tralac is a capacity-building organisation developing trade-related capacity in east and southern Africa. Adopting an inter-disciplinary approach, tralac aims to enhance the trade law and policy capacity in this region. tralac works with governments and non-state actors; these include private sector and civil society organisations.
tralac is a public benefit organisation, established in 2002, with the financial support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). tralac has a core network business model, a team of expert trade lawyers and economists, and professional support staff. tralac’s network of associates provides specialist expertise to enhance its capacity to deliver capacity-building initiatives. tralac collaborates with many regional and international organisations; such institutional partnerships expand the reach and impact of tralac’s work.
As an organisation, tralac subscribes to principles of good corporate governance. The tralac Board provides governance oversight and the tralac Advisory Board provides strategic leadership for the organisation. Since tralac is primarily donor funded, good governance assurance is a primary concern for the organisation.
tralac‘s vision is to be an internationally recognised centre of excellence building trade law and policy capacity in east and southern Africa, to support rules-based governance of international trade.
tralac‘s mission is to build trade law and policy capacity in east and southern Africa; assisting these countries to develop their capacity to produce tradables competitively, to enhance their trade performance and to ensure that trade contributes to development, within a rules-based system of international trade governance.
What does tralac do?
tralac’s capacity building programmes are clustered at three levels:
tralac engages in applied trade law and policy analysis, with the aim of addressing the most pressing trade matters for countries in the region. Our research is presented in different formats:
- News articles published daily on the tralac website: these report the most important current trade developments for the region.
- A weekly electronic newsletter, which includes a discussion note encouraging debate and dialogue on current trade developments.
- Trade Briefs – short, non-technical papers dealing with relevant trade law and policy issues, aimed at senior policy makers and non-state actors.
- Working Papers presenting a detailed analysis of trade issues and contributing to the body of intellectual capital on trade matters for the region with policy makers, analysts and advisors as the target market.
- Monographs – collections of papers presenting a detailed analysis of a range of related trade matters, written specifically for the region.
In brief, tralac develops trade law and policy intellectual capital: this involves monitoring trade negotiations, interpretation of agreements, contribution to debates and discussions on trade developments.
tralac’s training programmes include both tailored short courses and postgraduate academic programmes.
tralac develops and delivers focused short courses, often at the request of specific clients to address specific training needs. The following are among the courses that tralac offers:
- Trade Policy Analysis (including trade data and tariff analysis, modelling, trade policy assessments, review of trade policy instruments)
- Introduction to International Trade Law
- WTO Agreements (Trade in Goods (including agriculture), Trade in Services, TRIPS)
- Regional Trade Agreements (WTO Rules for RTAs, Scope of RTAs)
- Trade Negotiations (including negotiations simulations)
- Regional Integration in east and southern Africa (SACU, SADC, EAC, COMESA, Tripartite Free Trade Area)
- Dispute Settlement
- Trade Remedies and Safeguards
- Competition Law and Policy
- Rules of Origin
tralac, in partnership with the Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, has been presenting postgraduate programmes since 2005 and in 2012 launched a Master’s Programme in Trade Law and Policy. The degree is accredited and awarded by the University of Cape Town.
tralac promotes active debate on trade law and policy issues in the region. This is done through the tralac website, social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and the weekly electronic newsletter. In addition, tralac hosts workshops and an annual conference which has become an important forum for discussing the region’s trade agenda.
tralac has worked with many organisations, including:
- SADC Secretariat
- SACU Secretariat
- EAC Secretariat
- COMESA Secretariat
- WTO Secretariat
- International Trade Centre
- World Bank
- Commonwealth Secretariat
- Department of Agriculture, Namibia
- Agriculture Trade Forum, Namibia
- Department of Trade and Industry (dti), South Africa
- Ministry of Industry, Trade and Marketing, Tanzania
- Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry, Uganda
- Ministry of Trade and Industry, Rwanda
- South African Institute of International Affairs
- Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies
- TradeMark Southern Africa
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