Consolidating the gains of women cross border traders in EAC economic integration process

ABOUT THE GENDER AND TRADE PROJECT

EASSI in partnership with Trade Mark East Africa implemented a project, “Consolidating the gains of Women Cross Border Traders in the EAC integration process”. This project recognizes that trade policy reform in the EAC region needs to be inclusive of women doing business across the region. Under this project, EASSI works with women cross border traders to identify opportunities that are provided in various EAC trade instruments to enable women benefit just like their male counterparts, and to contribute to an enabling gender responsive trade environment at all borders.

PROJECT GOAL

Women cross border traders to increase value and volume of trade in the EAC Common Market. (3000 women cross border traders have increased income by end of September, 2017)

OUTCOMES

  • Improved trade environment at border points for women traders.
  • Increased representation of women traders on border management committees.
  • Increased access to market and trade/ trading information by women traders.
  • Increased use of formal cross border trading systems by women traders.
  • Enhanced policy, regulatory environment for WCBTs.
  • Reduction of trade barriers faced by Women Cross Border Traders (WCBTs)

WHERE WE WORK

We work at different border points in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya and Tanzania.They include;

  • Malaba border (Kenya/Uganda)
  • Busia border (Kenya/Uganda)
  • Mutukula border (Tanzania/Uganda)
  • Mirama Hills/ Kagitumba border (Uganda/ Rwanda)
  • Katuna border (Rwanda/Uganda)
  • Holili/Taveta border (Kenya/Tanzania)
  • Namanga border (Kenya/Tanzania)
  • Kabanga/Kobero border (Burundi/Tanzania)

KEY PROJECT ACTIVITIES

  • Policy review on trade policies and regulatory frameworks.
  • Dissemination of trade information through established resource and information centers.
  • Training women traders on EAC customs and immigration procedures.
  • Formation and facilitation of National Border TV Associations.
  • Piloting the charter for Cross Border Trade at Mirama Hills/ Kagitumba Border.
  • Transforming Women traders associations into cooperatives.
  • Facilitating dialogue meetings between border officials and women traders.
  • Capacity building for Women cross border traders.

AVAILABLE INFORMATION RESOURCE CENTERS FOR WOMEN CROSS BORDER TRADERS (WCBTs)

  • Busia Women Trader’s Information and Resource Centers (Busia border area, Uganda)
  • Katuna Resource Women Traders Information and Resource Center (Katuna border area, Uganda)
  • Mutukula Women Traders Information and Resource Center (Mutukula border area, Opp. Tanzania police station)
  • Taveta Women Traders Information and Resource Center (Taveta border area, Kenya)
  • Namanga Women Traders Information and Resource Center
  • Mirama Hills Women Traders Information and Resource Center.

WOMEN CROSS BORDER TRADERS ASSOCIATIONS & COOPERATIVES

The different women cross border trade associations below were created by EASSI (Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women) with the kind support of Trade Mark East Africa.

TAVETA WOMEN CROSS BORDER TRADERS ASSOCIATION, TWCBTA

Located at Taveta Border, Opp. Barclays Bank

Background

The Taveta Women Cross Broder Traders Association (TWCBTA) was formed in 2012 after a regional women cross border traders meeting organized in Kampala by EASSI (Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women). The major objective for the formation were;

  • To enhance simpler, speedier and transparent cross border trade.
  • To build competency of Taveta Women Cross Border traders.
  • To enhance the formation of TWCBTA network linkages.

The inception of TWCBTA was in light with formation of strategic alliances. These link the women traders with vital agencies in the export trade business. This also includes border agencies that are directly tasked with facilitation of trade. Eligibility for membership in the association is deemed by the executive committee upon which the accepted member pays a registration fee.

Ann example of a cross border trader membership identity card

Ann example of a cross border trader membership identity card

Vision

To improve,protect and sustain women in small scale trade across the borders.

