By; Ben Musanje
Civil Society Organizations under the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) have backed government to phasing out the importation of second hand clothes.
Last month, the United States (US) Trade Representative revealed to be reviewing trade benefits to Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) after a complaint by U.S. interests about an East African ban on imports of used clothing.
Addressing a joint press conference at their office in Ntinda, SEATINI Program Officer in charge of Trade and Investment Faith Lumonya says the campaign is to support Uganda’s nascent industries, grow an integrated economy that creates decent jobs and improved welfare to locals.
Lumonya says Uganda should learn from several other African countries like Ghana, Egypt, Ethiopia, India and Vietnam which have used the same strategy to support promising local industries and save foreign exchange from reduced imports.
However, She advises US government not to use AGOA as means to constrain Uganda’s and EAC’s policy space for development provided for in World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, instead should help to achieve development objectives.