Women Cross Border Trader Cooperatives Empowered to Transform the Lives of Women

The IIDEA Project “Cooperatives Accelerator” has developed an EAC women cross border traders’ cooperatives accelerator model for nascent EAC women traders’ cooperatives.

DMT has previously sensitized over 4,800 women traders in Uganda on the EAC trade rules and regulations in a 3 months period. The majority of the women were unaware of their rights under the EAC Common Market Protocol so the information provided to them was eye-opening and a) led to women urban traders to begin exploring cross border trade and b) gave the participants in close proximity to border locations, the courage to question and challenge border agencies that were not operating in line with what they had learned.

Now this approach was taken across borders…

From informal cross border trade to being a business woman

In a “pressure cooker” environment, the projects equips three different women’s trading cooperatives located in Busia, Kenya, Busia Uganda and Owino Market Kampala, to better serve their mandates. In doing so they will contribute to the cooperatives’ sustainability and increase member incomes as they increase their participation in regional trade.

Chairpersons of the Uganda and Kenya Women Cross Border Trader Cooperatives welcome participants

A total of 16 training events with over 300 participants were conducted in Kenya and Uganda.

Here the women of the participating organisations, The Busia Women Cross-Border Traders’ (BWCBT) Cooperative Uganda, The Busia Cross Border Women Traders Savings and Credit Cooperative Society Ltd., Kenya (BCBWT SACCO) and The Tugunjuke Community Initiative (TCI) in Owino Market, together with Government Officials and Representatives of the Revenue Authorities agreed to support the facilitation of women in trade.

Equipment like computers and smartphones have been handed over to the groups and increased their efficiency.

Uganda Revenue Authority Station Master hands over computer to Busia Women Cross-Border Traders’ (BWCBT) Cooperative Uganda

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