By Fred Kiva
President Yoweri Museveni says Africa is now ready to join global trade, as he flags off the 4th World Customs Organization Authorized Economic Operators global conference, the first of its kind in Africa.
The three day conference which opened on Wednesday morning is underway at Serena Conference Center in Kampala, with over 1000 delegates from across the globe in attendance.
Officiating at the opening, the president noted that such an event comes at the right time when Africa is addressing challenges which had for long hampered her participation in global trade.
“Africa has been on the periphery of global trade because we had a lot of problems in the last 500 years. But Africa has now woken up and we are addressing the challenges,” the president said.
He mentioned lack of unity, slave trade and pests and diseases as some of the challenges.
“One of the weaknesses was lack of unity and that we are handling through the East African Community,” the president said as he recognized delegates from the East African Community member states.
The Commissioner General Uganda Revenue Authority, Doris Akol said the conference will be vital in discussing the potential of inter-agency collaboration in accelerating global trade facilitation.
The conference under the theme, “Promoting Mutual Recognition of AEOs to strengthen and Secure Global Trade” is also attended by the World Customs Organizations Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya and State Minister for investments Evelyn Anite among other dignitaries.