The Town Council has a population of 17,000 people with more than 500 of them engaged in cross-border trade. They deal in general merchandise, agricultural produce, hardware, restaurants and supermarkets among others.
The absence of banking services continues to frustrate the growth
of businesses in Elegu Township, the main point of entry to South
Sudan through Amuru District.
The Town Council
has a population of 17,000 people with more than 500 of them engaged in cross-border
trade. They deal in general merchandise, agricultural produce, hardware,
restaurants and supermarkets among others.
nearly two decades, Elegu border post has been the main trading centre for
South Sudanese from where 90 per cent of goods imported from
Uganda are processed. At least 300 cargo trucks crossing to Juba daily.
the Chairperson of Elegu Women Cross Border Traders Association says the
traders cannot grow or expand their businesses to match the growing demand and supply
because of a lack of credit facilities. Ayo told URN that they
are forced to use mobile money services to transact businesses, yet this subjects them to exorbitant withdrawal charges.
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Ayoo added that
recently, the Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the
Advancement of Women (EASSI) helped the women traders to form and register a cooperative
society for fresh food and produce which still cannot bridge for adequate credit
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Sheila Kawamara-Mishambi, the Executive
Director of EASSI, engaged the traders and implored the leadership of Amuru to
develop investment plans and opportunities that can attract banks in Elegu to spur economic
development at the border.
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Ivan Kakaire, the Ugandan Revenue
Authority –URA Regional Manager acknowledged that a lack of banking services possess
a great challenge to the border community. Kakaire added that DFCU Bank, which had established a branch in the area about five years ago, was forced to relocate after flash floods devastated their investment.
Amuru Resident District Commissioner
Geoffrey Oceng explained that due to the absence of banking services, several
traders have lost money to thieves while others lost their savings to sudden
Government through the different agencies earn a
daily revenue of between 14 to 15 million Shillings and a monthly collection of
between 400-450 million Shillings. However, the border post is characterized by
poor infrastructure development.