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Local manufacturers struggling to make it in EAC

Ms Prudence Ukkonika, the proprietor of Bella Wine, displays her products made in Uganda. She wants government to support local producers in accessing regional markets.

Statistics portraying increase in trade between Uganda and other East Africa Community (EAC) countries are not telling the whole story, Daily Monitor has learnt. 
According to ministry of Trade statistics, Uganda’s exports to EAC have slightly increased from $642.2 million (about Shs2.3 trillion) in 2014 to $711.3 million (about Shs2.5 trillion) in 2016. Imports, however, have reduced from $684.6 million (about Shs2.4 trillion) in 2014 to $530 million (about Shs1.9 trillion) in 2016.

Uganda mainly exports coffee, tea and spices. Others include: animal or vegetable fats and oils, tobacco and manufactured tobacco substitutes, iron and steel and cereals. She imports lime and cement, plastering materials, iron and steel, plastics, mineral fuels, mineral oils and products of their distillation; bituminous substances, beverages, spirits and vinegar.

Technical restriction 
If it were not for unnecessary restrictions, including misinterpretation of rules governing regional trade by some EAC member countries, trade and policy analysts believe the country’s export volumes could have been higher than what the statistics show. 
A study commissioned by the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute-Uganda (SEATINI-U) indicates pitfalls in implementing the EAC Common Market Protocol. This is bad news since it has a bearing on how partner states conduct business among each other. According to sector players, selective application of the common market protocol is already taking a toll on businesses here, particularly exporters.

It should be noted that the motivation for the common market is compelling. With more than 150 million people and a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $146 billion, a single EAC market presents unprecedented opportunities for private sector players.

This is a final call to journalists, campaigners and academics to attend our four-day financial investigative journalism training course at City University in London.

The dates for our next training will be: Tuesday 7 November 2017 – Friday 10 November 2017

You do not need to have a financial background to apply but we consider it important when selecting candidates to see evidence of your investigative experience. Class instructions will take place in English.

Why attend?

Over four days, you will be shown how to investigate corporate accounts, offshore activity and corporate corruption. We will show you where to find documents, how to analyze them and other practical tools to help uncover financial secrecy.

A combination of hands-on training and guidance from senior practitioners will give you the basis to investigate financial corruption as well as offering the opportunity to network with other journalists.

The course aims to help participants understand:

  • the building blocks of the offshore world
  • how to access and interpret company accounts
  • where to access other company information
  • the methodology behind the groundbreaking tax avoidance investigations into Google, SAB Miller and Vodafone – by the journalists who conducted them
  • how to investigate and report corruption stories
  • the steps required to keep safe and minimize personal risk
  • how to track the international policy agenda relating to illicit financial flows
  • how to use Freedom of Information laws in different jurisdictions

Bursaries available

Bursaries are available for journalists from the developing and emerging world. Bursaries cover visa fees, travel, accommodation and per diems for food and travel in London. Due to the limited number of bursaries, applicants will be selected on their track record in investigative journalism. As we tend to be over-subscribed some candidates will be placed on a waiting list for our 2018 course.

How to apply

To apply please fill in the online application form. Please do not copy and paste entire articles into the form. Where possible, please provide links or a few lines summary of the article plus date of publication. The deadline for BURSARY application is Friday 10 August at 12h00 BST. 

(Please note for campaigners and journalists from Europe or North America, it may be possible to attend this course after the bursary deadline if space is available.)