Friday, September 02, 2021, a joint meeting of young entrepreneurs small cross-border traders Congolese and Rwandan under the guidance of the Local Economy Window at VIVE HOTEL of Rwanda meeting on the identification of cross-border conflicts and proposal of solutions thereto. This meeting gathered about twenty young entrepreneurs, small cross-border traders from Rwanda against only one delegation composed of twelve Congolese PCTs. The welcome was very warm and the climate was ambient, also favorable for the training.
At the beginning, the GEL project manager took the floor to present the MUPAKA SHAMBA LETU project, a project aiming at helping young cross-border small traders to exercise their different activities freely and without any conflict for the development of our countries. He specified that this project is executed in DRC by GEL, in Rwanda by the FVA and at the level of the plain of Ruzizi zn DR Congo by LAV. This execution is operational with the objective of seeing how to find solutions to the various conflicts which blocked the blossoming of the PCTS during the exercise of their activities.
The objectives assigned to the MSL project are:
- gender dynamics, financial capacity building of PCTs,
- cooperation and networking, you can't cooperate between countries without involving youth,
- Access to legislation for JPCTs from two countries
Severin asked the cross-border small businessmen to present their different committees, including JECOP for the Congolese and TWIVUGURURE MUBYIRUKO for the Rwandans.
Once the break was over, the presidents of two committees of Young Entrepreneurs Small Traders were invited to present the conflicts identified during the trainings organized for this purpose in order to confront and propose solutions to these conflicts.
- For the president of the Rwandan committee, the identified conflicts are
- Rwandan small-scale cross-border traders send goods to the Congo, but the receivers of the goods disappear,
- The use of expensive CEPGLs to cross borders instead of the tokens that used to facilitate passage,
- Lack of trust being small-scale cross-border Congolese and Rwandan traders,
- Surcharge on goods,
- Illegal taxes claimed by some elements of the police.
- For the president of the Congolese committee, the identified conflicts are
- Difficulty to sell goods from Congo on Rwandan soil,
- Unfair competition conducted on price, a Congolese who buys goods in Rwanda, but competes with his Rwandan supplier in Congo,
- Blocking due to covid 19,
- Lack of trust between PCTS on both sides of the border given past events,
- Change in the exchange rate for small and large denominations,
- The non consideration of the covid test on the whole CEPGL space.
Of the conflicts identified above, the following solutions are proposed:
- Existence of a platform of Rwandan and Congolese PCTs,
- Fight for the cohabitation of PCTs, Rwandan and Congolese associations and cooperatives
- Formation of PCTs on B4P by seeking their joint interests,
- Setting up a permanent workshop to talk about B4P in order to consolidate peace and promote development in our sub-region,
- Establish a structure for young entrepreneurs to fight unemployment in the sub-region,
- Tolerance and fight against xenophobia,
- Set up a suggestion box at the border in order to denounce all cases of violations of the rights of young entrepreneurs and small traders.
- Creation of a common market allowing PCTs on both sides of the borders to carry out their activities mutually.
Organization of a peace forum
This forum would facilitate the permanent exchange of Congolese and Rwandan JPCTs to consolidate the peace of our countries, Rwanda and DRC.
Establishment of a sub-regional committee
During this meeting, a regional committee was set up. The members are from Rwanda and DR Congo.
Mr. LAMBERT: Representative of the Kamembe district chief also took the floor and said that it is really a chance for the youth of these two countries to meet for the exchange of ideas on such sensitive issues as conflicts. He said that if you develop the youth, you also develop the whole population. That is why, according to him, the district will lead pleas for the Rwandan JPCTs to find ways to develop their activities, because as we are neighbors we must agree to cohabit for the development of our countries.