Building capacity to help Africa trade better

A training course for Botswana: International Trade Law and Policy – an Introduction


A training course for Botswana: International Trade Law and Policy – an Introduction

A training course for Botswana: International Trade Law and Policy – an Introduction

International Trade Law and Policy – a Certificate Course for Botswana

This course was developed by the Trade Law Centre (tralac) specifically for Botswana – for officials from the Department of International Trade in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry.

Botswana’s trade policy confirms that in addition to trade in goods (as covered in the customs union agenda) trade in services and related issues such as e-commerce, investment, competition policy and intellectual property are also trade policy priorities for Botswana. The trade policy also emphasises key policy linkages, and the role of trade policy in Botswana’s national development plan.

The course covered the foundational principles of international trade law and policy. A brief overview of the World Trade Organisation and its legal instruments was provided. The disciplines governing trade in goods and trade in services, investment, competition policy and intellectual property rights were examined. The provisions of the GATT and GATS providing for the conclusion of regional trade agreements were also examined.

Botswana is a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). This has important implications for Botswana’s trade policy space for the trade in goods agenda. To assure the integrity of the common external tariff and to maintain the common customs territory, Botswana negotiates preferential trade agreements, covering trade in goods, together with the other SACU member states. The agreements that Botswana has concluded and those that are under negotiation, including the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), were examined.

The course also included a practical trade data exercise, introducing participants to the tools and methodologies used for trade policy analysis.

Learning Modalities

Interactive, participatory learning processes, that form the foundation for adult learning, are followed in this course. Debates and discussions are actively encouraged; exploration of complex trade law and policy problems will facilitate collective learning as we study Botswana’s trade policy agenda, focusing on trade policy priorities (offensive and defensive interests), and the implications of belonging to the Southern African Customs Union (SACU). Trade policy management matters and the institutional architecture for making, negotiating and implementing international trade agreements will be examined. The role of institutional such as the Botswana Trade Commission will also be included in the programme. Participants are encouraged to share experiences, trade policy challenges and success stories.

Learning Outcomes

This course aimed to provide participants with

  • a better understanding of the principles of international trade law and policy, in a global context, and specifically as they apply in an African context, and specifically for Botswana;

  • an understanding of the complexity of trade and trade-related policy linkages, noting how membership of SACU impacts trade policy space, negotiations and trade policy management;

  • tools to analyse trade performance and trade law and policy developments for Botswana;

  • ability to review and appraise current trade law and policy developments, with due recognition of the complexity of trade and trade governance in the 21st century;

  • ability to contribute to the development and articulation of a trade policy and regional integration strategy for Botswana; and

  • through the practical trade data exercise, and opportunity to source data and analyse trade data to provide insights into specific trade policy issues.

Training Course Outline

  • Module 1: International Trade Policy and Law in the 21st Century – foundational disciplines

    Dates: 14-18 September 2020

  • Module 2: A comprehensive International Trade Law and Policy agenda

    Dates: 5-9 October 2020

  • Module 3: Botswana’s trade agenda – African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Tripartite FTA, SACU and SADC membership, global trade partnerships

    Dates: 12-16 October 2020


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