Uganda woos plastic bags firms after Kenya ban
The government of Uganda has initiated moves to have plastic bag manufacturers in Kenya relocate to the country’s capital, Kampala after Kenya begun enforcing a ban on the product, according to Business Daily.
Uganda has in a letter to Kenyan plastic bags manufacturers stated that it is willing to “protect and allow investors to repatriate their profits as they deem fit. Likewise, their expatriate staff can come in easily,”
The letter written by the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is seen as the biggest indication of the East African country not interested in banning plastic bags anytime soon like its neighbor Kenya.
All East Africa Community (EAC) member countries were supposed to enforce such a ban, but only Kenya and Rwanda have so far complied.
Kenyan authorities last month started enforcing the law that bans plastic carrier bags in the country in a bid to protect the environment.
Officials have said that anyone found selling, manufacturing or carrying the banned bags could be fined up to $38,000 or jailed for up to four years.
Manufacturers have argued that stopping the production of plastic carrier bags will mean many jobs will be lost. They estimate about 80,000 people would lose their jobs.
The Uganda Investment Authority said in its letter that “Many Ugandan enterprises are missing out on opportunities in larger markets because their packaging does not meet international standards. In order for Ugandan processed honey, fruit juices, mineral water, herbal medicines and chemicals, among other products to be competitive nationally, regionally and globally, the packaging has got to be of high quality.”
Kenyan firms are reported to have already established subsidiaries in Uganda and could soon relocate following this invitation.