After traders at Elegu near the Uganda-South Sudan border in Amuru district counting losses when fire gutted their business premises, a new Shs9 billion market is set there to built where Ugandan traders and their South Sudanese counterparts will be operating from.
Construction of the multibillion market is set to kickoff this year with funding from TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives in a bid to increase revenue collection for Amuru Local Government.
The border market will sit on 100 hectares of land. The land was offered by Amuru District Local Government and the ministry paid for the processing of the land title.
When completed, Mr Lakony Michael, LC 5 Chairman for Amuru believes the project will help to transform the Elegu Town Board to a Town Council status with increased economic activity and infrastructure.
Francis Bongomin, the Chairperson of Elegu Market Vendors Association says Elegu is a bustling centre with numerous developing structures and the new project will hugely impact on its development.
TheUgandan understands that the new market will be an alternative where South Sudanese will buy products from Amuria traders and they in turn go sell it to their people. This will solve the problem of mistreatment that Ugandan traders face in South Sudan.
South Sudan is Uganda’s largest trading partner with an annual export of more than Shs890 billion (about $358 million) as per the 2013 data from the ministry of Trade.
“Our traders will now be able to sell their merchandise in this market (Elegu Market), avoiding entering South Sudan,” Trade and Industry minister Amelia Kyambadde said.
Public market facilities in most African cities tend to be old and dilapidated or relatively new but inefficient structures with inadequate stalls for traders. Most of the central markets built during the colonial era lacked adequate storage and other trading facilities.
Amuria district is also in February kicking off the construction of the road connecting Atiak Palabek through Lamwo District.