‘The Human Side of Regions: Informal Cross-border Traders in the Zambia–Malawi–Mozambique Growth Triangle and Prospects for Integrating Southern Africa’, by Chris Nshimbi, 23.10.2017

GovInn’s Co-Director Chris Nshimbi published the article ‘The Human Side of Regions: Informal Cross-border Traders in the Zambia–Malawi–Mozambique Growth Triangle and Prospects for Integrating Southern Africa‘ in the Journal of Borderlands Studies.

This paper examines the activities of informal cross-border traders (ICBTs) in the contiguous borderlands of Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique, in order to determine the replicability and feasibility of the growth triangle phenomenon, which was imported as a concept for economic development from Southeast Asia. It also seeks to establish whether ICBTs can satisfy their economic needs from cross-border trade. Apart from the thorough review of relevant literature, participant observations, face-to-face interviews and focus group discussions were deployed to collect the data for the analysis contained in the paper. Primary data from the fieldwork conducted at various locations in the borderlands is qualitatively and statistically analyzed. ICBTs in these areas include affiliates of traders’ associations and non-affiliates. The contiguous borderlands of the three countries comprise a young population of ICBTs with low incomes who have spent relatively few years in cross-border trade. ICBTs who have been longer in the informal trade business have graduated into formal traders. ICBT activities highlight their contribution to regional integration, from the bottom up. Informal cross-border trade provides employment and livelihoods, placing ICBTs outside extremely poor populations living below USD$1.25 per day. ICBTs also have innovative informal ways of accessing credit based on personal interactions and shared experiences with suppliers of goods. Legally establishing the growth triangle creates an environment that ICBTs exploit in order to satisfy their economic needs, especially with government facilitation.

Read the full article here http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/hshZedXfiiF9ytTf5dzm/full