The 2020 RTPC started on 3 February and ended on 17 March, slightly earlier than the scheduled closing date due to the travel restrictions being imposed globally in response to COVID-19. The course's content and objectives were not severely affected by the early closure of the RTPC thanks to a coordinated response by ENSEA and the WTO. Parts of the course's curriculum were condensed and delivered remotely to allow participants to sit the final exam and obtain the RTPC diploma. This course of action was highly praised by the participants since obtaining the diploma rewarded their work during the previous six weeks of the course and it ensured their access to higher level courses should they wish to apply for further WTO training.
The WTO Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation is very grateful to ENSEA and the government of Côte d'Ivoire for the help and support provided during the four-year long partnership, which has successfully trained a total of 115 government officials (47 women and 68 men) from the French-speaking Africa region.
Regional Trade Policy Courses (RTPCs) are “generalists” Level 2 training activities on the WTO’s Progressive Learning Strategy (PLS). These two-month training events are directed at government officials working on trade-related issues who have successfully completed a PLS-Level 1 course. The training curriculum covers the multilateral trade agreements and it includes a final exam. A distinctive feature of RTPCs is their focus on regional trade policy issues and capacity building; to this end, RTPCs are organised and implemented in partnership with regional academic institutions and they include regional academics and trade practitioners who co-lecture with WTO officials. A related objective of the co-lecturing approach is to foster networks among government officials, regional trade experts and regional trade-related institutions, with a view to enhancing dialogue on national and regional trade policy issues.