Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) is set to conduct a border profiling survey which is expected to add value to the understanding of the border trading environment.
Comesa is a 21-member trading bloc with countries that include Zimbabwe, Zambia, Eswatini (Swaziland), Malawi, Madagascar, Mauritius, Uganda, Egypt, Tunisia, Kenya, Djibouti, Rwanda, Eritrea, and Somalia.
In a statement, Comesa said to kick start the process, a draft questionnaire suited to borders such as Nakonde between Zambia and Tanzania and Kasumbalesa between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been developed and discussed with the Zambia Statistics Agency.
“The Comesa secretariat, through the Statistics Unit, is planning to conduct a Border Profiling Survey, which is expected to add value to the understanding of the border trading environment as it affects small-scale cross-border traders.
“The survey is planned for the first quarter of 2022,” it said.
A report from the Statistics Unit states that Comesa secretariat chief statistician Mr Themba Munalula recently led a team on a scoping mission for the profiling survey to selected borders in Zambia.
The objective of the mission was to better understand the border environment so that an appropriate survey design could be implemented and to collect information that would be useful in informing the sample size, budget and other logistics needed for the exercise.
With funding from the European Union, the Comesa secretariat has been implementing a Small-Scale Cross Border Trade Initiative (SSCBTI) project since May 2018 at 10 target borders in seven member states in the tripartite region.
This development recently helped the Comesa secretariat to publish gender-disaggregated data which is vital.
The systematic collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of gender disaggregated statistical data on SSCBT is one of the key thematic areas of intervention of the project.
The gender-disaggregated SSCBTI data is available on the Comstat data portal.