The aim was achieved through the following objectives;

  • Conducting seminars for women through CBTs to build their capacity in informal trade across the border.
  • Promoting cross border relationships.
  • Encouraging savings culture and investments.
  • Encouraging imports and exports.
  • Soliciting for funding for the implementation of the programme.
  • Advocacy and lobbying for favorable laws that protect the interest of women CBTs.
  • Curbing the menace subjected to women across borders.

Stakeholders

  1. Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI)
  2. Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA)
  3. Kenya National Export Promotion Council
  4. Ministry of East African Affairs
  5. Kenya National Womens Cross Border Traders Association
  6. Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  7. COMESA
  8. Border agencies
  9. Ministry of Integration and all government agencies at the border i.e. Kenya Revenue Authority, KEPHIS, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock, Immigration and Public Health.

Other borders in Kenya with women cross border associations include; Busia, Malaba, Namanga, Lungalunga

MALABA WOMEN CROSS BORDER TRADERS ASSOCIATION- KENYA, MWCBTA

Located at Malaba Kenya border post

Background

Malaba WCBTA was formed in 2012 with the initiative of Kenya Export Promotion Board. The association is led by the elected executive committee. One becomes a member if she meets the set criteria and by paying the set registration fees.

Vision

Promote women cross border trade by following the right procedures while importing and exporting, leading to increased trade volumes, adding value to cross border trade thus increased profits.

Mission

To be the leading WCBTA in the region in terms of volume traded and gender equality accorded to women traders.

Objectives

  • To promote the interest on WCBTs.
  • Linkup with other national WCBTAs to promote regional policies.
  • Lobby for removal of NTBs and creation of friendly policies.
  • Lobby for training and sensitization workshops for women from NGOs, governments and other related bodies.
  • Promote a culture of entrepreneurship and trade among WCBTs.

Stakeholders

  1. Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI)
  2. Kenya National Export Promotion Council
  3. Ministry of East African Affairs
  4. Kenya National Women Cross Border Traders Association
  5. Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  6. Kenya Revenue Authority
  7. All border agencies
  8. Agricultural Marketing Development Trust (AGMARK)
  9. COMESA
  10. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade
  11. USAID COMPETE
  12. Trade Mark East Africa

Other borders with women cross border associations in Uganda; Busia, Lungalunga, Taveta, Namanga

BUSIA WOMEN CROSS BORDER TRADERS ASSOCIATION- KENYA, BUWCBTA

Located at Busia Kenya border

Background

BWCTA was formed in 2002 under collaborative center and gender development after which Kenya Women Foundation Rights took over in 2010. Other stakeholders with whom BWCBTA engages with include the Export Promotion Council and EASSI.

Vision

To improve, protect and sustain women in informal trade across the border. This aim shall be achieved through the following objectives.

Objectives

  • To build the capacity of informal women cross border traders.
  • To empower women and girls in cross border trade.
  • To promote sustainable use of resources.
  • To create awareness regarding cross border trade.
  • To create and maintain good relationships with government and other border agencies.

Stakeholders

  1. Ministry of East African Cooperative Affairs
  2. EASSI
  3. Ministry of Integration and all government agencies at the border i.e Kenya Revenue Authority, KEPHIS, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock, Immigration, Public health and County governments. Security and other associations such as clearing and forwarding agents (KIFWA).
  4. COMESA
  5. Other WCBTAs

Other borders with women cross border traders associations in Kenya; Malaba, Lungalunga, Namanga, Taveta.

MUTUKULA BORDER WOMEN COOPERATIVE, MUBWOCO

Located at Mutukula border

Background

Mutukula Border Women Cooperative (MUBWOCO) is a women’s organization bringing together women cross border traders trading across the Mutukula border. Originally, it was known as Mutukula Border Women Traders Association (MUBWOTA), the cooperative came into existence in 2014. MUBWOTA was formed in 2011 during the Gender and Trade project of EASSI (Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women). The project targeted women informal cross border traders. (WICBTs). Mutukula border is located in the extreme southern Rakai district and northern Misenyi district, an international border between Uganda and Tanzania.

Vision

A society, where all women can actively participate in cross border trade to improve their economic self reliance.

