A core part of TMEA’s work going forward (and informing the development of its Strategy 2) is to scale up work on the trade and poverty agenda and to design interventions which have a more direct impact on alleviating poverty. Based on the extensive Cross Border Trade (CBT) work in Rwanda and work with women traders across the EAC, there is compelling evidence that an integrated approach to supporting CBT, particularly in poor border communities can play a critical role in not only increasing trade, but also in directly impacting poverty through increased incomes and increased formalisation of informal trade, and targeting benefits directly towards  some of the most marginalised economic groupings.

The project builds heavily on TMEA’s CBT Rwanda work to inform and influence the development of a broader regional five-year strategy for cross-border trade in the EAC, including recently acceded South Sudan, covering three core areas of engagement:

  • Area 1: Trade Policy & Trade Facilitation
  • Area 2: Strategy Formulation
  • Area 3: Strategic Linkages & Networking

Delivery of the project included:

  • The review of ongoing CBT projects funded by TMEA or other entities (public, private or government) on both regional and national level.
  • The identification of priority goods, services, and markets, with a particular focus on cross-cutting issues such as gender and poverty.
  • Undertaking assessments of the dynamics and constraints to cross-border trading activities between countries, and across the region.
  • The mapping of existing interventions at both national and regional level, and the creation of a baseline assessment of current CBT policies at national and regional level.
  • Undertaking a stakeholder mapping exercise, and an assessment of capacity and needs for organisations and entities involved in CBT.
  • Better understanding and the development of a coherent five-year regional strategy aligning with the priorities of the EAC.
  • Developing specific interventions to support policy, legal, and regulatory aspects, as well as institutional capacity.
  • Developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for the strategy and interventions