Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has downplayed his country’s expulsion from the United States’ tariff-free trade programme.
Speaking on Sunday, he said Ugandans should not to be over-concerned by Washington’s decision to remove the country off its list of African Growth and Opportunity Act beneficiaries (AGOA).
He said some “foreign actors” erroneously believed that African countries could not move forward without their support.
"Certainly, as far as Uganda is concerned, we have the capacity to achieve our growth and transformation targets, even if some of the actors do not support us," Museveni said.
Last week, US President Joe Biden said he was cutting Uganda, Central African Republic, Gabon, and Niger from the AGOA beneficiaries from January 2024.
He said Uganda was excluded because of what he described as its ‘gross violations’ of international recognised human rights.
In May, Kampala passed one of the world’s toughest anti-LGBTQ laws, which includes the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality".
Launched in 2000, the AGOA programme grants exports from qualifying countries duty-free access to the US market.
It is set to expire in September 2025, but discussions are already underway about whether it should be extended, and for how long.
In 2022, Uganda exported goods worth $10.6 million under the programme.