Six months after the establishment of Rubavu Trade Information Desk (TID) by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), small cross border traders have registered a boost in their business as a result of the information extended by the desk.
The information desk was established to provide the community with trade information about the regional bloc.
“We have sensitised small traders to form cooperatives and we receive a minimum of 60 traders per month who approach us for information,” said Alphonsine Uwamahoro, the manager of trade information desk.
According to a study carried out by TID, there are over 3,000 traders who cross the Rwanda, DRC border, daily, and need trade information to enhance their businesses.
The regional bloc that brings together 19 countries of East and Southern Africa, initiated the project financed by USAID and Trademark South Africa, to provide free information on trade, fighting AIDS and individual rights to those who are crossing the border.
The trade information desk targets small traders who do business across borders of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda with maximum capital of $500.
“The biggest challenge that we still face is traders who still want to smuggle goods,” added Uwamahoro.