Informal Cross -Border DRC-Uganda Border

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UNDP Africa Borderlands Centre
Informal Cross-Border Trade (ICBT) plays a critical role for Uganda and the DRC. It acts as (i) an essential source of livelihoods for traders and their families on both sides of the border; (ii) a crucial source of foreign exchange, with knock-on effects on employment creation and income; and (iii) an important source of food security and the supply of other products in the border region, by linking up various markets across the border. These effects play out on a number of levels: (i) locally, ICBT supplies goods for the towns and areas along the Uganda–DRC border; (ii) nationally and regionally, ICBT provides goods to the wider region, on both sides of the border; (iii) globally, more resourceful traders operate on a global scale, importing goods to the borderland from Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Over the last 10 years, ICBT between Uganda and the DRC has intensified. Informal exports from Uganda have almost doubled, from USD 143.2 million in 2010 to USD 269.8 million in 2018. This intensification is also reflected on a political level: in recent years, there have been a range of bilateral initiatives to improve relations and enhance cross-border trade, such as the removal of non-tariff trade barriers.