By David Himbara
General Paul Kagame ordered Rwandans not to travel to Uganda since February 2019 and yet Uganda is Rwanda’s top export market in East African Community. This is according to the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda’s export data for the 3rd Quarter of 2020. The data shows that Rwanda’s exports to the East African Community (EAC) Partner States stood at US$11.7 million. Meanwhile, Rwanda imported from the EAC US$348.7 million. The largest export market for Rwanda is Uganda at US$6.6 million or 56.35 percent of exports to the EAC. In terms of exports to EAC partner states, Kenya is in the second place with exports from Rwanda valued at US$2.7 million.
These figures show two things. First, Rwandan exports to the East African Community is a joke – a pathetic US$11.7 million. Second, the fact that Uganda is the top destination of Rwandan exports to the EAC is puzzling. Since February 2019, General Paul Kagame ordered Rwandans not to travel to Uganda. The Kagame government has all along insisted that the travel advisory it issued in February 2019 against travelling to Uganda will only be lifted after that country stops the alleged hostilities towards Rwanda.
Kagame’s travel ban to Uganda is therefore a hoax. In reality Rwanda did not enforce its travel ban since Uganda tops the EAC as Rwanda’s largest export market. This trade would not occur if Rwandans are not travelling to Uganda.