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Development on the Margin – ReSAKSS-ECA at the Tropentag 2011 Conference

October 18, 2011

October 5 – 7, 2011, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany – “Development on the Margin”

Julliet Wanjiku, researcher with ReSAKSS-Eastern and Central Africa (ReSAKSS-ECA) attended the Annual Conference on Tropical and Subtropical Agricultural and Natural Resource Management (Tropentag), a development-oriented and interdisciplinary conference.  The Tropentag addresses issues of resource management, environment, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food, nutrition and related sciences in the context of rural development, sustainable resource use and poverty alleviation worldwide.  The Conference was jointly organized by the universities of Bonn, Göttingen, Hohenheim, Kassel-Witzenhausen, Hamburg, Zurich as well as by the Council for Tropical and Subtropical Research (ATSAF e.V) in co-operation with the GIZ Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development (BEAF).

Wanjiku hosted a poster presentation entitled,Challenges and prospects of tracking informal cross border trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA).”  This work reviews the informal cross border trade in major staple food products among selected Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) member countries.  Available informal trade data suggest that informal cross border trade represents a significant proportion of regional cross-border trade—about 37 percent in the case of maize, rice, beans and pulses, for example. But this may not represent the true picture as many informal trade activities are not recorded, leading to unreliable trade statistics which in turn affects effective formulation and implementation of domestic and regional trade policies. Thus, there is need to enhance the informal cross border trade monitoring activities through improvements in the quality of the informal trade data.

Specific actions include increasing the number of border points monitored for informal trade, including identifying borders with significant trade for monitoring. Monitoring activities should take account of seasonal trade patterns. It is also essential to strengthen partnerships between the various agencies involved in trade monitoring by having regional collaboration of all the stakeholders in the informal cross border trade activities.

For more information on the informal cross border trade discussion, please view the poster (above) that was presented at the conference.  For continued coverage view presentation briefs, papers and poster presentations, and impressions of the conference view the Tropentag blog.

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