Uganda Unfazed by AGOA Dismissal.. Prioritizes Values Over American Market

Afaf Fahchouch
Afaf Fahchouch
3 Min Read

The State Minister for Industry, David Bahati, has shown a carefree attitude towards Uganda’s removal from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). Along with three other African nations, Uganda’s designation was revoked by the US due to non-compliance with the requirements. The announcement was made earlier this week.

Addressing journalists at Parliament on Wednesday, Minister Bahati conveyed that while AGOA presented a desirable market for Uganda, the country is unwavering in its stance. He asserted that if faced with a choice between allowing homosexuality in Uganda and accessing the American market, the nation opts for the former.

“We aren’t scared about this because we know that we have alternative markets, and what we need to do now is to continue improving the standards of our goods so that we can supply the markets in Europe, Asia, and the African market alone, which is enough to consume what we are producing now,” Minister Bahati declared.

Highlighting Uganda’s commitment to preserving its cultural values, Bahati emphasized that the country will not sacrifice these principles on the altar of homosexuality. Reflecting on the decision regarding the Anti-Homosexuality Act, he stated, “We still stand and will forever stand for the decision we made against homosexuality in Uganda, and whatever comes, we are ready to find an alternative to mitigate the effects of that decision.”

Despite the dismissal from AGOA, Bahati outlined the government’s strategy to continue building capacity for import substitution. He expressed hope that over time, the US would realize the purportedly erroneous nature of their decision.

“We will continue to defend human rights because the NRM Government is a chief defender of human rights even on the continent. We still have that good record, and where there have been abuses of human rights, those abuses are punishable according to the law,” he asserted.

As per the statement from US President Joe Biden, effective January 1, 2024, Uganda, along with the Central African Republic, Gabon, and Niger, will no longer enjoy the benefits of AGOA.


Share this Article
Leave a comment