The big story we are missing in Kenya banning Ugandan products is that Kenya is now engaged in protectionism.
Given the rate at which Ugandan products have infiltrated Kenya, it is just right to ban these products. Speaking from a Kenyan manufacturer’s perspective, it is almost impossible to match up with Ugandan products. They are affordable, super value for money.
Take an example of Lato Milk. In just years, it had stolen market share from Kenya’s biggest dairy companies. From foodstuffs to hair products, Ugandan products have become the darling of many Kenyans.
In the past 5 years, Uganda has been a net exporter to Kenya. It is cheaper to produce in Uganda and export to the neighboring countries. Uganda has been gaining from the EAC arrangement. It was never the case. Kenya was always the net exporter to Uganda. Now in both volume and value, we own the big size of the pie.
So Kenya is moving in to protect its manufacturing industry. And one of the easiest ways to do this is with a “quality excuse.” Kenyan actually holds the record for aflatoxins in East Africa. If you compared Kenyan and Ugandan maize side by side, the toxicity in Kenyan maize will shock you.
Kenya has moved to other Ugandan products, Cement, Chicken, Eggs. You can’t beat Ugandans when they learn the art and science of something. Ugandans are now into large scale production and manufacturing. We are witnessing a trade war.
Even Ugandan house maids are being decampaigned in Kenya, because they are currently the most demanded in Kenyan homes. Uganda is and will always be Kenya’s biggest threat. Wait when Ugandan professionals infiltrate the Kenyan market.
For now, I suggest that Uganda retaliates and bans Kenyan dances. They are the worst export ever!