Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Certificate Course 2021: International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development


tralac Certificate Course 2021: International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development

tralac Certificate Course 2021: International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development

tralac is pleased to present the 2021 Certificate Course – International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development. The course consists of three modules and provides comprehensive coverage of International Trade Law and Policy in the 21st Century, from an African perspective.

Who should attend the course?

The course is tailored for mid-level and senior trade policy officials and lawyers from Africa’s national governments, regional and continental Organisations, as well as experienced trade policy and law practitioners from non-state organisations.

Learning Modalities

Interactive, participatory learning processes, which are the foundation for adult learning modalities, are followed in this course. The course consists of three modules and an inter-modular e-learning program. Before the first module participants will be required to complete a preparatory online work program (6 hours of work will be required, and a short assignment will be submitted and assessed – feedback will be provided to each participant). This pre-course program is designed to support active and informed engagement.

Between modules 1 and 2, and again between 2 and 3, participants will continue the intermodular program. Each of these blocks in the inter-modular program will require 6 hours of work for the submission. At the end of module 3, there will be an oral exam – each participant will have a 30 minute slot. Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a tralac certificate, and be invited to join the tralac alumni network.

Module 1: 19 - 23 April 2021

  • International Trade Policy and Law in the 21st Century – foundational disciplines Training Course Outline Dates 

Module 2: 10 - 14 May 2021

  • A comprehensive International Trade Law agenda 

Module 3: 31 May - 4 June 2021

  • Africa’s trade and integration agenda – the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Regional Economic Communities and bilateral relations

For more info, download the Course Outline

How to apply

Please click on the following link: Online application form

Deadline for Applications: 25 March 2021

Applicants will receive a response by 8 April 2021


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.

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.

This course will focus specifically on issues relevant to the AfCFTA and Africa’s broader trade and integration agenda. Focus on Africa’s global trade relations will also be studied. These relationships remain important given that more than 80 % of Africa’s trade is still with global partners.


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