The Expo will bring together over 500 global participants to forge networks across the region.
REGIONAL TRADE | LOGISTICS
KAMPALA - Uganda deserves to be celebrated for organising forums that help move East Africa's freight logistics industry forward, according to Gideon Badagawa, the executive director of Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU).
This month, Kampala will host the Regional Logistics Expo, with over 500 participants expected to attend.
It is hoped they will forge networks across the region, dialogue, showcase their services and leverage individual and corporate capabilities to potential clients.
The August 21-22 event, organised by the Uganda Freight Forwarders Association (UFFA), is themed Innovative and Sustainable Solutions for Freight Logistics.
The first edition was held in 2017.
Transport has been known to represent some of the biggest costs in businesses. According to Badaggawa, the upcoming expo will provide a pedestal for key stakeholders to address the critical transport issues in the hope that it will help move the Ugandan economy on a forward trajectory.
Thanking UFFA chairman Hussein Kiddedde and co for their efforts in organising the expo, Badaggawa said Uganda equally deserves plaudits.
The East African Community (EAC) is one of the fastest-growing regional blocs in Africa. With the African Continental Free Trade Area taking shape, the region is bound to be opened up to an even wider market.
"The challenge is to sustain these markets once we have opened them up such that the investors in the manufacturing sector, oil and gas sector and others can benefit wholesomely," said Badagawa.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of Congo, with a population of over 80 million, has applied to join the EAC.
The Regional Electronic Cargo Tracking System (RECTS) control centre was also extended to the central African nation recently, after the DRC Directorate of Customs and Excise and the Ugandan Revenue Authority signed the RECTS standards operating procedures.
The developments present new opportunities and challenges for the freight logistics industry, which the Regional Logistics Expo 2019 will address.
"We intend to align our views on whatever is happening in the East African Community and beyond so that we can position freight logistics better, to meet the dynamic demands of these projects and opportunities," said UFFA boss Kiddedde, who also chairs the expo's organising committee.
UFFA, a member of PSFU, is an umbrella association for logistics companies in Uganda, and is organising the expo in partnership with the National Logistics Platform (a PSFU programme), Uganda Revenue Authority and the Ministry of Works and Transport.
In his remarks, Badagawa also thanked TradeMark East Africa for supporting the National Logistics Platform in boosting the growth of the transport and logistics sectors.
"The 11 sectors under PSFU are all going to be transformed into ‘platforms' that will enhance public-private partnerships and ease access to markets. The private sector always wants to access the market securely and efficiently, within reasonable costs and time," said Badagawa.
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