Africa Newsletter 05-29-20
East Africa Update
Kenyan Truck Drivers Push To Suspend Operations
The Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers Union have called for the suspension of operations into Uganda due to the challenging environment they are facing at the border crossings which include alleged harassment, stigma and long delays as the majority of Uganda’s COVID-19 cases have been truck drivers from neighbouring countries.
The Business Daily reports on how Uganda is the top destination for Mombasa port’s transit cargo accounting for 70% and a daily average of 2,000 cargo trucks cross into Uganda during a normal business period. The governments of Kenya and Uganda have agreed that truck drivers who produce COVID-19 clearance certificates would be allowed to continue their journeys at the borders without delay.
Cargo Storage And Warehousing Costs Rise AT Ports
Over the last 3 months traders have seen the cost for storage and warehousing at ports rise due to the delays in clearing as the lockdowns and personnel cutbacks have affected operations at all major entry points.
The Kenya Ports Authority have stated that it will extend the free storage period from nine days to 14 days but traders still see delays continue where they would expect to pay between USD 100 and USD 120 per day after the free period.
Heavy Rains May Affect Quality of Uganda’s Coffee Crop
As heavy rains continue throughout Uganda during the wet season, the quality of the coffee crop may be affected as the lack of sunshine required for drying the coffee beans has not been sufficient as per usual requirements. Large growing areas such as Western Uganda has seen intense heavy rains that will also have an affect on price.
Reuters reports on how the Uganda Coffee Development Authority forecasts Uganda’s export to increase 16% to 5.1 million 60 kg (132 pounds) bags in the current crop year that is expected to end by September.
SADC Set To Reopen Borders
The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) is set to reopen all its borders after health and safety measures have been approved by medical experts as the region continues to fight against the coronavirus. This comes after a period of 50 days where guidelines were in place for only essential cargo to be transported across borders.
The 16 country bloc includes Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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