Patrick Low, a Kenyan and Spanish national, is a Fellow at the Asia Global Institute of the University of Hong Kong and a Senior Adviser for Tulip Consulting. He currently works in an advisory capacity and as a consultant. From 2013-2016 he was Vice-President of research at the Fung Global Institute, Hong Kong, and taught at the University of Hong Kong from 2017 to 2019. He worked for the World Trade Organization from 1995, first on trade in services and then from 1997 to 2013 as the WTO’s Chief Economist. Between 1987 and 1995 he taught at the Colegio de México (1987-1990), and worked in the research arm of the World Bank in Washington D.C. (1990-1994). He was with the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (precursor to WTO) from 1980 to 1987. He holds a PhD in economics from Sussex University and has written widely on trade and trade-related issues.
Gerhard Erasmus is a founder of tralac and Professor Emeritus (Law Faculty), University of Stellenbosch. He holds degrees from the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein (B.Iuris, LL.B), Leiden in the Netherlands (LLD) and a Master’s from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. He has consulted for governments, the private sector and regional organisations in southern Africa. He has also been involved in the drafting of the South African and Namibian constitutions. He grew up in Namibia.
Lolita Laperle-Forget holds a Masters in International Law and Politics (LL. M.) and a Bachelor of Laws (LL. B.) from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada. Her Phd will focus on “Dispute settlement mechanisms for social provisions in Free Trade Agreements”. She was a volunteer at tralac in 2021, supported by the Quebec Ministry of International Relations and Francophonie and has worked at the World Trade Organization and focused her research on international trade law and trade policy analysis with a gender perspective. Her interests include sustainable development, women economic empowerment, trade facilitation, and intellectual property rights.
Dr. Ify Ogo is a legal economist and trade specialist. Her experience includes working as the UNDP Regional Coordination Specialist on the AfCFTA, as well as Trade Policy Expert at the African Trade Policy Centre, UN Economic Commission for Africa, where she led the trade in services work stream, and was a focal point for trade diversification covering the digital economy, blue economy and green economy portfolios. Ify has also supported the AfCFTA negotiations, as well as country-level implementation processes. Other roles have included investment advisory within the private and public sectors.
Ms Viola Sawere has over 15 years’ experience in international trade policy, private sector development and multi-stakeholder dialogue. She holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Dar es Salaam. She is currently as a Regional Trade Advisor to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat under the GFA/GIZ/SADC Trade in Services Project. She has contributed substantively to African regional integration through her role at SADC Secretariat. She continues to contribute to research on trade policy and trade in services matters. As a trade policy expert at the Ministry, she has also worked on SME development, international trade and policy & planning. She led the Tanzanian national trade in services negotiating team on the EAC Common Market Protocol. She was also a member of the Ministry’s Strategic Think Tank. As an independent international trade consultant, she has undertaken several consultancies on trade topics, among others, with the EU, GIZ, UNCTAD and WTO.
Beatrice Chaytor is an international trade lawyer, called to the Bar in England and Wales as well as Sierra Leone, with over 25 years experience in providing advice and support to NGOs, governments and intergovernmental organisations on trade and investment legal and policy issues. She is currently Senior Expert – Trade in Services in the Department of Trade and Industry at the African Union Commission, based in Addis Ababa, and works on the negotiations for the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). She holds a LLB (Hons) from University of East Anglia and a LLM from the University of London (University College).
Abrie du Plessis
Abrie du Plessis studied law at the University of Stellenbosch where he completed his BA (Law) and LLB degrees. He started his career in the South African Department of Justice, but soon returned to teach mostly Private Law at the University of Stellenbosch. In 1993 he joined a South African-based multinational company as an Intellectual Property Practitioner. From 1995 his main focus was Regulatory Affairs and he spent several years in this role in South Africa before moving on to London in 2002, after which he mostly advised on various aspects of Public International Law. In 2009 he moved to Brussels with an added role relating to European Union Law.
Anton Faul is Senior Trade Advisor at the Namibian Agricultural Trade Forum. Prior to this, he served as Director: Trade Negotiations, Policy Development and Research at the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Secretariat, a position he held for 12 years. From 1997-2005 he was Chief Economist at the Ministry of Agriculture in the Namibian Government. He was a member of the Namibian Trade Negotiating Team, responsible for agricultural market access and sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures. His specific interests and experience covers, inter alia, regional integration, trade negotiations and trade and tariff policy matters, agricultural economics and SPS measures.
Michael Lawrence is an Executive Director of The National Clothing Retail Federation (NCRF) as well as M&M Consulting. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Cape Town (with Actuarial Subjects included). He is a self-motivated Executive Manager with a wide range of entrepreneurial and operational experience. His interests are in developing businesses that are well rooted in the soil of Africa and able to grow anywhere on the globe.
Henry Kibet Mutai
Dr Henry Kibet Mutai is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya with over twenty years of experience in practice and academia. He holds a PhD in international trade law from the University of Melbourne as well as Master of Laws degrees from Temple University in the US and the University of Melbourne. He served as the Managing Director of the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) for a period of three years, and is currently a consultant as well as an adjunct lecturer at Riara University in Nairobi. His areas of expertise include regional integration, international trade law and intellectual property law.
Eckart Naumann is an economist with an undergraduate degree in economics and financial accounting and an M. Com in economics from the University of Cape Town. His research and consulting work spans a range of sectors and subjects, with a particular focus on rules of origin and market access issues. He has assisted the SADC, EAC and ESA EPA groups in their preparations for negotiating revised RoO with the EU, and has been part of the all-ACP Expert Group on Rules of Origin. He has undertaken assignment work for a range of organisations, including the World Bank, USAID/Tradehub, the EC, ACP Sec, ITC, ICTSD, Comsec and others.
Cecilia Punt is a lecturer at the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Stellenbosch in Econometrics, International Trade and General Equilibrium Modelling. She holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Stellenbosch. She previously worked at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture as manager of the Macro-economics Division in the Agricultural Economics Programme, and as the project leader of the Provincial Decision-making Enabling (PROVIDE) Project.
Ron Sandrey is Professor Extraordinaire, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Stellenbosch and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Agribusiness & Economics Research Unit, Lincoln University, New Zealand. He came to South Africa in 2005 following a career as an economist with New Zealand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and has since worked extensively on trade-related issues in southern Africa. He holds a PhD in Economics from Oregon State University and currently resides in Christchurch, New Zealand.
John Stuart is an economist and policy analyst with special interests in trade, economic integration, technology & ICT and economic modelling. He began his career in academia at Rhodes University and later the University of Cape Town, after which he entered private consulting first with AFReC (Pty) Ltd and subsequently with management consultancy PBS (Pty) Ltd, where he served as Chief Operations Officer. Following his time at PBS he created agri-tech startup AgriDrone, one of the first UAV startups in Africa. He has subsequently researched and written extensively for tralac and also consulted to various organisations including the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the OECD. He holds an M. Com degree in Economics from the University of Natal (Durban).
Prof Nick Vink is Chair of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Stellenbosch University. He is currently (2015-2018) the President-elect of the International Association of Agricultural Economists, and serves as a non-Executive Director on the Boards of the South African Reserve Bank, Pty. Ltd., and of Rooibos, Ltd. Nick’s main research interests include agricultural development on the African continent, land reform and structural change in South African agriculture, agricultural policy and wine economics.