Despite recent attempts by the government of Uganda to reduce on the number of imported old cars, Uganda continues to lead other East African neighbors Rwanda and Kenya in importing used cars by average age. This makes carbon emission in Uganda a quarter higher than that of Kenya.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme report named released on October 26th, 2020, The Used Vehicles and Environment 2020 report, the average age of old cars imported in Uganda is at 15.4 years more two times higher than that of Kenya which is 7.2 years with Rwanda also ranking as high as 15 years.
In 2018, the parliament of Uganda passed a law banning importation of used cars which are 15 years and above old from the year of manufacture. Which is expected to lower the number of old cars above 15 years in the country. Kenya has a limit of importing only cars that below 8 years since the date of manufacture while Rwanda and Tanzania have no age limit.
Between 2015 – 2018, Uganda imported 27,156 cars from Japan alone.
Nigeria tops African countries in importing used cars and is the third in the world only behind United Arab Emirates and Mexico. According to the report, 14 Million light duty vehicles were exported to low and middle income countries between 2015-2018, with more than half of these being ending up in Africa.
Tanzania leads by volume of the used number of cars imported followed by Kenya and then Rwanda, though Uganda leads Kenya and Rwanda in importing old cars by average age which rose from 8.1 years in 2005 to 15.4 years in 2014.
The average Kenyan used cars imported emit carbon 177.4 gCO2/Km each, Rwanda 220 gCO2/km while Uganda soars high with 313.9 grams of Carbon dioxide per kilometer.
Kampala ranks one of the most polluted cities in Africa with pollution coming mainly from untreated factory waste and pollution from vehicles.
Uganda also ranks one of the 46 African countries in the same report in countries with very weak or no carbon emission regulations.
Most of used cars imported in East Africa are from Japan with Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda ranking among top ten of Japanese used car exports.