tralac 2006 intake – Report on the Post Graduate Diploma ProgrammePosted on Monday, June 22nd, 2009 by tralac in Training
The second module of the Post Graduate Diploma in Management Practice (trade law & policy management), organised by the University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business (GSB) in collaboration with tralac, was conducted from 12 to 26 August 2006 at the GSB campus. The main purpose of the second module was to further participants’ knowledge of the law and economics of the international trade system, focusing particularly on regional and development issues. The module also included lectures on management, the focus of the first module.
This groundbreaking diploma recognises that one way in which African countries can better participate in international trade is through broad stakeholder participation in trade policy processes. This requires a multidisciplinary approach, drawing on management, legal and economic tools. Participants were allocated to five groups, each group representing an African country. Drawing on each day’s topic, participants were required to spend their evening working on trade policy analyses of their group-country. These analyses were then presented on the last day of the module. This was followed by a closing presentation by Dr Edwini Kessie, a Counsellor in Trade Negotiations Committee Division of the WTO, who spoke on the current status of the Doha Round.
In order to undertake these trade policy analyses, participants were equipped with trade data analytical tools, thereby allowing them to better appreciate the market access dynamics of their group-country. Participants were furthermore introduced to the rules-based multilateral trade system by appreciating the opportunities and limitations of the WTO dispute settlement system. This was followed by an overview of the rules relating to most-favoured treatment, national treatment and market access, as well as two important exceptions thereto, namely regional trade agreements and special and differential treatment. The latter two allowed for discrete presentations on the regional economic communities of southern and east Africa. Interposed within this broad framework were lectures on tariff management (including trade remedies such as antidumping and subsidies) and trade negotiations.
The aim of this Multidisciplinary approach was for participants to identify their group-country???s trade interests within the context of the broader national policy framework. In order to articulate these interests, participants were encouraged to identify stakeholders that do or should participate in the formulation, coordination, implementation and review of trade policy in their group-country. It was highlighted that policy outcomes should aim to be independent of any narrow interest group, be reached in a transparent manner, contribute towards enhanced governance through greater accountability and ultimately be credible, particularly with regard to development imperatives.
Participants are now required to apply the management, legal and economic tools acquired in modules 1 and 2 to a research project relating to their own countries.
Notwithstanding the demanding program, Participants were given time to visit Robben Island, which for centuries was where political troublemakers, social outcasts and the unwanted of society were held captive.
In addition, some participants visited the offices of tralac in Stellenbosch, a university town approximately 50 kilometres in the heart of the historic wine country.
After visiting the offices of tralac, the participants were treated to lunch at Moyo restaurant, situated at the picturesque Spier Wine Estate on the outskirts of Stellenbosch.
Participants at Moyo Restaurant at Spier Wine Estate