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UNDP To Fund Cold Storage At Owino

by Wangah Wanyama
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By Maria Wamala

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will fund the establishment of a cold storage facility in St Balikuddembe Market aka Owino to enable vendors of perishable produce can be able to trade them outside Uganda.

The revelation by outgoing UNDP resident representative for Uganda Elsie Attafuah on Wednesday was made as she addressed Owino vendors during her tour of the market to witness the success of transformative projects supported by the collaboration between UNDP and KCCA. Attafua said market vendors have a critical role in developing Uganda and Africa because all developed countries have used trade as a way to develop.

“If you are going to trade outside Uganda, you can’t sell them [produce] when they are not fresh. I commit that in addition to the projects UNDP has already done, UNDP will also fulfil this [cold storage facility] promise,” she said. 

Attafuah urged the vendors to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which was established in 2018 and encompasses most of Africa. It comprises 43 parties and another 11 signatories, making it the largest free-trade area by number of member states, after the World Trade Organisation. It has 1.3 billion people across the world’s second-largest continent.

“In Africa, we are 1.4 billion but we don’t trade among ourselves a lot. I am from Ghana. They need sweet potatoes and vegetables. These are plenty in Uganda. When I am going back home to Accra, I usually carry carrots, cauliflower and sweet potatoes in my suitcase. We can begin trade within Africa because we have the market. I can’t continue carrying vegetables in my suitcase,” she said adding that Owino can go to Accra and across Africa.

Dorothy Kisaka KCCA Executive Director and Elsie Attafuah United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative shop in Owino in Owino market

“We want the market men and women to organise and we talk to Uganda Airlines and say, take the plane, full of vegetables to Accra and other African countries. Such trade will bring us the development we desire,” she said.

Kampala Capital City Authority executive director Dorothy Kisaka lauded UNDP for the support in transforming Owino Market, highlighting the infrastructure improvements, paving the market, solar lighting the market and provision of cold storage.

Kisaka lauded UNDP’s investment of shillings 1.17 billion in the market, benefitting over 20,000 vendors.

The two leaders expressed commitment to ongoing partnerships and the development of Kampala as a smart city. The collaborative efforts between KCCA and UNDP showcased a model for sustainable urban development and empowerment of local communities, Kisaka said.  

The tour concluded with the two leaders shopping various items in Owino market. 

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