Building capacity to help Africa trade better

International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development Certificate Course 2022


International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development Certificate Course 2022

International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development Certificate Course 2022

The Trade Law Centre (tralac) is pleased to present the 2022 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.

This course comes in the wake of the indefinite postponement of the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO) Twelfth Ministerial Conference (MC12), following the identification of a new, fast spreading COVID variant – omicron. Prospects for a successful MC12 did not look promising, but this development is a reminder that we find ourselves in uncertain times. The appetite for multilateral governance solutions remains weak at a time when global cooperation in many spheres is badly needed. On 2 December 2021, Heads of 67 WTO delegations which have been engaged in the Joint Initiative on Services Domestic Regulation announced that they had successfully concluded negotiations to reduce administrative costs and create a more transparent environment for service providers doing business in foreign markets.

This development may well be the precursor to other such plurilateral initiatives, while multilateral agreements remain elusive.

Despite 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. This has not happened, and to date no trade has taken place under the AfCFTA. The basic elements of the AfCFTA are still being negotiated. Tariff concessions and rules of origin, as well as specific commitments for the priority services sectors are still on the negotiating table. Phase 2 and Phase 3 negotiations covering investment, competition and intellectual property, and e-commerce are in the early stages. A very welcome development is that a Protocol on Women, Youth and SME development has been added to the agenda.

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.

Learning Modalities

Interactive, participatory learning processes, which are the foundation for adult learning modalities, 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 engage the new developments on Africa’s trade and integration agenda. Participants are encouraged to share experiences, trade policy challenges and success stories.

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 inter-modular 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.

Learning Outcomes

Participants who successfully complete the course will:

  • Have an understanding of the principles of international trade law and policy – in a global context, and specifically as they apply in an African context

  • Have an understanding of the complexity of trade and trade-related policy linkages, and of the trade-development nexus

  • Have acquired tools to analyse trade data-related data, trade performance and trade law and policy developments

  • Be able to review and appraise current trade law and policy developments, factoring in the complexity of trade and trade governance in the 21st century

  • Be able to contribute to the development and implementation of a trade policy and regional integration strategy for your country to support development outcomes

Please note that applications have closed.


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