“Women have called for more sensitisation about the laws cross-border trade.
They made the appeal this week during a meeting with officials from a woman NGO, FEMNET, at which findings of a survey in five countries was released.
The study carried out last year in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt and Zambia showed that most women were marginalised in doing business.
“We are confined to petty trade because we are not aware of trade agreements, laws and policies concerning cross-border trade. We call on government to train us in policies,” said Crescence Mukantabana, one of the participants.
She told The New Times that women are shrewd in terms of business but have little knowledge about cross border trade regimes. Mukantabana observed that more women are engaged in informal cross-border trade as a result.
According to James Tayebwa, in charge of regional integration at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Rwandan women need to understand protocols the country has signed with different countries and regional bodies.
“We have trained a number of them on trade laws and regulations but indeed, they still need to be sensitised further to increase their involvement in the exports sector,” he said.
Tayebwa urged women to form associations that will help them identify and find solutions to problems affecting their businesses.