TradeMark Africa (TMA) with funding from Irish Aid and EU-IGAD COVID-19 Response program has launched a Safe Trade Zone (STZ) facility in Moyale. The launch was done in partnership with the local administration in Moyale and the Government of Ethiopia. This is the third market that TMA has constructed in the region, two others are located in Tog Wajaale.

The Moyale Safe Trade Zone market will accommodate 207 women traders, providing them with a secure and conducive environment to conduct business. The initiative marks a significant step in addressing structural barriers hindering women traders’ participation in cross-border trade, in Kenya and Ethiopia.

The permanent structure is equipped with sanitation facilities, market stalls, water systems, prayer rooms, breastfeeding rooms, and power rooms. This provision of social safety systems, such as breastfeeding rooms, alleviates concerns for young female traders, allowing them to focus on business without worrying about childcare.

In addition to providing a trading space, the market will serve as a hub for training targeted women traders and facilitate business integration among border communities. TMA, in collaboration with local administrative officials, will provide business skills, entrepreneurship training, and hygiene and sanitation training for food safety. These efforts aim to empower women traders to scale their businesses successfully and manage the market effectively.

Speaking at the commissioning of the facility, Ewnetu Taye, Ethiopia Country Director at TMA said, “TradeMark Africa is committed to the importance of promoting inclusive trade practices in nurturing economic development and empowering marginalized communities. Our agenda is to cultivate opportunities for all traders, particularly women, to thrive within the cross-border trade environment. This enables women traders to enhance their economic standing. TMA also constructed a similar facility in Tog Wajaale Ethiopia and Somaliland sides.”

Also speaking at the launch, Getachew Deressa, Director from Oromia Trade office said, “TMA with the construction of this facility will contribute to employment and income generation for the women traders in Moyale. Moreover, we encourage this type of international partners to invest on initiatives that solve the economic challenges of our people. We believe TMA’s support will continue in other parts of the region.”