Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Capacity building at tralac – Geek Week, 11-15 April 2016


Capacity building at tralac – Geek Week, 11-15 April 2016

Capacity building at tralac – Geek Week, 11-15 April 2016

tralac hosted a capacity building initiative, known as a Geek Week, for researchers and trade policy analysts at the tralac offices from 11-15 April 2016. The Geek Week provides participants with the opportunity to develop basic skills needed to analyse trade data for research, policy formulation and decision-making purposes. The analyses undertaken by the participants this week are focused on the following topics:

  1. China’s merchandise imports from Africa. The objective here was to examine the 2015 imports against a background of the trade for a five year period to assess the impacts of the recent commodity price declines on these imports. The study will examine trade by both countries and commodities.

  2. South Africa’s recent tariff policy changes. There is a perception that South Africa is becoming more conservative and protectionist in its applied tariff regimes. This paper analyses recent tariff changes to assess their impact on trade and assess as to whether these changes are actually having a meaningful impact upon the imports of the respective commodities given the restrictive policy space that South Africa actually has.

  3. Over the last few years there has been considerable policy attention addressing the need to provide support to the beleaguered South African clothing and textile sector. This paper examines the recent trade performances of the BLNS countries set against this background.

  4. There is considerable controversy surrounding the opaque implementation of the SACU Tariff Revenue pool monies. This project sets out to provide more factual information on the actual monetary sums involved and the implementation of the scheme given its vital importance to BLNS government funding.

  5. In an era when bilateral and regional trading agreements are to the fore this paper seeks to examine the relevance of the multilateral World Trade Organization (WTO) to South Africa agriculture.

  6. This final project extends the one immediately above to similarly assess the relevance of the WTO for BLNS agriculture.

The conclusion of the Geek Week sees reports furnished on each topic which emphasise the policy implications for decision makers.


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