Last week, a delegation of Egyptian businesspersons together with their Ugandan counterparts hosted a three-day food exhibition at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel.

The exhibition sought to promote cooperation between the two countries in terms of market linkages for food products.

Tamer Safwat, the founder and managing director of Konzept Company in Egypt, said Uganda has high-quality agro-products, which need value addition to compete at the international market.

Safwat said in their first mission, they had travelled with people from 15 companies from the fields of manufacturing and processing technology. He said their mission to Uganda is to see how they can expand the business and share information with the communities dealing in the food processing to advance their packaging and standards.

Brenda Tibamwenda, the general secretary of Uganda Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the expo was planned to build collaboration and new markets for Uganda.

“We have plenty of food and our collaboration may give an opportunity for Uganda to get a market for our goods. In Uganda, we have a lot of food waste, which would change the economic status of our farmers,” Tibamwenda said.

She said the trade ministry is looking forward to getting new partnerships, markets and value addition machinery.

The trade ministry acting permanent secretary, Grace Adong, said the cooperation will, among others, ensure improved quality of the food products fit for the global market such as the European Union.

Adong said Uganda’s exports to Egypt grew from $7.53m in 2018 to $10.47m in 2019.

She said during the same time, Uganda’s imports from Egypt increased from $88m to $90m.

Adong said Uganda exports were mainly in dairy products, coffee, tobacco and fish.

She said Uganda is an agricultural country, which is able to produce sufficient food for domestic use and also to meet the demand for the East African region.

Many challenges faced by the two countries can be addressed through technology, collaboration, innovation and development.

Alaa El Wakii, a board member of the Food Council Egypt, said Ugandan products being of high quality, the market will be available in Egypt with the partnerships.

Akilesh Jog, the head of corporate and planning at Mukwano Group of Companies, said the expo had exhibited good technologies that Uganda can use to produce high-quality goods.

Akilesh advised the Uganda business community to always participate when such opportunities arise because it opens more opportunities for them.