7 August 2007

Uganda: Fake Goods in Sudan Blamed On Local Traders

Kampala — UGANDAN traders are supplying substandard products to southern Sudan, the region's director of grades and measurement has said. "These mainly include iron sheets, rotten biscuits, beer, bottled water and nails that are soft yet we use them for construction. Some products' expiry dates have been tampered with," Brig. Gen. Malual Kuir Ajak explained.

"We are also human beings, why do you want to spoil our market? I urge you to change the way you manufacture products that go to southern Sudan. Maybe we need to re-arrange the border with check points," Ajak said during a two-day awareness workshop at Hotel Africana in Kampala recently.

Ajak and Brig. Gen. Gaar Yuang Bior were in Uganda to study the Uganda National Bureau of Standards operations.

"After our training, we shall go back and trace all these fake products and bring them back to Uganda," he promised.

Bior attributed the problem to the lack of a standards bureau in southern Sudan.

"We don't have to blame Ugandans for the fake products entering our market because in Sudan, we have the standards but they are not yet applied in southern Sudan," he said.

The chairman of the Uganda Manufacturers Association committee on standards, Robert Mawanda, said the traders imitate the manufacturers' products and scan labels.

Mawanda said other sub-standard products come from China and other Asian countries.

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