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Algeria Asks For Powder Milk Samples

by Wangah Wanyama
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By John Odyek

Uganda and Algeria have had long and cordial bilateral relations anchored on mutual respect, dialogue and Pan-African solidarity but this is not reflected in high volumes of trade and investment.

The bilateral relations are now being boosted by efforts in increasing the volume of trade and investment between the two countries.

Algeria ambassador to Uganda Mohamed Khelifi says their initiatives are taking place to leverage on the political ties to enhance trade, investment and business between the two countries.

Khelifi says during President Yoweri Mueveni’s visit to Algeria in March last year, there was agreement to import powder milk from Uganda as one of the ways to improve trade relations. The milk powder will be imported tax-free within the framework of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Khelifi the Ambassador of Algeria to Uganda. Photo by John Odyek

“We import powdered milk from different countries. But Uganda is a friendly country and we want to push more to import powdered milk from Uganda. We are waiting for the exporters from Uganda to send the powdered milk specification. The Algerian milk buying agency ONIL (Office National Interprofessionnel du Lait et de Produits Laitiers), is a public company in Algeria responsible for importing milk into Algeria,” Khelifi says.

He made the remarks during an interview on February 13, 2024, at the Algerian Embassy in Kololo, Kampala.

According to him, the Uganda exporters have to travel to Algeria to make an offer: “It is a small procedure that has to be followed. We are not going to deal with Uganda exporters the same as others”.

“There might be a challenge of logistics in exporting to Algeria. There are no direct flights to Algeria. We are looking at the best way and cheapest way for export. I want to assure Uganda that Algeria is ready to buy milk powder from Uganda,” the ambassador added.

“My message to Uganda exporters is that they have to be more aggressive because the political will is there. They have to come to Algeria to sell their product. We are happy and ready to import powdered milk from Uganda and we shall look for other products such as meat and coffee,” Khelifi added.

He noted that the milk product from Uganda is good and if there is some export to Algeria, some investors can come to Uganda and invest in setting up powder milk making plants.

In relation to this he said Algeria imports milk powder from many countries and there is no problem to pay the money, the banking system in Algeria is efficient. He indicated that money is there to pay for the milk powder.

“I want to improve the economic relations between the two countries, mainly trade. Our level of economic cooperation is not at the same level of political relations. We want to improve relations in other fields as well including sports. Recently we had the Algeria women’s national football team playing against the She Cranes,” said.

He tipped Uganda’s business community to look at the Algeria market and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

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