February 2017 Update

February 2017 Update

We’re excited to announce new support to our pilot through the EAC-GIZ Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa (IIDEA) and generous pro bono legal support from the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Also, please give our new Customer Discovery Report a read!

Sauti and EASSI Awarded GIZ-EAC IIDEA Prize

The joint proposal we submitted with our partner, the Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI), has emerged best out of 100 applications in the prestigious EAC-GIZ Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa (IIDEA) competition. IIDEA is a joint initiative between GIZ and the East African Community (EAC) designed to […]

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January 2017 Newsletter

January 2017 Newsletter

Happy New Year from the Sauti Team!

As we prepare to launch our platform, we are excited to have the results from our initial research and engagement with traders at the border. Entering 2017, we would like to thank our investors, partners and most importantly future platform users for supporting our vision!

Key Findings from Customer Discovery

Over the last four months, Sauti has been engaged in a process of customer discovery, involving both quantitative and qualitative fieldwork at Busia and Malaba border crossings. Through surveys, focus group discussions and informal conversations we have worked closely with the traders to develop a unique, mobile-based solution to the […]

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Sauti Cruises to HiiL Competition Win

Sauti Cruises to HiiL Competition Win

Sauti has been announced as one of ten winners in the highly competitive 2016 HiiL Justice Accelerator competition.

This comes after a rigorous selection process conducted by The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL), which saw over 450 applications from around the world compete for part of the  €160,000 grant funding available.

After a four-month selection process to find the most promising justice entrepreneurs, Sauti was chosen based on the strength of their team, scope, uniqueness and the ability to expand access to justice through a scalable, sustainable and innovative platform.

Sauti, meaning voice in Swahili, is a mobile-based trade information and […]

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Sauti Selected for the Hill Innovative Justice Accelerator Competition Semi-Finals

Sauti Selected for the Hill Innovative Justice Accelerator Competition Semi-Finals

Sauti has been selected to participate in the semi-final stage of the prestigious Hill Innovative Justice Accelerator award for the most promising justice innovation of the year 2016 between 15 and 29 September 2016! These events will highlight the semi-finalists for the 2016 SME Empowerment- and Family Justice Challenge.

Each year, the most promising justice entrepreneurs compete for the prestigious Innovating Justice Awards. The awards are granted to the entrepreneurs with the most promising innovations, as selected by an international expert jury during the Annual Innovating Justice Forum.

The Innovating Justice Forum is an international event that discusses and supports innovative ways […]

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Meeting Malaba’s Cross-Border Traders

Meeting Malaba’s Cross-Border Traders

Another day, another border. Yesterday we visited Malaba border crossing and met with women and men cross-border traders. As in Busia the traders here face similar challenges – rampant corruption and harassment and opaque and unharmonised policies. As their number one challenge the traders named the information gap they face in terms of understanding customs procedures and their rights as EAC traders. They also lack market information which makes them vulnerable to exploitation by middlemen. Their excitement about the Sauti platform was tangible and the traders were especially grateful to be consulted and involved in its development from the start […]

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Meeting Busia’s Cross-Border Traders

Meeting Busia’s Cross-Border Traders

Great meeting today with women traders in Busia border crossing. The women spoke of the numerous challenges they face when trading across borders, from corruption and lack of information on border procedures to harassment and gender-based violence. They also gave us invaluable feedback on our platform and how we can tailor it to their specific information needs. They are excited about our pilot and can’t wait to start using our mobile application. In the words of one trader we interviewed today “information is power – when traders are informed about their obligations and rights they feel empowered to stand up […]

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Sauti’s Commitment to Local Partnerships

Sauti’s Commitment to Local Partnerships

Sauti’s work is driven by strong partnerships and engagement with government, the private sector and civil society:

Our pilot is implemented jointly by Sauti and the Eastern African Sub Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI). Our partnership builds on EASSI existing work to date at key EAC borders, where with the assistance of donors such as DFID and TMEA, they have set up associations for women cross-border traders, trained women traders on EAC provisions and entrepreneurship skills, and set up Resource Centres where traders can seek guidance. Our platform builds on these existing projects and adopts key lessons […]

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The Simplified Trade Regime in the EAC and Challenges to Cross-border Traders

The Simplified Trade Regime in the EAC and Challenges to Cross-border Traders

Under the EAC Customs Union, the Simplified Trade Regime (STR) is a special provision aimed specifically at small traders who regularly transact in low value consignments. An approved simplified certificate of origin (SCOO) exempts consignments of goods that: a) originate in the EAC and b) are valued at under US$ 2,000 from payment of import duty in the EAC destination country. However most traders lack sufficient knowledge about the rights provided under the protocols and how these provisions are applied, the obligatory customs procedures and documentation.

This information asymmetry makes small traders vulnerable to harassment and corruption, including excessive charges, bribe […]

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