International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development

tralac Certificate Course

April - June 2021

The Trade Law Centre (tralac) is pleased to present the 2020 Certificate Course - International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development. The course, consisting of three modules, provides a comprehensive coverage of International Trade Law and Policy in the 21st Century, from an African development perspective.

Module 1

International Trade Policy and Law in the 21st Century – foundational disciplines

19 - 23 April 2021

Module 2

A comprehensive International Trade Law agenda

10 - 14 May 2021

Module 3

Africa’s trade and integration agenda – the AfCFTA, Regional Economic Communities and bilateral relations

31 May - 4 June 2021

Why this course?

The tralac certificate course is offered at a time of uncertainty about future trade governance trajectories. The devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and specifically the restrictive response measures adopted to curb the spread of the virus, have severely impacted international trade, but also highlighted the important developmental role of trade. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is facing significant challenges – the appetite for multilateral trade governance solutions remains very weak. The recent appointment of the new Director General – the first African and the first woman to be appointed to this position – is important. Fundamentally, the systemic challenges of the WTO require urgent collective action by the member states

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Trade policy in the 21st century

Although trade has in recent decades lifted many millions across the world out of poverty, inequality and exclusion are still defining features of global trade and economic development. A serious rethink of the trade policy narrative and possible future international trade governance pathways is necessary.

Trade policy connections to other areas of economic policy (including industrial, fiscal, labour market, education and macroeconomic policies) have to be considered for their contribution to promoting inclusive growth and equitable distribution of gains and losses. This course aims to build capacity for trade law and policy making to support development outcomes for Africa. This means focusing on marginalised and excluded groups, including women, youth, informal cross-border traders and many other groups.

Despite these global trade governance developments there is renewed interest in trade and regional integration in Africa. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has entered into force, and trade under an ‘interim arrangement’ was launched on 1 January 2021. Tariff concessions and rules of origin, as well as specific commitments for the priority services sectors are, however, still being negotiated. Phase 2 of the negotiations, covering investment, competition and intellectual property, and Phase 3 on e- commerce are to be completed this year.

tralac (Trade Law Centre) is a public benefit organisation based in the Western Cape region of South Africa. 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.