What does informal trade have to do with culture?

Feb 2nd, 2022

Despite its expansion, Africa’s contribution to global and intra-regional trade remains relatively low. Many scholars and researchers attribute low levels of intra-African trade to the fact that many cross-border trade flows are unrecorded.

How far are we, as ordinary citizens, from being able to understand the deeper meaning and cultural embeddedness of informal cross-border trade, in a way that goes beyond the notion of “smugglers” as mere criminals? Is there really a need to formalize this type of trade, when it is such an integral part of the lives of those who live in the borderlands? 

To answer these questions we have invited Dr. Thomas Hüsken, Associate Professor at the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bayreuth, who talks about how the phenomenon of informal cross-border trade is interlinked with culture.

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