Stakeholders with the project info sheet at the launch
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a project to support women in Small Scale Cross-Border Trade (SSCBT) in three West African countries.
The 24-month project entitled ‘Empowering Women in Small Scale Cross-Border Trade Between Benin, Ghana and Togo,’ aims to contribute towards strengthened community development in border areas, through an enabling environment for women in SSCBT.
The border areas targeted under the project are Aflao (Ghana) – Kojoviakope (Togo), as well as Sanvicondji (Togo) – Hillacondji (Benin).
IOM Chief of Mission (Ghana Resident) Benin and Togo, Fatou Ndiaye Diallo, said border communities, contributing to poverty alleviation, job creation and food security, as well as transforming borders into areas of cooperation and catalysts of growth.
She indicated that while research has found that women engaged in small-scale cross-border trade is high, it also notes that no variable in the sector is more discriminating than gender.
“Through close collaboration with the governments of Benin, Ghana and Togo; the AfCFTA and ECOWAS; civil society; and cross-border women traders themselves, this project will contribute towards strengthened community development in border areas, through an enabling environment for women in small-scale cross-border trading,” she noted.
Ms. Diallo explained that in doing so, the project will support the realization of the General Objectives set out in Article 3 of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Strategic Objective 3 of the African Union Strategy for a Better Integrated Border Governance, and the General Principles on Movement of Persons, Residence and Establishment set out in Article 2 of the ECOWAS Free Movement Protocols.
“It will also contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global Compact for Migration, helping to ensure that no one is left behind,’ she stated.
IOM Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the project, Ethan Way, said the project would see the production of a comprehensive and gender-sensitive analytic report on SSCBT between Benin, Ghana and Togo that will be presented to the national and regional stakeholders.
Other actions, he said, included the creation of modules on regional and continental frameworks related to migration and SSCBT that will be shared with local and border authorities across the three countries among others.
He added that through their increased knowledge, local and border authorities, civil society organizations (CSOs), and women in SSCBT will promote an enabling environment for SSCBT between Benin, Ghana and Togo.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri