tralac Alumni Workshop 2019
tralac hosted its 2019 Alumni Workshop in Nairobi, Kenya on 5 and 6 December. The participants were alumni of tralac’s training programmes, including the post-graduate diploma and Masters degree programme, the tralac certificate course: International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development, e-Learning courses and internships.
Trudi Hartzenberg, tralac Executive Director, opened the workshop emphasising the significance of trade-related capacity building for Africa especially at a time when the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is being established and the global trade governance architecture is being challenged. Trudi further underlined the alumni contribution to tralac’s research, training and policy advocacy. The workshop covered a range of topics including the AfCFTA, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), women, youth and trade. Alumni were presenters and also chaired the Workshop sessions.
The workshop concluded with participants making proposals for follow up work, for tralac’s research, training and policy advocacy. The proposals included, work on:
Agricultural production and value addition;
Streamlining women and youth in policy;
Design a course / training for women and youth empowerment, trade and development, trade negotiations as well as domestic implementation and compliance with trade agreements;
Focus on trade in services, investment regulation, intellectual property rights, competition policy, industrial policy, e-commerce and digital trade (e.g. trade tech, e-services, data flows / transfers etc.), and consumer protection;
Systemic issues on NTB removal – build on the existing initiatives;
Harmonisation of national and regional commercial laws; and
Africa’s global trade and economic integration.
tralac alumni are represented across the continent, and beyond, in leading trade-related positions. The African Union Commission, Afreximbank, the African Development Bank, the Economic Commission for Africa, Secretariats of Regional Economic Communities, national trade-related institutions including government departments, regulators and civil society organisations, as well as private sector organisations count tralac alumni among their experts. tralac benefits enormously from the wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise within the alumni network. Our alumni keep us posted on trade developments, share their experience and insights and assist us to remain informed of current and emerging trade issues that define Africa’s trade and integration agenda. We’d also like to thank our development partners for making tralac’s work possible. We’d like to thank all our alumni for continuing to work with us to ensure that rules-based governance and trade contribute to Africa’s sustainable development.
Amb. (Dr.) Amina Mohammed, Kenya Minister for Sports, Culture and Heritage, was the Guest Speaker at the Alumni Workshop Dinner. Her speech focused on embedding trade and gender in Africa’s trade agenda. She stressed that ‘trade policies and practice tend to have different outcomes for men and women, particularly in the African economies, because of the differences in the traditionally qualified roles, responsibilities, rights and opportunities that our societies assign to men and women’. She urged African countries to ensure their domestic policies and laws provide for:
gender-related capacity-building mechanisms (e.g. entrepreneurship and business training, skills development and access to finance, etc.);
credit and entrepreneurship programs;
women’s access to market information and opportunities;
gender-based value chain;