African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4157


Investigating the challenges that the cross-border women traders face in Malawi: The Limbe Town women traders of Southern Malawi

Nelson Nanteleza Ndala
  • Nelson Nanteleza Ndala
  • School of Commerce, Malawi College of Accountancy, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar
Francis Moto Jnr.
  • Francis Moto Jnr.
  • School of Commerce, Malawi College of Accountancy, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 15 April 2019
  •  Accepted: 17 May 2019
  •  Published: 28 June 2019


Women in Malawi have been at the forefront of cross border trade both as a source of income and employment though they face numerous challenges. The paper investigates the challenges that the cross-border women face in the case of Limbe ICBT. A sample size of 30 participants was targeted that included 28 women cross-border traders, taxation authorities and Indigenous Business Association of Malawi (IBAM) officials. This data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. In total 24 valid questionnaires were collected of the 30 participants.  Challenges identified were lack of adequate funds to support businesses, high taxes, transportation costs, corruption by taxation-authorities officials, competition from big companies, unstable exchange rate and unstable prices from the market. The study revealed the relationship that exists between taxation authorities, women ICBT and IBAM though the relationship is not as strong as expected. It was established that none of the ICBT women were aware of the existence of regional protocols and none seem to be knowledgeable about cross- border rules, regulations and other protocols when it comes to clearance of goods and services. Most of the ICBT do not know how the calculations of import duties and how other charges occur. They have no knowledge of how they are charged at the border. One of contributing factors is their level of education which is very low leading to poor understanding of rules, regulations and import protocols. It is recommended that taxation authorities should embark on providing comprehensive training to these women if they are to maximize the duty collection.
Key words: Women traders, small and medium-sized enterprises, Informal Cross Border Traders (ICBT), SADC.