three day intensive management meeting to discuss the progress of work
on the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme
held at the WTO, from 11 to 13 September 2002. This first programme by
the three principal trade related Technical Assistance agencies marks
a watershed in the area of Trade Related Technical Assistance. Since
1998, JITAP has been, and continues to be, implemented in eight
African countries, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire,
Ghana, Kenya, Tunisia, Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
Thirteen donor countries are supporting the programme with about 10
million US dollars. Donors are Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden,
Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
was an experiment aimed at reducing marginalization of African
countries in the world economy, through capacity building at the three
key levels: government, institutions, and enterprise. It laid the
foundation for a “bottom-up” approach towards the development of
national capacity to participate in the multilateral trading system,
and for the formulation of implementable export strategies at sector
level by involving all stakeholders.
programme was evaluated recently and the experiment was confirmed to
be an outstanding success. It was described as “probably the most
high-profile technical assistance programme in the world”, with
significant achievements to its credit. The evaluation recommended the
extension and expansion of JITAP. The utility of the programme was
confirmed by the eight partner countries at the meeting. The agencies
are now working on putting together a programme document for a new
phase to commence in January 2003, to cover a larger number of
countries in Africa.
Ablassé Ouedraogo, Deputy Director General of the WTO who chaired the
meeting, highlighted that the Doha Declaration places the interest of
African and other developing countries at the heart of the WTO work
Carlos Fortin, Deputy Secretary General of UNCTAD, underscored the
importance of JITAP as a unique programme in TRTA. The three
Geneva-based trade agencies interact jointly with the beneficiary
countries and donors in developing capacities to benefit from the
multilateral trading system
Joseph Smadja, Deputy Executive-Director of ITC, noted that offer and
demand for TRTA has increased tremendously and is a built-in component
of the Doha work programme.
meeting was attended by high-level officials from the African partner
countries and by representatives of the donors funding the current
programme. All participants made constructive contributions for the
design of the new JITAP programme.