tralac (Trade Law Centre) is a public benefit organisation based in the Western Cape region of South Africa. tralac was established in 2002, with the financial support of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). We develop technical expertise and capacity in trade governance across Africa. We are committed to the principles of rules-based governance at the national, regional and international levels. We believe that better governance and strong institutions are essential elements for inclusive and sustainable growth.
tralac’s activities are anchored on three pillars: i) inform stakeholders through quality, accessible analysis and information provision, ii) capacitate individuals and institutions through partnerships that focus on embedding capacity in institutions, and iii) empower, especially marginalised stakeholders to participate more effectively in trade policy and governance debates and processes.
Understanding that regional integration and trade are means to achieve sustainable development outcomes, tralac’s core goal is to support Inclusive growth and sustainable development, by contributing to Africa’s:
rules-based governance – underpinned by access to information, transparency and accountability
knowledge and capacity development through the provision of quality data and analysis, innovative training and open policy dialogue
tralac is entrusted with generous support from international donors, to undertake our work programmes. Currently, we receive general and program specific funding from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) respectively. We also receive support from the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through their Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program, and undertake smaller projects for specific clients.
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 in order 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.