Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Capacity building at tralac – Geek Week, 24-28 March 2014


Capacity building at tralac – Geek Week, 24-28 March 2014

Capacity building at tralac – Geek Week, 24-28 March 2014

As an essential part of its capacity building initiative, tralac conducted a week-long trade data accessing, collation and interpretation training workshop (also known as ‘Geek Week’) at its offices in Stellenbosch, from Monday 24th to Friday 28th March, 2014. Participants came from Stellenbosch University, Zimbabwe Economic Research Unit, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, National Agricultural Marketing Council, Ceres Fruit Growers Pty Ltd, and the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority. The training was conducted by Professor Ron Sandrey (tralac Associate), tralac Researchers William Mwanza and Gavin van der Nest, and Dr. Cecilia Punt (Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Stellenbosch).

The participants were divided into four groups and through a ‘hands on’ approach to obtaining, analysing and interpreting international trade and tariff data, produced draft papers in the following areas:

  1. An econometric analysis of factors influencing South Africa’s exports to its old friends (EU27 and USA), new friends (BRICs), and good friends (Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Nigeria, Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, Egypt, Republic of Congo and Malawi). This study employed a modification of the gravity model used by Harris and Mátyás (1998) through which it also analysed the country’s relative propensity to export to the three regions based on 1996 to 2011 data.

  2. An analysis of South Africa’s agricultural trade with the rest of the African continent, the EU and BRIC countries. This study analysed both the primary and secondary agriculture sectors along with further specific analysis of the forestry and fisheries sectors over the period 1996 to 2013.

  3. A case study on South Africa’s trade in clothing and textiles with its old friends (EU and USA), new friends (BRIC countries) and good friends (the African continent). This study focussed on South Africa’s export and import performance with the different trading partners over the period 2004 to 2013 and also included a regional analysis with the EAC, ECOWAS and SADC.

  4. A Ghana country paper, analysing the country’s import and export profile with its traditional partners (EU and US), the BRIC countries (mainly China and India), and most countries in Africa (including South Africa, Nigeria, Togo, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, as well as other countries within the EAC, ECOWAS, and SADC). This study was based on 2012 data and also included an analysis of Ghana’s tariff structure and tariff revenues in the selected year. Download the paper here.

The participants at the Geek Week were:

Participants Geek Week Mar 2014


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