Objectives
  • To coordinate activities of women cross border traders in Mutukula.
  • To develop knowledge on improved technologies in agro-processing, environmental sanitation, water and other sectors.
  • To solicit for financial support intended to facilitate the improvement of members’ activities as individuals or as a group.
  • To further the empowerment of women traders in participating towns in recognition of their contribution to family incomes.
  • To act as a conduit/ agency of government/ community/ programmes/ causes.
  • To carry out self-sustaining financial services to business communities.

Products mainly traded by MUBWOCO members

  • Beverages (malt, energy drinks, embe)
  • Produce (coffee, maize, miwogo/ cassava, beans)
  • Fish
  • Wheat flour
  • Spaghetti/ macrons
  • Sunflower oil

Stakeholders

  1. Immigration department, Mutukula
  2. Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry
  3. Rakai District local government
  4. Tanzania Revenue Authority
  5. EASSI (Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women)
  6. Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB)
  7. Uganda Police Force, Mutukula
  8. Uganda Revenue Authority (URA)

Other partners are; Uganda National Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Uganda Export Promotion Board.

MIRAMA HILLS CROSS BORDER WOMEN TRADERS ASSOCIATION, MHCBWTA

Located at Mirama hills/ Kagitumba border

About MHCBWTA

Mirama Hills Cross Border Women Traders Association (MHCBWTA) was formed in June 2017 under EASSI’s Gender and Trade project. MHCBWTA is registered with the Ntungamo local government and has over 45 members, more to come. The association aims at bringing together all the women cross border traders at Mirama hills/ Kagitumba border to have a collective voice to ease trade at the border. The project is supported by EASSI- Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women and funded by TMEA- Trade Mark East Africa.

Objectives

  • To promote the interest of women cross border traders through improving their welfare and ability to conduct business within the international markets as important contributors to the national and regional economic development.
  • To link women cross border traders to services  through information sharing using the EASSI resource center.
  • To lobby for financial support where appropriate for women’s businesses.
  • To advocate on behalf of their members to government and other stakeholders for better trading environment and accountability purposes.

Activities undertaken by the association

  • Credit and savings schemes.
  • Counseling and guidance for the women cross border traders.

Stakeholders

  1. EASSI- Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women
  2. TMEA- Trade Mark East Africa
  3. Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC)
  4. Uganda Revenue Authority (URA)
  5. Department of Immigration
  6. Uganda Police Force
  7. Ministry of Local Government

NAMANGA KENYA WOMEN CROSS BORDER TRADERS ASSOCIATION, NKWCBTA

Located at Kenya/ Tanzania border

About NKWCBTA

Namanga Kenya Cross Border Traders Association (NKWCBTA) is a body that brings women cross border traders together especially those who trade across Namanga border. Namanga Kenya women cross border traders association began in November 2012 and was initiated by Export Promotion Council and World Trade. Namanga border is located on the southern part of Kajiado county and the northern part of Tanzania. An international border between Kenya and Tanzania.

Vision

To create a good environment for all women to carry out cross border trade, acquire better markets and have increased income from their businesses.

Objectives

  • To acquire better markets for their goods,both locally and regional/ national.
  • To learn more about formal procedures of clearing goods in order to ensure security of their businesses.
  • To learn and tap new business opportunities besides their actual businesses.
  • To acquire knowledge on better agricultural processes and modern beading methods.
  • To empower women so that they are able to contribute to family income.

Mainly traded products

  • Agricultural produce (maize, beans, onions)
  • Curio Items (Masai blankets, beaded necklaces and wrist bands)
  • Textile materials (Vitenge)
  • Livestock products (milk, ghee, e.t.c)

Stakeholders

  1. EASSI- Eastern African Sub-regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women
  2. Immigration Department, Namanga
  3. Kenya Revenue Authority
  4. Kenya Bureau of Standards
  5. Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services
  6. Kajiado County Local Authority
  7. Tanzania Bureau of Standards
  8. Immigration Department, Tanzania
  9. Tanzania Revenue Authority

Charter for Cross Border Traders

Basics rights and obligations for traders and officials at the border. Go to IECs page

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