The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, has re-echoed her call to have the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) office operating independently of the Office of the President.
Kadaga explained that Parliament did not give the AGOA office money because it failed to honour its recommendations.
“For the last 15 years of its existence, AGOA has realized so little from the opportunities of the project with major problems being structural,” she said.
While responding to a series of questions from journalists on Wednesday, September 9, 2015 in her office, the Speaker said that the AGOA Secretariat should instead be created as a Unit under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives while the Monitoring Unit in State House plays its role as mandated.
“We want to see in Kampala an AGOA Office, which every Ugandan can access,” she added noting that presently “Ugandans are exporting through Kenya and yet we are party to that agreement.”
Kadaga explained that transparency, access and openness are fundamental for effective operations of AGOA.
While responding to a question about the apparent discord between a section of NRM historicals and the young turks, Rt. Hon. Kadaga stated that the transition should be gradual and that the old guard should not be stampeded.
With regard to the size of next Parliament, she explained that the proposals to increase constituencies came from the Executive but hoped that the Membership can be capped at 500 so that in future there is no need to have additional constituencies.
AGOA is a United States Trade Act, enacted on 18th May 2000 so as to enhance market access to the US.
It is a nonreciprocal trade preference programme that provides duty-free treatment to U.S. imports of certain products from eligible sub-Saharan African such as Uganda.