to exports

    (4.3% increase above trend)

  • Intra EAC exports (US$ billion)
    Intra EAC exports (US$ billion)

    $ 0.4B net added to exports

    (4.3% increase above trend)

Highlights of TMEA Uganda Programmes 2017-2023


Improved efficiency and capacity of transport and logistics networks

OSBP/ Jetty improvement at Ntoroko and Goli (DRC); Improved efficiency of cross border infrastructure at Ntoroko and Goli and Busia
Cross-border markets (Elegu, Busia) Enhanced cross border trade
Gulu Logistics Hub Efficient trade logistics services; More efficient cargo distribution in Uganda
Transport Funding Policy (revenue options) Improved operational and regulatory environment in Uganda
Transactional support on PPPs (Jinja/ Malaba) Enhanced regulatory framework for policy reforms in the transport sector

Improved standards and NTBs

UNBS and private sector improves quality and standards Enhanced testing capacity; Enhanced efficiency and recognition of private sector laboratories
NTB Elimination Efficient implementation of national and regional NTB mechanisms
Improved and more transparent trade processes and systems Customs Development Improved efficiency in processing and improving key trade transactions to fulfill import, export and transit regulations in Uganda; Improved availability of trade process information for formal and informal traders and operators
Improved regulatory environment for trade Regional trade integration – policy Enhanced EAC regional integration for trade
OUTCOME 2: ENHANCING PRIVATE SECTOR MARKETS FOR TRADE Better private sector-led advocacy for trade Public Private Dialogue and advocacy framework on trade issues Enhanced quality of Private sector/ civil society-led policy formulation for trade
Increased efficiency in private sector logistic service National Logistics Platform (NLP) Increased efficiency in the provision of trade logistics services
Export growth for export ready businesses Increased export capacity of TMEA Supported SMEs
Market System Upgrading Improved linkages of specific sectors along the value chain
Trade in services (tourism and other services sectors) Improved competitiveness of the tourism sector
Increased export capacity of East African businesses Export growth for export ready businesses Increased export capacity of TMEA Supported SMEs
Market system upgrading along growth hubs Improved linkages of specific sectors along the value chain
Trade in Services (tourism and other services sectors) Improved competitiveness of the tourism sector
Greater inclusion of women and small businesses in trade Gender responsive trading environment. Enhanced quality of Private sector/ civil society-led advocacy and policy formulation for gender inclusive trade
Capacity building Improved small traders capacity in key trade procedures and processes
ICT and Innovation Simplification of trade processes for women and informal traders


Results in Uganda

Increased physical access to markets

  • 5-i

    Preliminary reduction in border clearance time at Busia OSBP

    Preliminary border clearance time achieved in 2016 at the Busia one stop border post (OSBP) in Uganda.
  • 5-i

    Completion of works at Mutukula OSBP

    Percentage completion of works at Mutukula one stop border post (OSBP) in Uganda. Expected to reduce time and cost in crossing borders.
  • 5-i

    Completion of works at Mirama Hills OSBP

    Percentage completion of works at Mirama Hills one stop border post (OSBP) in Uganda. Expected to reduce time and cost in crossing borders.

Enhanced trade environment

  • 5-i
    30 hours

    Reduction in Clearance time

    Reduction in average clearance time through the Uganda Revenue Authority ASYCUDA World implementation which has surpassed the target for December 2014 – 24 hours.
  • 5-i
    1 Day

    Time Reduction

    Reduction in clearance time for Authorised Economic Operators in Uganda.
  • 5-i

    NTBs removed

    Number of NTBs removed by relevant organisations

Improved business competitiveness

  • 5-i

    Shippers Trained

    Shippers / exporters / transporter / clearing agents were successfully trained by Uganda Shippers Council on EAC developments.
  • 5-i

    Women Trained

    Women traders trained in Masaka, Kampala, Mbale and Gulu on cross border trade requirements.