Malawi implements SADC STR awareness workshop

The Simplified Trade Regime and Gender workshop was organised by Cross Border Traders
Association with support from OSISA through Southern Africa Cross Border Traders Association.
The purpose for the workshop was to identify key challenges on implementation of Simplified
Trade Regime and Gender issues in Cross Border Trade. The workshop draw 60 delegates from
Public Sectors, Media houses, CSOs, Women Cross Border Traders from district chapters (all
regions/province) other various sectors of social movements participated at Kortasia Lodge in
Lilongwe on 14th  January, 2019.
The Simplified Trade Regime and Gender workshop helps Cross Border Trades to take government
leaders and development partners to be responsible for the issues that affect women and youth
traders at the National, SADC and region level.

1. 2 PRESENTATIONS.
a- Trade Policy
b- Simplified Trade Regime (STR)
c- Gender Policy
d- Ndiulula Platform (I won’t be silent)
e- SADC Gender Master Class.
a) Trade Policy; the policy presented by D. Chikhasu ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism
the Presentation highlighted number of areas on how the small scale cross border traders can
benefit for and trade agreement by Malawi government with other countries and region as well.
He also mentioned about trade systems which are already in place like Free Trade Area (FTA)
and Trade Liberalization as well as newly introduced programme of Trade Portal.
b) Simplified Trade Regime (STR) the paper was presented by Mr. D. Chikhasu from Ministry of
Industry, Trade and Tourism. The presentation was focused on procedures and how the small
scale cross border traders can benefit from COMESA STR. The presentation aiming at giving
space for the participants to understand, how and why the Simplified Trade Regime was
introduced. COMESA Simplified Trade Regimes sensitization meetings input for small scale
Cross Border Traders was not enough as per time is concern, there is need to arrange and
organize more meetings in order to sensitize more traders.

) Gender Policy
• The Policy was presented by Chimwemwe Grace Hussein – (Department of Gender Affairs)
Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare. Grace said Malawi is a signatory
to several major international, regional and sub-regional legal instruments that promote
gender equality such as CEDAW, CRC, Beijing Platform for Action, Maputo Protocol and
SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.
In order to institutionalize these instruments at national level, the Government has passed
laws and policies which aim to promote gender equality.
The National Gender Policy is one of the policies that have been domesticated to facilitate
attainment of Gender Equality in Malawi

SADC Gender Master Class
The presentation was focused on areas of Gender Mainstreaming in SADC and its challenges.
The gender mainstreaming summerised in ten areas; Gender policy framework and champions,
GMS (Structures Systems Processes), Planning, Budgets, Programme and Project
Implementation, Advocacy Lobbying Communication, Publications and Productions, Human
resources, Working conditions/ Environment, M and E.
pg. 6
ESSONS LEARNT.
– Strategic plan and policies need to be developed and implemented.
– COMESA Simplified Trade regime (STR) revised common list should be start implemented
and Trade Desk Officer need to be recruited and deployed in some borders like Mchinji,
Dedza, Mwanza and Karonga.
– Issues of security for Women cross border Traders should be taken seriously at national and
SADC.
– Gender Policies should be disseminated at national and regional level
– Partners involvement, coordination and collaboration is a key for programme implementation.

CHALLENGES.
 The meeting was expected to have presentation from MRA and Customs officials on
Simplified Trade Regime (new common list).
 Time was too limited to discuss more issues related to small scale cross border traders.
RECOMANDATIONS
 Establishment of National Gender Technical Committee in Cross Border Traders Association
 Malawi Economic Justice Network, COMESA, Actionaid, OSISA should help on recruitment
of Trade Desk Officers (TDOs) in some border areas.
 COMESA, SACBTA, OSISA Actionaid and MEJN should continue supporting to the Cross
Border Traders Association to meet planned activities.
 The new common list of STR should be publicly displayed by MRA and Customs offices.
 Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social welfare should continue on facilitation of
Gender and Trade Policy.
 Partners should help on I.E. C. materials production and trade police dissemination.
 COMESA should help on construction of Cross Border Traders Markets in some cities and
borders.
 Actionaid – Malawi should continue to facilitate and raising awareness on Ndiulula Platform
(I won’t be silent)
 COMESA, MEJN, OSISA, SACBTA, and Action should help to advocate for publication of
new common list of Simplified Trade Regime
 Networking and collaboration of women cross border traders should be there.
 Establishment of national trade technical team.

Appreciating the effort of OSISA and SACBTA – office in opening its doors to Simplified
Trade Regime and Gender Workshop in general and particularly acknowledging the role of the
Cross Border Traders Association in mobilising Women Cross Border Traders of the all
region/province to participate, interact and speak out their issues during the meeting.
Further appreciating the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Ministry of
Industry, Trade and Tourism and Malawi congress of Trade Unions for the Facilitation and
presentations.
CONCLUSIONS.
Despite some challenges faced during the meeting, all delegates invited were managed to
participate.
OSISA – should continue to be supportive as seen on giving advice on the need to continue
encouraging women cross border traders so that they should continue reach other small scale
cross border traders.
We therefore recommend for the continuity of support on the activities so as to realize the



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