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  • Cross Border Trade

Help desk for women cross border traders 

  • Existence of a woman champion/revenue Officer at the border who assists small scale women traders

For export quality and standards

Business opportunities:

Uganda presents numerous opportunities for cross border traders. These opportunities fall in various categories including:

Agricultural products:

  • Beverage crops,
  • animal and animal products,
  • grains,
  • horticulture and others;

Industrial products:

  • Beverages,
  • processed food products,
  • construction and hardware material,
  • chemical products and others.


Informal Cross-border trade accounts for 25%-35% of the total exports in Uganda. According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) regional formal and informal exports report, earnings from cross border exports in 2018 were estimated at US$3.6 billion. This denotes a 5% increase from 2017.

Facilities women in business can utilize at the borders
There are several facilities available at the borders.

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has a desk officer also known as Champion for Women who captures entries for small-scale traders.

Other facilities available are:

  • One Stop Centre Border Posts facilitate the joint clearing of goods through an automated integrated border management system. The Busia, Mutukula, Elegu, Mirama Hills borders currently operate as one stop border posts;
  • E-single window system for online processing of Importers and Exporters regulatory documents like permits and customs declarations using single access points which reduces transaction costs, time;
  • Simplified Export regime (dubbed ES 9) and Simplified Import regime (PB4) for passengers carrying low quantity goods;
  • Joint processing of documents between the trading countries;
  • Recognized and licensed Clearing Agents;
  • Cargo Scanner;
  • Parking yard for trucks;
  • A store for small scale traders to keep goods as they undertake document processing; and
  • Rest rooms.

Services for women entrepreneurs cross border traders

Several services are offered at the borders for women entrepreneurs.

Uganda cross border women traders’ associations at border points like Elegu, Malaba, Busia, Mutukula, Mpondwe, Aruu provide advisory and advocacy services.

Other services include:

  • Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda recognize their respective national identification cards as official travel documents;
  • The Interstate Pass is a temporary travel document valid for six months.
  • Cross Border Export Zones
  • Tax Sensitization and awareness meetings

Uganda’s trade partners

  • The principal destination markets for Ugandan exports are Kenya, DRC, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi.

  • The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the main informal cross border trade partner with total informal export trade worth US$291.48 million (2017/18) followed by Kenya at US$149.94 million and Rwanda at US$19 million. Between Uganda and Sudan, common commodities are food stuffs including dried cassava, beans, maize, dry fish, ground nuts.

  • 49% of Uganda’s total intra-Africa trade (exports + imports) is with Kenya.
  • Other important trading partners are South Africa (12%), DRC (9%), Rwanda (9%) and Tanzania (7%).
  • Uganda sources intra-Africa imports from Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Egypt and Swaziland.