• Post detail
  • Launch of the quotWomen in Cross-Border Tradequot project in Burundi
angle-left Launch of the quotWomen in Cross-Border Tradequot project in Burundi

Launch of the quotWomen in Cross-Border Tradequot project in Burundi

The “Women in Cross-Border Trade” project in Burundi was officially launched with funding from the Kingdom of Belgium.

26 Feb 2020 - 00:00:00
On December 10, 2019, “the project “Women in Cross-Border Trade-Menyesha -Nterimbere (2019-2021) in Burundi” was officially launched by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism, in collaboration with Trade Mark East Africa (TMEA) which finances this program with the Funds of the Kingdom of Belgium. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to TMEA's Women and Trade program (2015-2023) which has been designed to improve the livelihoods of women traders, managers or owners of businesses, through capacity building, eliminating trade barriers and gender promotion. This project aligns with Burundi's policy to solve the problem of unemployment and increase household incomes, diversify and promote competitive and healthy economic growth, as reflected in the country's vision 2025, its national development plan 2018 -2027 as well as its national action plan on United Nations resolution 1325 for Women, Peace and Security. This project aims to solve many existing challenges in the cross-border trade of Burundian women traders by: • Improving cross-border support services for women traders; • Informing women about the customs regimes so that they leave the informal to the formal • Training women on the simplified commercial regime so that they are not at the mercy of harassment and corruption; • Creating platforms for advocacy and information exchange • Having mentoring programs for the learning and development of women traders, and • Advocating with policymakers to give importance to small cross-border trade by inserting it into policies and development plans In their speeches, the Country Representative of Trade Mark East Africa in Burundi, Mr NIBASUMBA Christian and the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium who finances the project, Mr VAN GUGHT Alain, indicated , each in turn that cross-border trade, is a sector with a high participation of women, with very wide ramifications for poverty and development. For them, it is a vital source of jobs and livelihoods especially for low-income and low-skilled women. They added that cross-border trade carried out by women can undoubtedly generate significant rural non-farm income and become a catalyst for the creation of value chains and support in rural areas. This benefit, in turn, can reduce rural unemployment and slow rural-urban migration, while empowering women who constitute more than 60% of Burundi's population. In his official launch speech for the project, Mr NIYONDIKO Jean Marie, Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism, indicated that cross-border trade is the key activity in the region. The vast majority (90%) of cross-border traders are women. Despite their key role in the growth of the economy, the problems they endure in their daily lives, and the challenges related to their families and businesses are not sufficiently known by society. He pointed out that the poor state of the roads, the lack of storage depots, make the life of these women traders very difficult, thus slowing down their activities at the risk of seeing their products expired. Therefore, the implementation of this project will overcome all these challenges and will aim to improve the exchange of information and coordination between stakeholders on cross-border trade by women traders in Burundi. The Minister in charge of Trade, Industry and Tourism said that the interventions will be carried out in the greater region of Imbo, one of ten geo-ecological regions of Burundi, which is a belt that covers the long from Lake Tanganyika, running from North to South towards Cibitoke on the border with Rwanda, up to Makamba on the border with Tanzania. The region is very rich and the cultivation of tropical fruits is practiced there. It abounds in itself 30% of the food crop of Burundi, 70% of fish stock, 30% of cattle and 45% of milk production. Added to this is the enormous potential that should attract investment in order to reduce barriers to trade, support the private sector in trade and target vulnerable groups. This project launch work had seen the participation of Mr NIYONDIKO Jean Marie, Minister in charge of Trade, Industry and Tourism, His Excellency Honorable Isabelle NDAHAYO, Minister at the Presidency in charge of the East African Community, his Mr VAN GUGHT Alain, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium in Burundi, Mr NIBASUMBA Christian, Country Representative of TMEA in Burundi, Mr Bizimana Dieudonné, Principal Advisor of the province of Bujumbura, Mrs Ginette KARIREKINYANA, Vice President of the Federal Chamber of Commerce and d'Industrie du Burundi, the representatives of the various institutions of Burundi, the Diplomatic Bodies accredited in Burundi, the Private Sector, the representatives of the Beneficiaries of the project, and the representatives of the Association of Repatriated Women (AFRABU) and of Partner Africa who will jointly execute the project. The launch of this program comes as Burundi prepares to launch at the national level another project called 50 Million African Women Speak, funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and implemented in 38 African countries.