South Sudan’s opposition leader Riek Machar who had been leading a rebellion against President Salva Kiir signed a peace deal in August 2018.
Consequently, Machar returned to Juba for the first time since he fled into exile in 2016 in October 2018 to attend the country’s Peace Day celebrations.
Under the agreement, Machar is one of five vice-presidents. One of the countries benefiting from the ‘return of peace’ in Juba is Uganda.
Ugandan exports to South Sudan suffered a major setback after war broke out in the newest country in Africa in 2011.
However, latest figures released by Bank of Uganda (BoU) on March 05, 2019 indicate that monthly exports to Juba are on the rise following the signing of peace agreement in August last year.
For example, in January 2019, Uganda exported goods worth US$34.14m (Shs126.7bn), down from US$41.24m (Shs153.06bn) in December 2018.
In November 2018, South Sudan imported goods worth US$29.65m (Shs110bn) from Uganda, up from US$26.55m (Shs98.5bn) in October 2018. In September 2018, Uganda exported goods amounting to US$21.37m (Shs79.3bn) in 2018.
The monthly figures indicate that South Sudan has overtaken Kenya in consuming Ugandan goods in the last five months.
Kenya imported goods worth US$17.82m (Shs66.1bn) in January 2019 from Uganda, up from US$15.69m (Shs58.2bn) imported in December 2018.
In November 2018, Uganda exported goods amounting to US$27.24m (Shs101.1bn) to Kenya, down from US$34.56m recorded a month earlier.
In September, East Africa’s largest economy imported goods worth US$46.06m (Shs170.9bn) from Uganda.
Due to instability in South Sudan, Uganda exported goods worth US$355.91m (Shs1.32 trillion) to Juba in 2018, up from US$299.30m (Shs1.11 trillion).
Kenya has been Uganda’s top export destination because exports to South Sudan have reduced due to turmoil.
Annual earnings from Uganda’s exports to Kenya amounted to US$580.29m (Shs2.15 trillion) in 2018, up from US$551.06m (Shs2.04 trillion) in 2017.
BoU figures indicate that Ugandan earned a total of US$3,625m (Shs13.4 trillion) from her total exports in 2018, up from US$3,449m (Shs12.8 trillion) in 2017.