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Agricultural Informal Cross-Border Trade: The Gender Dimension

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Nadia Hasham
Virtual Event - Informal African trade: The hidden world of food flows
DEC 3, 2020 - 09:30 AM TO 10:45 AM EST

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Agricultural Informal Cross-Border Trade: The Gender Dimension

  1. 1. Nadia Hasham & Lily Sommer Trade Policy Experts 03 December 2020 African Trade Policy Centre Economic Commission for Africa Agricultural Informal Cross-Border Trade: The Gender Dimension
  2. 2. • Women comprise up to 70% of cross-border traders and 50% of agricultural labour force in Africa along the value chain • Farmers, livestock breeders, processors, traders, workers, entrepreneurs, consumers • Gender and youth inequalities lead to reduced agricultural output and inefficiencies • Land rights, access to finance, markets, information, networks, skills, standards, and technology, • Implications for food security, prices, and poverty Women in Agricultural Informal Trade
  3. 3. Limited knowledge of trade regulations & procedures Sexual harassment, corruption and extortion Limited access to finance Inadequate (gender-friendly) infrastructure Gender Inequalities & Informal Cross-Border Trade ECA-AFREXIMBANK project along the Abidjan-Lagos corridor: female traders carry out 61 percent of informal cross-border trade transactions and face acute challenges
  4. 4. Informal cross-border trade Border closures Financial risk Limited social relief Poor sanitary facilities Gender inequalities Cash-based transactions ICBT Vulnerabilities
  5. 5. • Regional agricultural value chains provide more opportunities for women • Gender equality is necessary for advancing regional cross- border agro-food value chains and ultimately export performance • Both regional trade policy and complementary national policies are important Aflao-Kodjoviakope closure along Ghana-Togo border Photo taken by ECA enumerator on 18 April 2020 How inequalities affect agricultural trade
  6. 6. • Trade facilitation: one-stop border posts, single windows, simplified trade regimes • Digital solutions along corridors • Regional policies during border disruptions • Private sector innovations • Export Processing Zones • Formal measurement of ICBT GLTFP, COMESA Great Lakes Trade Facilitation Project Trade Information Desk Gender desks at police stations Female gender champion at borders Training for customs & border officials Solar panel lighting Sex-differentiated toilets Agricultural border markets Aggregation of foods by traders Continental guidelines during COVID Opportunities & Innovations
  7. 7. • Agreement recognises the importance of gender equality and improving export capacity of informal suppliers, MSMEs, women/youth • Increases in exports of agriculture and food products in excess of 25% in meat, sugar, milk and dairy products – New opportunities for women in agribusiness • Projected increases intra-African exports in labour-intensive industries, low-skilled wages • Strengthening regional value chains, customs cooperation, trade facilitation • Mechanisms to address non-tariff barriers Role of the AfCFTA in Women’s Economic Empowerment
  8. 8. • Engage stakeholders in inclusive national AfCFTA implementation • Provide training and capacity building • Build linkages between larger and smaller players • Seek opportunities for women’s participation in production of high-value commodities and prpducts for African markets Tea, textiles, cotton for textiles, palm oil for agri-food inputs Niche export markets, high- return crops with forward linkages, eg: organic cotton ECA Africa Renewal Magazine, 2014 Supporting women in intra-African agricultural trade
  9. 9. • Sex-disaggregated data is critical for evidence-based policy responses • Challenge: Availability of and capacity to collect and use gender statistics, particularly on informal trade • Opportunities: Assessing capacity to mainstream gender Developing national capacities for data and statistics Measuring contributions to and participation of women in trade Knowledge generation, production, dissemination, and partnerships ICBT Statistics: National & Regional Capacities
  10. 10. THANK YOU!
  11. 11.  Reopen ICBT at official crossings with sanitary, testing & quarantine facilities  Issue short-term permits to ensure reopening avoids overcrowded borders  Display visual step-by-step guide & route maps to facilitate “safe” ICBT  Provide free or subsidized PPE and testing services for informal traders  Facilitate the aggregation, transport and clearance of small traders’ goods  Extend social protection and relief to unregistered informal traders  Utilize contact tracing through smart phones  Encourage e-payment platforms through fee reductions  Automate trade facilitation processes  Establish regional & continental simplified trade regimes to gradually incorporate informal traders into the official trading system  Help to strengthen small traders to face future shocks to cross-border trade BORDERS TARGETED SUPPORTS DIGITAL SOLUTIONS STRS CUSTOMIZED RESPONSE FOR INFORMAL TRADERS