Cotton Development Organisation joins Uganda Electronic Single Window.


Our Reporter.

The online Cotton Grading module was last week added to the Uganda Electronic Single Window. As such, the Cotton Development Organisation (CDO) is now able to facilitate registration of ginnery, ginning and export certification, as well as Lint Quality certification online.

The Uganda Electronic Single Window is a trade facilitation platform that lets Traders, Clearing and Forwarding firms submit and process international trade documents electronically. It was launched in November 2016 by Hon Amelia Kyambadde, the cabinet minister for Trade, Industries and Cooperatives.

The Uganda Electronic Single Window project has been funded by DANIDA through TradeMark East Africa. Ministry of Trade is the lead agency while Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is the implementation agency.

Since its launch, the Single Window platform has been rolled-out and currently being used by over 20 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the latest being Cotton Development Organisation.

Jolly Sabune, the managing director of Cotton Development Organisation, noted that easing doing business for Cotton stakeholders especially the ginners and lint exporters has always been CDO’s desire and the electronic single window system will benefit them in multiple ways.

“On behalf of government side, we hope to realize improved stakeholders’ compliance and enforcement. I want to reaffirm our commitment to implementing the single window system in this cotton subsector in Uganda,” Jolly Sabune said.

While confirming the addition of CDO on to the Single Window platform, Francis Koluo, the project coordinator from Ministry of Trade thanked TradeMark East Africa and DANIDA for the first seed funding of this project.

“This is an ICT project that requires continuous updates and monitoring. We had to first upgrade the ASYCUDA (Automated System for Customs and Data) were the system resides. Together with National Information Technology Authority (NITA-U), we are working on sustainability plan for Single Window,” Francis Koluo from Ministry of Trade explained.

Uganda Revenue Authority’s Ssozi Geofrey, who represented the Commissioner Customs noted that the implementation of the Single Window system has contributed to safe trade by limiting interactions through automation trade processes which were previously characterized by delays. This has come with multiple benefits including faster clearance of cargo from 14 to less than 2 days.

Damali Ssali, the acting country director for TradeMark East Africa, Uganda noted that the Uganda Electronic Single Window is currently directly facilitating six of the top ten Uganda exports. These include Coffee, Tobacco, Fisheries, and now Cotton.

“I am happy to report that this Single Window platform is now facilitating Uganda’s top six exports. It is my hope that soon; all the top ten exports will have automated systems through the Single Window. The Uganda Electronic Single Window is indeed facilitating trade through cutting costs and time involved,” Damali Ssali said, adding;

“I am very happy to actually be here to see the Cotton Development Organisation module run on Single Window. We scoped it about two to three years ago and it has taken us some time to achieve this.”

Margaret Magera, a Senior Programme Advisor at Royal Danish Embassy in Uganda noted that it is exciting to know that the government of Uganda is already working on the Single Window sustainability plan so as to safeguard the trade gains registered even after the end of the DANIDA funding.

She noted that the Danish Government through DANIDA will continue to support Uganda’s trade, and private sector development.

Indeed, following the outbreak of COVID19, the Danish government has through TradeMark East Africa invested USD 2 million in to the Safe Trade Emergency Facility for Uganda.