Margaret is a member of the Busia Women Cross Border Traders Cooperative Society Ltd., Uganda (BWCBTCS). She is the Cereals Cluster Leader. Margaret also chairs the Busia District Farmers Association.
Margaret has been a farmer/trader for several years. She grows cassava for consumption in the home and maize for sale in neighbouring Kenya. After selling her maize in Kenya, Margaret typically purchases bales of second-hand clothes which she takes back across the border, for sale in Uganda.
Challenges: Margaret names the constant changing of border officials as the biggest challenge she faces. According to Margaret, no sooner do the women cross border traders begin building working relationships with border officials, than a rotation of border officials occurs. The new border officials are rarely familiar with the East African Community trade rules and regulations and sometimes make it rather difficult for small scale cross border traders to freely get across the borders with their goods. She is not opposed to rotations. However, she wishes that all the officials underwent some kind of orientation on the rules and regulations under East Africa’s Simplified Trade Regime prior to deployment.
Benefits From the GIZ-Funded Cooperatives Accelerator: While participating in the recently completed GIZ-Funded Women Cross Border Traders’ Accelerator, Margaret has come to appreciate the value of pooled activities. Costs, risks and profits are all shared. Costs and risks are lower per person and profits have increased. As a result of her increased earnings from pooled activities, Margaret is now constructing a maize store.