Tanzania: Cross-Border Traders Protest Over Trading Permits Issuance

WOMEN traverse absence of straightforwardness on exchanging grants issuance, saying that the circumstance influences their organizations particularly when their products leave use before achieving their goals.

The ladies were griping amid limit building workshop at the end of the week, composed by Gender Training Institute – the sister association of the Tanzania Gender Networking Programs (TGNP).

Namanga Border trader, Ms Naomi Magoti told participants that availability of permits, especially for milk transportation was seriously challenging the traders because it seemed that no specific authority set to issue the documents.

“When we go to responsible authority for food and drugs, they direct us to agriculture people, and the opposite is true. The same applied to other authorities we think might help us. Sometimes the permits do get out with our goods already gone out of use as we spend couple of days at borders while no preserving facilities there,” she lamented.

However, Ms Magoti appreciated the governments’ (Tanzania and Kenya) endeavours on removal of trading barriers to some products, including the milk. At the same time, the workshop participants praised Tanzanian government and other stakeholders’ efforts in eradication of gender based related violence at the borders; citing sexual corruption as one of issues used to discriminate them in the past.

Introduction of One Stop Centres at borders, with police gender desk inside was a really remedy for s*xual corruption. The women used to have trapped in the forced sexual affairs due to lack of trading experiences wherein men who emerged to help them were first asking s*xual services.

Despite being victims of sexual abuses, some women lost their goods after falling prey to conmen. Holili Border trader, Ms Beatrice Kimambo commented that the Centres appeared to be the big help as they directly offer the services of which the women used to access through ‘fake’ agents who posed difficult conditions.

“Activists are there at borders to remind us and direct new comers where to get any type of the service as well as where to report when any kind of trouble happens. It means the agents no longer have business there. Conmen also are disappeared long time ago. In totality, we are in free trading zone despite other minor challenges,” she said.

She urged relevant authorities to overcome the remaining challenges; reiterating that lack of transparency over permits issuance has been stagnating the business.


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