Covid-19 Hits Sadc Cross Border Traders

Main Story Zimbabwe

Owen Kaura

A total of US$17.9 billion in Sadc intra-trade could have been lost due to the closure of borders caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), informal cross border trade accounts for 40% of trade in the region.

IOM Zimbabwe is this week conducting a visit to Chirundu border post as part of its support for informal cross-border traders in southern Africa to do business safely during the pandemic.

The organisation’s communications specialist Fadzai Nyamande-Pangeti said: “IOM in partnership with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom is running a programme with IOM Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa. We will be assisting cross border traders with capacity building, where we will be training traders in border processes during Covid-19.

“We will also be training them on business formalisation as well as Covid-19 prevention and control,” she added.

Programmes Manager of the Zimbabwe Cross Border Traders Association, Mr Eric Chikukwa thanked FCDO and IOM for the project.

“For cross border traders the value of correct information relating to trading safely during Covid-19 cannot be overemphasized. We appreciate the platform of engagement,” Chikukwa said.