Uganda: June 10, 2002


And now for a trade war with a wrinkle. Ugandas President Yoweri Museveni has declared a trade war against the international conglomerate Nestle. The cause is coffee (and for what its worth, Uganda is the worlds fourth largest coffee grower). Museveni contends that Nestle should build a new coffee processing plant in Uganda. Nestle (apparently) has other ideas. Museveni said that Uganda now plans to sell its coffee directly to the United States. Uganda will use the US governments African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA). AFP quoted Museveni as saying "...I must say to the American government, this (AGOA) is the first good action that they have done in the last 500 years." Hyperbolic rhetoric? Yes, but the trade war as leverage against middlemen is an interesting twist. Its not that Nestle is wrong who knows what the precise details are on the particular deal. Cronyism and corruption are rife in Africa, and large scale projects are easy targets for government graft. However, there are many emerging opportunities for direct sales from producers to consumers world-wide, and Museveni is on to something. Uganda has enough home grown business talent to handle the sales of a home grown product. Is this merely political arm-wrestling with a big corporation or Uganda actually taking advantage of the new direct marketing made possible by free trade opportunities and an awareness of how to capitalize on globalization? Well see how this develops. (Austin Bay)




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contribute. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   contribute   Close