Browsing: Cross border trade in EAC

East Africa's economic growth
  • Tanzania and Rwanda are warming up to set up second official border post.
  • Currently, Rwanda is the third largest user of Dar es Salaam port.
  • More than 80% of Rwanda’s cargo goes through the port of Dar es Salaam.

The push to foster EAC integration appears to be moving in a positive direction with Tanzania and Rwanda taking steps to enhance one of East Africa Community (EAC) pivotal goal, regional trade.

A top Tanzanian envoy has announced plans to open a new border post with Rwanda, as part of ongoing measures between the two countries to scale up the movement of labour, goods and services providers.

Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Makamba,  made the announcement at the end of his four-day state visit to Rwanda.

The Minister revealed that the proposed border crossing will be set up in Tanzania’s Kyerwa district in Kagera Region and …

small traders
  • A rising number of informal women traders in border towns are resorting to corruption to survive.
  • Corruption, harassment, and sexual bribes is threatening the success of enterprise between African economies.
  • The World Bank estimates small-scale cross-border trade provides income to 43 percent people in Africa.

Small-scale trade remains vital in securing livelihoods in East Africa, but rampant cross-border corruption is posing a serious threat to a vital cog in this enterprise—thousands of informal women traders.

This is unlike during pre-colonial period when African communities used to travel long distances, crossing today’s “borders” to barter their goods with traders from a different ethnic group.

Why informal women traders resort to corruption

Today, enterprising communities—mostly informal women traders—at border towns resort to corruption to survive, the World Bank explains. Quite often, official border posts are marred with service delays and congestion, the perfect fodder for cross-border corruption.

With suppressed cross-border trade …

Covid-19’s impact on transportation in East Africa has been the greatest impediment to trade in the entire region. Due to the multiple medical tests that drivers are forced to undertake, the wait period has been a critical hinderance on goods being delivered on time. This has drastically changed much of the supply of goods and services from the two key ports of the region, namely the Mombasa Port in Kenya and the Dar es Salaam Port in Tanzania.  

With the global pandemic continuing its tirade, no corner in the world is spared.  Trade in Eastern Africa has severely been affected by internal and regional barriers inhibiting competitiveness of regional goods and services.  

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, for example, the port of Mombasa, the busiest in East Africa, handled approximately 27 million tonnes of cargo and processing more than one million containers. Following the pandemic, however, the