The Cross Border Traders Association (CBTA) of Zambia is a non-partisan membership based organisation comprising members from different parts of the country engaged in various forms of trade across borders. Formally registered in 1998, through the efforts of the late Mr. Shimukonka Greenwell, the association currently has a wide branch network across the country.
The main motive still remains to provide a unified means of addressing the interests of small-scale traders locally and in neighbour states belonging to COMESA, SADC and EAC regions. In line with our motto “trade to develop,” we recognise the significant contribution of traders to economic growth and are taking steps to improve the welfare of our members.
1. Training and development
In April 2014, the Association conducted training for youth in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sport and the Zambia Development Agency. This was in line with our objective of improving welfare of members and encouraging a move to formal business practices. Similarly, in July 2014 the Honorary Consulate of the Netherlands in conjunction with Agri-ProFocus and SNV engaged an expert to educate traders on range of business topics such as exporting and marketing.
As a result of the training, our members registered their businesses, and others went further by obtaining loans from commercial banks and lending institutions whilst others sought funding under the Youth Development Fund under the Ministry of Youth and Sport.
2. COMESA Simplified Trade Regime
The COMESA Simplified Trade Regime (STR), is an initiative that exempts traders from paying customs duty on a specified list of goods. Governments agreed on a list of products that do not require a certificate of origin, thereby making the clearing process simpler and quicker. The overall aim is to promote free trade in the region.
With the support of the Finnish Embassy, in September 2014, the CBTA has re-opened four Trade Information Desks intended for the revamping of the COMESA Simplified Trade Regime (STR); a scheme that provides duty exemptions for small scale traders with goods worth less than $2,000 according to a bilaterally agreed list of goods. These are just some of the initiatives the Association has adopted to provide useful information, training and support to traders that improve the welfare and encourage a shift from informal to formal trade.
Through continued support of initiatives such as these, the CBTA will be on course to achieve its mission to: raise the standards of living and improve the well-being of cross-border traders through representation and the provision of services.
The Association is guided by the vision, mission and core values as follows:
Vision: to be the leading representative of small, medium and large scale traders.
Mission: to raise the standards and improve the welfare of cross border traders through provision of services and provide representation.
(a) Collective responsibility – all decisions made and approved by the general congress comprising branch executives and the National Executive Committew will be binding on all members of the Association
(b) Advocacy remains at the heart of the Association. Striving for an equal playing field for small medium and large scale traders will ensure traders are better positioned to improve their welfare and well-being
(c) Transparency in the use of funds, procurement of goods and daily operations
(d) Diversity- the association has a range of members in various forms of trade ranging from selling foodstuffs, hardware, clothes, blankets etc. Therefore, it is paramount that strategies adopted are inclusive of all regardless of age, gender or nationality.