Illicit Trade Tracking in Southern Africa

The Project at A Glance

Illicit trade is a global menace affecting both the public and private sectors within the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region and all other parts of the world.

International Economics (IEC) supported the development of an effective and functional regional track and trace system, for an improved business and policy environment in COMESA Member States.

The project was implemented within the Africa RISE Facility led by Landell Mills International Ltd and funded by the European Commission.

What We Found

Illicit trade undermines the concept of a free and open marketplace, which is fundamental to improving competitiveness, increasing investment, generating jobs and ultimately contributing to economic growth of COMESA member states. COMESA Business Council (CBC) with the support of EU Africa RISE conducted a study to develop Anti-illicit Trade Framework for COMESA region and one of the key findings was the absence of a track and trace system in COMESA region, the situation which contributed to prevalence of illicit trade in the region.

In this context, our Team supported the CBC to determine specifications for an effective and functional regional track and trace system in COMESA region to monitor supply chain of affected products and prepare tender documents, in order to combat illicit trade and enhance revenue collection by Governments in the region.

Our Strategy and Impact

The engagement consisted of undertaking an assessment of COMESA Member States to determine the requirements for a regional track and trace system for selected products. This system would help to monitor and protect revenue of member states and also address the high level of illicit trade across the member states’ borders and meet international obligations under the protocol.

To achieve this objective, the Team of experts conducted a general analysis of the existing supply chain, enforcement mechanisms, and institutional arrangements for trade in specified products in the COMESA region, in order to determine the technical, legal, and regulatory requirements for the COMESA regional track and trace system that would also serve as the basis for the selection of the vendor/technology provider. Finally, the Team developed a framework for an effective and functional regional track and trace system for specified products.

Our Core Solutions

The world economy is continuously impacted by new risks and challenges, causing significant disruptions to international trade. At International Economics Consulting, we provide strategic insights to assist organisations, businesses, and governments in anticipating risks, building resilience, mitigating impacts, and supporting our clients on their recovery against such shocks.

We support decision-makers with informed and evidence-based analyses and policy options. We map out key government measures and responses to the risks and challenges to formulate strategies for our clients to respond and adapt to the new social, political, and economic landscapes.

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