On Wednesday April 20 2016, Banyan Global’s Senior Gender Specialist, Lis Meyers, gave a seminar to staff at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as part of the USAID Africa Bureau Seminar Series. The event was hosted by the Africa Bureau’s Sustainable Development Office and organized by the USAID Africa Bureau Gender Advisor, Matthew Emry. Ms. Meyers presented on Banyan Global’s gender integration work under the USAID/Southern Africa Trade Hub and highlighted key results and findings on Banyan Global’s research on women and informal cross-border trade entitled, “Women Informal Cross-Border Traders in Southern Africa: Contributions, Constraints, and Opportunities.”
Ms. Oren Whyche Shaw, the Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Africa and the Trade Africa Coordinator, made introductions, followed by the Senior International Trade Advisor at USAID. Ms. Meyers discussed how informal cross border trade (ICBT) contributes to women’s livelihoods – both at the individual and household level — as well as food security and national and regional economic growth and trade. She shared findings on the wide range of constraints that women ICBTs encounter on a daily basis and highlighted key recommendations from the report on how to address these constraints. In addition, Ms. Meyers discussed two case studies of individual cross-border traders. Approximately 30 staff from USAID/Washington attended the event.