Building capacity to help Africa trade better

tralac Certificate Course: Module 1 – Feedback from the class of 2020


tralac Certificate Course: Module 1 – Feedback from the class of 2020

tralac's Certificate Course on International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development for the new intake of students is underway. Module 1 took place via e-learning from 20-24 April 2020, focusing on “International Trade Policy and Law in the 21st Century – foundational disciplines”. Participants are busy with Module 2 this week (11-15 May), covering a range of substantive disciplines including trade in services, investment, competition policy and trade facilitation. Module 3 will take place during the first week of June and focus on Africa’s trade and regional integration agenda, with special focus on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. Below is some of the feedback tralac has received from the class of 2020.

Find out more about the certificate course here.



“This past week during which we discussed the foundational principles in International trade has been particularly rewarding. Despite my past experience working in a trade and investment-oriented environment, the interactive approach employed by the Tralac team has tickled a great awareness on a number of issues that may have been lacking out in my professional engagement. The course has personally challenged me to have a relook at the effectiveness of even the most acclaimed trade policy orientations in Cameroon especially with regards to regional integration within the CEMAC. Above all, it has pushed me to read more, research more and to approach other actors in view to understand what drives our trade diplomacy. Thanks for the opportunity.”



“Just to get an update on global and Africa trade by John Stuart, which was focusing on global economic and trade developments around the world.

With an update on the Covid-19 economic developments across Europe, US and the entire world. Emphasis on US-China trade war and the effects with that.

Focus on commodities trade involving Africa, Trade in services, e-Commerce and digital trade, global Trade patterns within African nations and the GDP growth impact.

International Trade Theory, Trade Policy Instruments which play a key role in Africa relations. Public international law and international trade law introduction focus on trade in the 21st century, theories of International Trade explanation. Foundations of law with different agreements.

Trade Policy Instruments, International Trade Negotiations, Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties between different countries with specific agreement. Various tariff books for each country and how they work. The meaning of local content requirements, standards, subsidies, non-tariff barriers among goods and services etc. International Trade Negotiations and how they're practiced regionally.

Multilateral Trade, and the World Trade Organisation. Regional Trade Agreements and Africa’s regional integration agenda prospects going forward. Africa’s trade relations with global partners.

Economic Partnership Agreements with the EU, Tripartite Free Trade Area and lastly the Introduction to the African Continental Free Trade Area – the countries which have signed and ratified already and the impact going forward post Covid-19 pandemic.

It gave me a good experience on how we should view trade on the International globe and the measures used to combat international trade policy and law.”



“Though a Marathon, Module one was a good refresher for some of us who have worked in Regional Integration before and more so during this COVID-19 time. It helped us revisit some strategies and principles to use to facilitate some initiative being put in place to beat the Pandemic and also keep our economies running.”



“Most if not all of us were elated and humbled when we were contacted by Tralac sometime in March for the unique opportunity of learning and exchanging with peers on trade related issues of our continent. This wonderful experience has been accompanied by a gloomy world order characterized by constant sad news due to the COVID 19 pandemic. This has led some of us to discover the benefits and virtues for our first time of the zoom app and other online learning platforms. With more than half the population of the world confined to their homes, a situation described as the great lockdown by the IMF, we have no choice but to harness the benefits of these online learning platforms for our course.

 So far, after the first week of discussion amongst ourselves as course mates and after receiving module 1 lectures from Prof Erasmus, Trudi Hartzenberg and John Stuart, we come to realize that even a gloomy health and economic situation cannot be an obstacle to receiving credible, reliable, astute and well disseminated knowledge. Instead the crises have taught us even more important aspects to take into consideration in preventing such a crisis from occurring and how to mitigate the effects of the present crises on our economies with the use of trade policies.

While wishing for a quick return to normal activities in all Africa countries and the world at large, we look forward to continue with module 2 and 3 with great enthusiasm while keeping safe and respecting all World Health Organization’s (WHO) and our various Country specific recommendations to end this global pandemic.”



“Thank you for accepting me in your first class of 2020. With the current developments in Africa, one cannot afford to ignore trade policy. This is the time for Africa to map the way forward in terms of trade by clearly articulating all issues affecting the continent and so far, the course has proven to be delivering just that. After the first module, I am convinced I am in the right place and looking forward to the second module. Thanks TRALAC.”



“I applied for the 2020 Class of International Trade Law and Policy for Africa’s Development with the objective to learn why Africa, despite being blessed with all the natural resources still lags behind in terms of development and how Africa’s story can change through development and enactment of appropriate trade policies. Africa should be able to provide solutions for her own challenges and this could be an opportunity to learn how to rewrite the African story. I also believe Kenya will have a significant role to play in rewriting this story.

At the end of Module 1, I am more encouraged that there is quite a lot of progress creating the ‘Africa we want’ and that every African country has a key role to play, especially with the dawn of the African Continental Free Trade Area.”

Kemoabetswe C. SeemuleKEMOABETSWE C. SEEMULE


“I really enjoyed the learning experience, I learnt a lot. Although I am an attorney under our International Trade Law Unit, I must admit that I do not have enough knowledge about trade and what I learnt in module 1 was really helpful, for example, trade policy instruments, trade governance, role of trade policy and governance, international trade negotiations etc. Yes we deal with these issues but I never understood them the way I do now. It’s like now I see them with different eyes. The module has ignited in me a deeper interest and passion for international trade and a hunger to learn even more.

It was truly enlightening and informative. I believe that had it not been for this Covid-19, it could have been even better. I wish all my colleagues could have this valuable learning experience. Lastly, I appreciate what TRALAC is doing. That despite the huge challenge and inconvenience of this global Pandemic, they gave their very best, as usual. Keep it up!”


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