South Sudan, Uganda agree on more food imports as Juba government declares steps to curb inflation

The Government of South Sudan has reached an agreement with its counterparts in Uganda to supply basic food commodities to South Sudan’s markets. Last Week President Salvar Kiir Mayardit met a delegation from Uganda led by Lt. Gen. James Mugira and discussed a detailed plan for Uganda to support its neighbours to ensure sufficient supply of basic commodities.

Gen. Mugira, the managing director and chief executive officer of the National Enterprise Corporation, the business arm of the Uganda People’s Defence Force, says the move is aimed at stocking South Sudan’s markets with excess basic commodities, hence lowering the prices. The delegation also discussed consolidating the existing bilateral relations between Juba and Kampala.

South Sudan is one of Uganda’s largest trading partners. Statistics from the Central Bank in Uganda indicate that in 2021, trade between the two countries was worth $389 million, not considering the large volumes of informal trade across the borders.

Uganda’s exports to South Sudan amounted to $482.46 million, while imports were $10.25 million, about 37.34 percent of Uganda’s exports within the East African Community in 2021.

Exports from Uganda to South Sudan have increased at an annualised rate of 46 percent, from $17.3 million in 2012 to $357 million in 2020.

Top exports from Uganda include foodstuffs such as grain, sorghum, cane sugar and chemically pure sucrose in solid form.

Meanwhile in the same meeting, the Juba Government on Friday said it has enough reserves to address the current inflation in the market. Finance Minister Dr. Dier Tong Ngor and Central Bank Governor Johnny Ohisa Damian briefed President Kiir on the latest monetary plans for the country.

Minister Dier says the government is set to inject enough dollars into the market to meet the high demand for hard currency. 

“We have reached a concrete solution to avail dollars into the market to address the high inflation,” Dier told media after the meeting, adding that the move would bring down consumer prices in the market.

Central Bank Governor Johnny Ohisa Damian says the Bank will finance the import of essential commodities at the moment. 

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