Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Associates

Gerhard Erasmus

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.

Ify Ogo

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Stuart is an economist and policy analyst with special interests in trade, economic integration, data visualisation 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 PBS (Pty) Ltd. Besides economics research and teaching, he has experience in project management, general management, public sector performance management, systems analysis and entrepreneurship. He holds an M. Com degree in Economics from the University of Natal (Durban).

Nick Vink

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.


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