Namibia is a nation faced with immense challenges of poverty and unemployment which have led to worsening living conditions of its people. Although the country is rich in resources, the majority of its people are excluded from mainstream economic activities (Jauch & Kaapama, 2011:7). This paradoxical situation has led to the participation of people in cross-border trade as a livelihood strategy for meeting their household needs. However, cross-border trade, despite its contribution to poverty reduction has not been placed on the policy agenda of the country. The goal of the study was to explore and determine the contribution of cross-border trade in meeting household needs in Lüderitz, Namibia.
The researcher employed a qualitative research approach. This exploratory, descriptive and applied study, utilised an instrumental case study design. The study population was cross-border traders in Lüderitz who were selected through availability sampling technique.
The findings show that participation in cross-border trade accords participants an income which in turn contributes to household food security, access to education, and asset accumulation. Furthermore, the findings reveal a plethora of challenges encountered by cross-border traders in their trading activities. Findings indicate that despite the challenges, traders show resilience and continue with their trading activities, mainly due to the profit derived from cross-border trade and the social capital they form.
The study concludes that cross-border trade is a viable livelihood strategy that enable households and families to access income, food, education and assets such as land and housing. However, the challenges faced by traders threaten profit returns and subsequently profitability and sustainability of cross-border trade as an economic activity for sustainable livelihoods.
A key recommendation of the study is the development of a policy on cross-border trade in order to facilitate the growth of cross-border trade as a strategy for sustainable household livelihoods and poverty reduction.
Mini Dissertation (MSW)--University of Pretoria, 2016.