“UNECA is uniquely placed to partner with the WTO in ensuring a more effective Aid for Trade for Africa”, said Mr. Lamy.

Executive Secretary of the ECA, Mr Carlos Lopes, said that the evolving needs of African Countries for trade-related technical assistance and capacity‑building require concerted efforts.

“Through this understanding, ECA and the WTO reaffirm their commitment to assist African countries enhancing their participation in the multilateral trading system and their full participation in the Doha Development Agenda negotiations as reflected in the Doha Ministerial Declaration,” he said.

The two parties underscored the importance of leveraging their comparative advantage in implementing the joint Agreement. ECA's focus on assessing regional integration in Africa will play a key role in facilitating the greater participation of African countries in the multilateral trading system through well-grounded research and analysis.

They agreed to jointly manage a Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) programme for selected participants from African countries on a cost-sharing basis. They also agreed that the technical assistance to be provided to Regional Economic Communities (RECs) shall be determined jointly by the Parties in consultation with relevant individual RECs, taking account of the priority needs of countries in specific regions of Africa, the Doha Development Agenda and its expected outcomes.

With regard to the global work programme on Aid for Trade, the two Institutions agreed to jointly focus on the monitoring and evaluation of the impact of Aid for Trade in Africa.

Note to editors: Effective participation in the global economy through trade can be a powerful and effective mechanism for accelerating economic growth and poverty reduction in African countries. However, in addition to supply side constraints and challenges including the heavy dependence on the export of a few primary commodities, African countries lack adequate capacity in dealing with multilateral, regional and bilateral trade negotiations. In addition, Africa's capacity to increase both intra-Africa trade and exports on the global market remains constrained by poor infrastructure and the slow pace of regional integration. Although the regional economic communities are currently promoting closer integration in line with the African Union decision on 'boosting intra-African trade' and the aim to move to a continental free trade area (CFTA) by 2017, there is a need to enhance their capacities to achieve this.

To enable African countries to effectively harness the opportunities that trade creates for growth, employment and poverty reduction there is a need to enhance the existing level of human and institutional capacity to enable the formulation and implementation trade policies.  There is also the need to better mainstream trade in the national and regional development policies and strategies of African countries and assist them to improve their trade performance by strengthening their participation in global as well as regional trade. Coupled with this, there has been a resurgence of interest in regional integration as a means to improve the competitiveness of African economies and integrate them into the multilateral trading system.

The agreement stipulates a number of core areas of support, including training workshops on trade policy at regional and sub-regional levels to devise or improve the processes for developing and implementing trade strategy and trade policy frameworks conducive to economic growth and poverty reduction; as well as a focus on training modules on trade policy and trade mainstreaming in national development plans.

The two institutions will also provide tailor made technical assistance support to African countries, upon request, to support the formulation and follow up implementation of development-oriented trade policy and trade‑related capacity‑building.



Mercy Wambui
External Communications, Media Relations Section
Economic Commission for Africa
Email: [email protected]
Office Landline:+251-115-443652
http://www.uneca.org|Twitter: @wagio210

Josep Bosch
Information and External Relations Division
World Trade Organization
Email: [email protected]
Office Landline:+41-22-739-5681

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