In a move set to boost trade and cooperation between Uganda and South Sudan, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the National Revenue Authority of South Sudan (NRA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU, signed by URA’s Commissioner General John Musinguzi and a South Sudanese delegation, aims to facilitate collaboration in meeting their respective statutory obligations, with a strong focus on digital transformation programs, tax enforcement planning, information sharing, training, and benchmarks.
This significant development formalizes and strengthens the already robust relationship between the two neighboring nations. His Excellency Simon Juach Deng, Ambassador of South Sudan to Uganda, emphasized the importance of this partnership, noting that Uganda is a vital trading partner for South Sudan. He acknowledged that there is much to learn from Uganda, particularly in revenue mobilization, where URA has been at the forefront.
Commissioner General John Musinguzi also expressed his appreciation for the cooperation and support received from the NRA in cross-border trade initiatives. He highlighted the collaborative efforts that have created a conducive environment for fair and compliant business practices, while also combatting issues such as smuggling.
Athian Ding, the Commissioner General of the NRA, pledged continued cooperation in the fight against smuggling and announced plans to tighten border controls. Earlier this year, both revenue authorities had signed a bilateral agreement to implement joint border patrols and surveillance operations along the border. These measures are aimed at addressing challenges such as insecurity, smuggling, and strikes by truck drivers that have hindered trade between the two nations.
Despite being one of Uganda’s largest trading partners in the region, trade between Uganda and South Sudan has faced several hurdles. This MoU signifies a commitment from both sides to overcome these challenges and ensure a smoother flow of goods, ultimately leading to increased revenues for both countries.
This development marks a significant step forward in fostering economic cooperation and stability in the region. It is anticipated that this partnership will not only strengthen trade ties between Uganda and South Sudan but also serve as a model for other neighboring nations seeking to enhance their economic collaboration.
The focus on digital transformation and the sharing of best practices in revenue mobilization could potentially lead to more efficient tax collection systems and increased economic growth for both countries.