Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have signed agreements aimed at easing small scale cross border trade which saw the two countries removing taxes for 168 assorted goods traded between the two countries.
The agreements have been signed today in Rubavu district by Rwanda’s Minister of Trade, Industry and East African Community Affairs, Kanimba François and Congolese Minister of Trade, Nefertiti Ngundianza Kisura.
Under the agreements, 168 assorted goods manufactured within boundaries of Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) accompanied by certification of where they were made with value not exceeding USD 2000 will cross Rwanda,DRC border without paying taxes as it was before.
Rwanda has 28 cooperatives practicing small scale trade while DRC has 12 associations exercising similar trade. There are about 5000 people running small scale businesses across borders.
Mujawimana Assinah, the representative of small scale cross border traders in Rubavu district has lauded the initiative which, she said, is expected to boost profitability.
“The agreement is a good leeway for us, small scale traders. We are glad for seeing our request implemented and call upon our colleagues from Congo to respect certificates of origin,” she said.
The governor of Western Province, Munyantwari Alphonse has requested small scale cross border traders to maximize benefits of the agreements that have been awaited for long.