What We Do

tralac works to inform, capacitate and empower key stakeholders to enhance trade and integration governance for Africa. 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:

  • Daily News Selections, published daily on the tralac website: a compilation of articles reporting on the most important current trade and related developments affecting the east and southern Africa region and Africa more broadly.

  • 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.

  • Books – 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 tailored short courses and workshops.

Short courses

tralac develops and delivers focused short courses, often at the request of specific clients to address specific training needs. The following topics 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, Continental FTA)
  • Dispute Settlement
  • Trade Remedies and Safeguards
  • Competition Law and Policy
  • Investment
  • Rules of Origin

To submit a request for training, please complete the request form.

Policy dialogue

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, Twitter and LinkedIn, and the electronic newsletter. In addition, tralac hosts workshops, seminars, roundtables 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 Trade and Industry, 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

Contact us with your queries or comments.

Annual Report 2016-2017

tralac AR 2017 cover for web2016 presented several important opportunities for tralac to expand its work both in terms of substantive focus, but also to work with new partners and especially to ensure that our capacity building initiatives address not only technical capacity challenges but also institutional aspects of the capacity deficit.

Based on a review of the 2016-2017 work programme, and feedback from our stakeholders, our priority focus areas are:

1. Global trade governance developments: implications of Brexit and the new US Administration, the future of multilateral trade governance

2. Africa’s regional integration agenda: i) ongoing trade and regional integration negotiations (TFTA and CFTA); ii) trade in services – regulatory issues; iii) standards – especially SPS measures; iv) trade facilitation and NTBs; v) trade remedies and safeguards; and vi) dispute resolution

3. A sustainable development agenda for Africa: trade and climate change, the environment, the blue economy, gender and youth development.


pdf tralac Annual Report 2016-2017: Summary (1.97 MB)