11 December 2015 – unrecorded trade: Nigeria’s booming borders

There is a new report from Chatham House UK on the causes and consequences of unrecorded trade across the borders of Nigeria. According to one estimate, informal trade accounts for 64% of Nigeria’s GDP. Excessive and complicated bureaucratic procedures and illegal ‘taxation’ along formal trade routes that results in smuggling are attributed as key factors.

There are a number of insights into how these cross-border dynamics of informal trade affect Nigeria’s agricultural and food markets, with some examples from markets in Northern Nigeria.

The report, written by Leena Koni Hoffmann and Paul Melly, makes a number of recommendations for how Nigeria could encourage more formal trade.

You can read more and access the full report here



7 April 2015 – World Health Day

It’s WHO World Health Day and the focus is on food safety. There is plenty going on – you can take a food safety quiz here – or you could read about research conducted by ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute) on food safety and women in informal markets who say that:

Traditional markets are particularly important for women. For example, in most African countries, the majority of street food processors and vendors are women, while the majority of customers are men. As well as being one of the few livelihood strategies open to poor women, the street food sector is of great importance to the economy.