An e-Comesa newsletter has revealed that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which are involved in cross border trade are considering to mobilise their products and exporting in bulk to maintain trading amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The initiative will see the traders packaging similar goods from either side of the borders to export as bulk, as the initiative is happening and working for traders in the great lakes region. The newsletter outlines that once the goods arrive, the traders share them out and proceed with trading at their different points of sale. “For this innovation to succeed, a lot of goodwill and trade policy support is required from the respective governments,” reads the newsletter.
On the other hand, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNCEA) has called for the extra preventative measures for cross-border traders, considering that their nature of business exposes them to higher risk of contracting covid-19. UNCEA indicated, in a policy brief titled Informal Traders: A Balancing Act of Survival, that informal cross-border traders have been hit hard by Covid-19, hence trade requirements should be relaxed for informal traders to survive.