State, ILO simplify EAC cross-border trade guide

Fuel tankers
Fuel tankers and small traders queue to enter Uganda at the Busia border. EAC member states have liberalised trade laws for micro and small-scale merchants. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The government has moved to woo traders in border counties to use formal channels of trade with other East African Community states.

EAC and Regional Development Principal Secretary Kevit Desai said there was lack of awareness despite EAC member states benefiting from liberalised trade laws for micro and small-scale merchants.

“Kenya in partnership with ILO has initiated the process of developing a simplified guide to EAC trade rules, regulations and procedures for cross- border traders and other service providers to assist them get all the relevant trade information,” he said.

Mr Desai was speaking in Kisumu during a capacity building workshop which is aimed at sensitising cross- border women traders on the simplified guides to EAC trade rules and regulations to advance the gains of the EAC integration process.

According to studies, 70 per cent of women of the 16 million traders in the EAC region are dealing with primary stable and agricultural commodities.


“Cross- border traders are significant players in feeding this country. Majorly trade in cereals and other foodstuff which are essential in stabilizing food supply in Kenya.

“It is imperative that the women are continuously trained and informed of the contemporary trends in international and regional trade to enable them reengineer their processes,” said Dr Desai during the event in a Kisumu hotel on Wednesday.

Women traders have raised concern that they struggle to find information regarding goods and services allowed for trade in each partner State, the standards and authorisation certifications required and the taxes and tariffs applicable in each country.