Informal cross-border trade takes centre-stage at Ecowas retreat

September 27, 2021

Informal Cross Border Trade took the centre-stage at an Ecowas retreat held from the 16-18 September 2021 in Accra, Ghana.

The planning retreat was in collaboration with Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS); West Africa Association for Cross Border Trade , in Afro-Forestry-Pastoral and Fisheries Products and Food (WACTAF) and Africa Union Development Agency – New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA NEPAD)

The overall objective of the planning retreat is to build, among partners, a greater understanding of their collaboration; consider how best to pull and allocate resources; formulate a well-integrated work plan; and develop a sustainable program of an interplay between ECO-ICBT and TLS in the informal cross border trade data collection space.

The planning retreat provided the requisite platform for considering the program content, road map and budget. It considered an amalgamation of indicators that will both serve the eco-icbt data collection goals and indicators necessary for measuring the efficiency of our borders in the region as per the objective of the TLS.

In her remarks, Ms. Kisa Nkhoma reiterated AUDA NEPAD’S objective and commitment to the development of trade and efficiency of borders. She expressed optimism of a win-win relation between the ECO-ICBT and MoveAfrica/TLS program through the collaboration. Ms Nkhoma added that the success of the collaboration with ECOWAS has been instrumental in developing Category 5 of the TLS which will assess Informal Cross-Border Trade Processes at border posts. She concluded by saying this collaboration will small scale cross border operators in region which will help realize the benefits of the AfCFTA.

Making his remarks on behalf of Mr. Tei KONZI, ECOWAS Commissioner of Trade, Customs and Free Movement, Dr. Seydu SACKO, Program Officer – Informal Trade and Competition, highlighted the expected outputs of the planning retreat to stressing the need to have an adopted collaborative program with roadmap. He encouraged participants to work assiduously to ensure that is accomplished.

The workshop adopted an initial 3-year program and roadmap running from 2022-2024. Main activities on the road map include capacity building of over 150 enumerators and expansion of data collection activities to about 115 identified corridors across the region including Chad and Mauritania

The workshop was attended by Experts from the ECOWAS Commission’s Trade Directorate and representatives from AUDA-NEPAD; CILSS; WACTAF; WAEMU Commission and an expert from the National Statistical Bureau of Ghana. Program Officer – Informal Trade and Competition, Dr. Seydou SACKO welcomed participants on behalf of Mr. Tei KONZI, ECOWAS Commissioner of Trade, Customs and Free Movement.

Source: Ecowas Commission

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