The Trading for Peace Project was initiated in 2007 following a Decision of the Seventh Meeting of the COMESA Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs that was held in Djibouti in November 2006. The project’s overall objective was to support post-conflict reconstruction, development and peacebuilding at the cross-border areas of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and its neighbours in the Great Lakes region of Africa. The project further aimed at using trade as a tool to promote peace at the border areas of the eastern DRC through the facilitation and formalization of cross-border trade and the building of trust between small-scale cross-border traders and other key actors at the border areas including local administration, immigration and customs. COMESA, in consultation and partnership with USAID and DFID, agreed to take advantage of the emerging peace and security situation in the Great Lakes Region and implement the project after the resolution of the numerous conflicts that had taken place followed by successful democratic elections in both Burundi and the DRC in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
The project commenced with a research on the main trade corridors of the Great Lakes Region within the theme of “Achieving security and poverty reduction through trade in natural resources in the Great Lakes region”. The research findings showed that fair and equitable trade can aid in promoting poverty reduction and contribute to consolidating peace in countries emerging out of conflict.
COMESA was well suited to implement the Project due to its geographic and programmatic competences, being a Regional Economic Community that geographically covers most of the Great Lakes Region countries (except Tanzania), and the various policies and instruments it had established that could facilitate the achievement of security and reduction of poverty through trade and other regional integration programmes including the Free Trade Area agenda including its Simplified Trading Regime, and the Peace and Security Programme amongst others.
In its first phase , the Trading for Peace Project focused on a research component while the second phase focused on supporting capacity building and networking for stakeholders related to trade at the Great Lakes Region. The last phase which started in March 2010 has been supporting three outputs which are: the establishment of small-scale cross-border traders formalized networks and the enhancement of their skills in conflict prevention and entrepreneurship; the establishment of Trade Information Desks (TIDs); and the implementation of post-conflict cross-border infrastructure projects at selected borders.
From 2007 to 2019, the project was supported financially by USAID, GIZ, DFID, KfW AfDB and EU/APSA III with the overall objectives of increasing opportunities of access to information by small-scale traders at the border areas, enhancing traders’ incomes and welfare and reducing incentives for conflict.
The APSA 111 support that was provided in 2018-19 was contributed to the 3rd and 5th indicative elements of the AU PCRD Policy mainly to socio-economic and development, and to the improvement of human rights, justice, and reconciliation through the sensitization on the Minimum standards of the treatment of cross-border traders. In this regard the Trading for Peace Project registered key outcomes including: a) the conduct of sensitization workshops on the COMESA Simplified Trade which enhanced small traders and border officials skills and knowledge on the implementation of the STR in the targeted border areas; b) training of small scale traders and border officials on the Minimum standards for the treatment of cross-border traders which led to improved understanding on the rights of cross-border traders and obligations of border officials. Other outcomes of the APSA III support was the maintenance of the TID offices at selected border areas, formation of joint border committees by Member States, improved treatment of cross-border traders by border officials and the rehabilitation of key infrastructure such as roads and markets by governments to enhance cross-border trade.
COMESA is, therefore, recruiting a short-term consultant to conduct an impact assessment on the Trading for Peace Project at selected border areas of the Great lakes Region where the project has been implemented.
Click on the link below for more details.
Post expires at 3:00pm on Tuesday September 15th, 2020