Informal Cross-Border Trade Data

Enhancing cross-border economic trade data

Sauti’s Informal Cross-border Trade Database offers an expansive array of data points on information gathered from over 6500 cross-border traders on the Kenya/Ugandan/Rwandan borders. Informal cross-border trade is a notoriously difficult space to map. However, Sauti’s mobile technology approaches allow us to dynamically implement survey mapping with unprecedented reach and scale. Data points have been selected to demonstrate key attributes about the average cross-border informal trader with the objective of improving the economic conditions in region.

Kenya/Uganda/Rwanda Informal Cross-Border Trade

Key Trader Demographics

Trader Information Demand

Trader Business Behaviour


Primary Language

Country of Residence




Cross-Border Trade as Primary Source of Income

Border Crossing Frequency

Primary Border Crossing

Most Requested Procedures for Commodities

Most Requested Procedures for Commodity Categories

Requested Procedures for Destination (Imports to:)

Most Requested Document Information for Procedures

Most Requested Agency Information for Procedures

Origin of Traders' Goods

Final Destination Country

Final Destination Market

Top Commodity Categories

Top Commodities

Exchange Rate Direction

Methodology Note

Through the mobile platform, Sauti Africa collects cross-border trader information, including when users interact with the trade and information platform. Many of Sauti’s users are located at Busia and Malaba crossings on the Kenya/Uganda border. Sample Size refers to the number of users for which Sauti has aggregated data. Users do not contribute equally to each data dimension. Key trader demographic data is collected through the platform by having a survey at the beginning of a user session. Users are presented with the prompt ‘To continue please answer the question below’. Additionally, we determine trader information demand according to the behavioural data of the “Border Procedures” and “Tax Calculator” features of the platform. The data point “Requested Procedures for Commodities,” for instance is proxied by the commodities entered when users are requesting procedure information. Lastly, business behaviour is taken from similar platform behavioural inputs with the “Market Prices” feature of the platform. For instance “Final Country Destination of Traders” is aggregated from the country entered when user make market price requests for specific markets. For additional clarifications, please contact us.