[1] Nshimbe, C. and I. Moyo (eds. Women cross-border traders in central Africa bring their stories to Geneva at UNCTAD exhibit and video screening. Assessment of Informal Cross-Border Fish Trade in the Southern Africa Region: A Case of Malawi and Zambia 361 accounting for 65.7% and 52.1%, respectively. [7] Fundira, T. 2018. Lack of formal employment opportunities in most African countries make informal economic activities the only viable income-generating opportunities. [8] This underscores the relative reliance of Rwandan small scale cross border traders relative to their neighbours. This situation, and the potential development of increasing restrictiveness over the next months, forms the backdrop of this blog. 2016. In addition, women are especially vulnerable as traders since they are exposed to gender-specific risks and headwinds. This bulletin summarizes informal trade across selected borders of Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Author & abstract; Download; Related works & more; Corrections; Author. Community comments do not reflect the views of tralac, unless stated otherwise. Data for Rwanda estimates that ICBT to its four neighbours (Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi) is about 59% of total exports to these countries, while informal imports total to a much lower figure – just 4% of the total. This paper provides a review of existing efforts to measure informal trade. For this reason, any threat to ICBT in SSA is a threat to the most vulnerable and needs to be taken very seriously. Around 70 to 80 percent of informal cross-border traders (ICBT) in the southern Africa region are women. Informal trade is said to account for a significant proportion of regional cross border trade. ICBT is rarely illegal. Cross-border trade (CBT) refers to trade in goods and services between neighboring countries and mostly to trade that takes place close to the borders. Please address any comments / suggestions to the following email address: yvhevha@fews.net 2018. Those individuals and firms that make up the market for ICBT are divided into individuals, informal businesses and formal businesses. Despite being a source of income to about 43 percent of Africa’s population, informal cross border trade (ICBT) is generally regarded as illegal commercialization of cross border activities2. This is as a result of the ability of ICBT to offer traders a market outside of the fractured and possibly failed domestic market. Although levels of intra-regional trade in SSA are very low, informal cross-border trade (ICBT) is thriving almost everywhere in Africa. • There exists a lot of cross-border trade amongst African countries, which remains largely unrecorded. While this phenomenon may provide short-term solutions to poor households, in … MTID Project Note. Women constitute the largest proportion in this sector practicing small scale business transactions in a range of products. Informal cross-border trade (ICBT) forms a significant part of intra Sub-Saharan African (SSA) trade. narcotics) or in the manner of trading (evasion of customs duties and regulations). Why? All Rights Reserved. However, even where these aren’t a consideration, the costs of formal clearance for informal traders can be prohibitive, due to regressive duties structures and complex clearance procedures. Currently, the informal cross border trade monitor system includes 18 borders. Maize grain flows from Zambia to Malawi were significantly higher compared to volumes in previous months. It is often referred as informal cross-border trade as it involves small entrepreneurs and traders who buy and sell in informal markets. Informal cross-border trade (ICBT) represents a prominent phenomenon in Africa. Informal Cross Border Trade (ICBT) plays an important role in developing countries and act as accelerator of economic development, regional development of the borderland areas. The cross border monitors record data on a regular basis and transmit it to a central location for collation and analysis. There is no universally accepted definition of the informal sector to start with. Informal Cross Border Trade (ICBT) is an economic activity that engages a "Borderline" project equips women with information on trade procedures, helping them reduce business costs and expand opportunities. The volume of ICBT flows vary by country. It contributes to economic growth, job creation and food security for the majority of the region's population. Both types of illegal trade occur in Africa. Typically, it is proximity trade involving the move of produce between markets close to the border. Be considerate. A verification code will be sent to you. Keep comments relevant to the article and replies relevant to the initiating post. Informal cross-border trade (ICBT) is a significant feature of regional trade flows and cross-border movements in Southern Africa.¹ However, moves to liberalize trade and promote development through trade have largely focused on large-scale formal sector trade and not cross-border trade undertaken by small-scale informal entrepreneurs. Stellenbosch: tralac, [8] Bouët, A. et al. How to address the complexity and opacity of trade barriers to ICBT, in a context of multiple overlapping trade arrangements. It contributes income, provides jobs and empowers women in some of the most fragile and impoverished communities on the continent. Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Flows from Mozambique to Malawi were highest. [6] This blog, which is part of the same series as the current blog, is entitled ‘Hitting where it hurts – pandemic border closures and SSA’s most vulnerable informal cross-border traders’. de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland, Welcome to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Group (FSNWG) monitors informal cross-border trade of 88 food commodities and livestock in eastern Africa in order to quantify the impact on regional food security. Washington: IFPRI. Both types of illegal trade occur in Africa. Informal Cross Border Trade (ICBT) plays an important role in developing countries and act as accelerator of economic development, regional development of the borderland areas. The cross border monitors record data on a regular basis and transmit it to a central location for collation and analysis. Before submitting your comment, please take note of our comments policy. In addition, unlike with Cameroon, all of the communities on Rwanda’s borders live on the 60-80% or worse poverty threshold. It has also been argued that ICBT is especially important to fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS)[4], for example the Central African Republic. A parallel tralac blog will explain the economic rationale behind this trade, based on the existence of optimal market sheds and ‘time to market’ considerations[6]. Furthermore, if properly supported, it can generate significant rural non-farm income and become a catalyst for value chain creation and support in rural areas. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. yet, the informal cross border trade was estimated to have trade of an astounding US $2.9 million per month while the form al cross bo rder trade was equally estimated at US $1.6 million per month. This Trade Brief presents a discussion of the importance of Informal Cross-Border Trading (ICBT) for socio-economic development in the east and southern Africa region. The definition of ICBT is rather loose, due essentially to the nature of the practice itself. Your username will be emailed to the email address on file. The countries cited above are just two examples of fragile and vulnerable communities now facing existential threats due to the measures taken to combat the spread of Covid-19. Informal cross-border trade is very important to Africa in general and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in particular. If these and other gender-specific constraints are effectively tackled, informal cross-border trade can turn into a vibrant micro-entrepreneurial reality with significant potential to help alleviate poverty, contribute to food security and empower women. The range of figures is large as it is quite impossible to get accurate statistics on informal trade due to the very nature of this trade. Besides economics research and teaching, he has experience in project management, general management, public sector performance management, systems analysis and entrepreneurship. What Impact? Cross-border trade though the informal sector is a strong component of in-tra -regional trade and an important aspect in the EAC integration process. For this reason, any threat to ICBT in SSA is a threat to the most vulnerable and needs to be taken very seriously. Regional workshop on Informal cross-border trade for empowerment of women, economic development and regional integration in Eastern and Southern Africa, Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, International Women's Day - Borderline: Women in cross-border trade, Informal cross-border trade for empowerment of women, economic development and regional integration in Eastern and Southern Africa, UNCTAD - Palais des Nations, 8-14, Av. It contributes to economic growth, job creation and food security for the majority of the region's population. Icbt the preferred trade option of this blog AECOM International Development & Banyan Global situation, informal... As it involves small entrepreneurs and traders who buy and sell in informal markets informal cross border trade in africa trade... Provides a review of existing efforts to measure informal trade is trade between countries. Unregistered traders, Switzerland, Welcome to the article and replies relevant the. 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