The Government has embarked on training traders in Homa Bay County to promote cross border trade within the East African Community (EAC) member states.
Principal Secretary in the state Department of East Africa Community Kevit Desai said there was need to capacity build traders to engage in cross border trade.
Mr Desai said towards this end, the Government was undertaking a series of training programmes on selected counties to alleviate obstacles to cross border trade. “The government is currently training more than 60 focal persons representing various business groups in Homa Bay County to achieve the objective,” he added.
Desai was speaking at a Homa Bay hotel Friday when he officially opened the training for traders drawn from diverse sectors across the County. He was received by area Deputy Governor Hamilton Orata.
Desai said the main obstacle that impeded on EAC cross border trade was lack of
awareness on goods and services allowed for trading by each country, standards and
certifications required, taxes and import and export laws of each EAC member state.
“We realized that there are many traders with interest in exporting or importing goods from EAC member states but they cannot do it due to lack of awareness,” he said.
He said the government was committed to removing the obstacles to increase the number of Kenyan traders who engage in cross border trade by opening more business opportunities and harmonizing legal restrictions among other initiatives. “The cross border trade creates markets for a number of goods produced locally,” he added.
On his part, Orata said the county government’s department of Trade will collaborate with the national government to train more traders on cross border trade to increase the number of people who would undertake the business.
Orata encouraged women and youth to exploit the potential available through cross border trade especially given that the county bordered Uganda through Lake Victoria. “Cross border trade is a new opportunity which many business persons should explore in this county,” said Orata.
Orata said they were in talks with the National Government to set up a business hub in Mbita town to enhance cross border trade in Homa Bay County. Mbita Sub-county borders Uganda
The deputy governor said there was enormous untapped potential for Kenyans to exploit markets in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
By Davis Langat /Naomi Wadende