Frequently Asked Questions about EASSI, our  work, impact, projects, who we work with, critical areas of concern and so many more. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, we shall get back to you as soon as possible.

What is EASSI?

The Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) is a sub-regional civil society organization (CSO) made up of committed individuals, NGO’s, coalitions and networks driven to transform gender relations globally and especially in the Eastern Africa sub-region.

Who does EASSI work with?

EASSI works with a total of sixteen national networks and NGO’s with national mandate in eight (8) countries of the East and Horn of Africa. Namely; Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Each of these national networks have members in their respective countries who spread and extend the opportunity and influence of EASSI.

What are the strengths and capabilities of EASSI?

Over the years, EASSI has developed strengths and capabilities for which the organization is recognized regionally and internationally. These include;

  • Working on the Beijing and African Platforms for Action
  • Promoting Women Rights and Gender Equality
  • Enhancing Capacity on issues of women, peace and security
  • Participation on Regional and International bodies such as International Action Network on Small Arms, the United Nations Commission on the status of Women in Africa, Common Wealth Gender Plan of Action Monitoring Group and the East African Women in Business Platform.

What will EASSI do to achieve its mission and goal?

In striving to achieve our mission and goal, our ambition is to address the following areas:

  • Women Right’s and Gender Equality: The focus under this thematic area will include;

-Right to access to productive resources, opportunities and information

-Right to benefit from outcomes of development and public interventions and Gender Based Violence.

  • Gender and Economic Development: The focus under this thematic area will be economic empowerment of women to increase women’s real power over economic decisions that influence their lives and priorities in society.
  • Gender and Conflict Prevention and Post Conflict Reconstruction: The focus under this thematic area will include; building capacity of women, women movements to effectively participate in peace process. Ensure women’s voices are bought to decision making tables on conflict prevention and post conflict reconstruction.
  • Gender and Governance: The focus under this thematic area will include building capacity of women to increase their participation in leadership and building capacity to participate in politics.
  • Emerging regional and international paradigms: EASSI will position itself to contribute to the gender priorities in post development frameworks; Agenda 2063 of the African Union, among others.

What are the 12 critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action and the EAC Gender Equality and Development Bill?

  1. Gender Based Violence
  2. Power and Decision making
  3. Trade
  4. The Media
  5. Economic Empowerment
  6. Peace and Security
  7. Education
  8. Agriculture and food security
  9. Environmental Management
  10. Health
  11. Land rights
  12. Marginalized groups

What do I have to do in order to do business in East Africa without a passport? (Cross Border Trade-Immigration Procedures)

Present your original identity card to the immigration officer at the border point of entry. You will be given an interstate pass, which helps you to travel and do business in that country for up to six (6) months. The interstate pass will be taken away from you when you return to your home country.

Are there other travel documents I can use and health documents? (Cross Border Trade- Immigration Procedures)

Yes! There are other travel documents,including a temporary movement permit which is given to you at the border at a fee. You can use a passport, in form of a booklet given by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in your country. Always remember to carry your Yellow Fever Vaccination card at all times.

What if I have a child/ children I’m traveling with? (Cross Border Trade- Immigration Procedures)

Parents traveling with young children should obtain travel documents for the children and must carry the child’s birth certificate.

What if I am married in that country? (Cross Border Trade- Immigration Procedures)

Foreigners from within the East African Community (EAC) married in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi must get a dependent pass from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the country they are married in. The dependent pass for EAC citizens is issued for free in Uganda and Kenya. You may be required to pay a fee in the other EAC countries.

What do I need to sell goods outside my country? (Cross Border Trade- Customs Procedures)

As a trader, you need to have a Simplified Certificate of Origin (SCOO) for goods produced within the EAC countries whose value is less than $2,000 (two thousand U.S dollars). The SCOO is given to you at the border by the customs officials.

What are SPS measures?

Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) measures ensure food, animal and human safety.

What about agricultural products? (Cross Border Trade- Customs Procedures)

A trader dealing in agricultural products such as maize, rice, beans, groundnuts or peas, must obtain a phyto-sanitary certificate from the Ministry of Agriculture in that country before exporting or importing, to confirm that the products meet the required standards, in addition to SCOO. You must also have an import permit to confirm that you have been allowed to bring the agricultural produce into the other country.

Which taxes do I have to pay at the border? (Cross Border Trade- Customs Procedures)

Traders are advised to visit Revenue Authorities at the border before importing or exporting any product to find out the required taxes, in order to avoid losses. The Customs Officers at the different border points will help you to understand the different taxes you should pay. These include;

  • Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Exercise duty- Charged on specified luxury products
  • Withholding tax
  • Import Duty
  • Export Duty
  • County specific taxes for example; Infrastructure development fund, railway constructions fund, horticulture development fund, among others.

Any questions? Leave a Comment below!


  1. Namulondo Rehema-Reply
    August 29, 2018 at 10:36 am

    As a woman cross border trader along Malaba, what else do you suggest I should do to ensure that my business is stable and secure today and in the future?

    • EASSI Staff-Reply
      August 29, 2018 at 10:50 am

      Hello Rehema, Thank you for contacting us!
      You should;
      1. Acquire an insurance cover which will protect you from unexpected loss and damage of your goods.
      2. Seek out services of commercial banks, micro-finance, etc, in order to access savings and credit options, money transfer services and much more.
      3. Apply to be a member of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and after you’re accepted to the fund, pay a monthly contribution. It will help you save for retirement or when you are unable to conduct normal day-to-day activities due to illness or accidents.

  2. Judith Nabyato-Reply
    September 3, 2018 at 3:37 am

    What are the requirements when trading in unprocessed agricultural produce?

    • EASSI Staff-Reply
      September 3, 2018 at 4:09 am

      Hello Judith, Thank you for contacting us!
      1. You will need to show evidence that the produce is solely produced/obtained from one of the EAC Partner States. Refer to the EAC Rules of Origin 2015, accessible on the EAC Website via http://meac.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/EAC-Book-2.pdf
      2. You will also need an extra certificate to ascertain that food, animal health, human health and safety have been met. These are the SPS Measures, shown above. You must obtain an import license (confirms SPS measures have been met) from a designated government agency before being able to import the unprocessed agricultural produce into another EAC Partner State.

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