International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development

tralac Certificate Course

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

20 – 24 April 2020

Module 2

A comprehensive International Trade Law and Policy agenda

11 – 15 May 2020

Module 3

Africa’s trade and integration agenda – the AfCFTA, RECs and bilateral relations

1 – 5 July 2020

Why this course

This tralac certificate course is being offered at a time of uncertainty about future trade governance. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) is facing significant challenges – the appetite for multilateral trade governance solutions is at a low point. Since December 2019, the DSU does not have a functional Appellate Body. The lack of leadership and common purpose from key trading nations indicates that systemically all is not well in the WTO. 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 fundamental rethink of the trade policy narrative and possible future international trade governance pathways is necessary.


Trade policy in the 21st century

The trade-development nexus requires careful consideration. 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 addressing marginalised and excluded groups; including women, youth, informal crossborder 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. 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 are to start soon. This course will focus specifically on issues relevant to the AfCFTA and Africa’s broader trade and integration agenda, and also include a discussion on Africa’s future global trade relations.


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.