14 December 2005

Recipients and donors review cooperation programme

Partner countries of JITAP, the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme, implemented jointly by the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), met today on the fringes of the 6th WTO Ministerial Conference to review the programme, its impact and future needs, and share experiences.

Trade Ministers and representatives of the 16 African (1) countries benefiting from the programme, as well as Trade Ministers and representatives from the donor countries, and Senior Representatives of the three JITAP implementing agencies participated in the event, “JITAP : An effective Answer to Trade-Related Capacity Building on the Multilateral Trading System”. Also present were a number of invited Ministers from other African countries, as well as representatives of Regional Economic organizations.

JITAP aims to build capacities at the national level to assist partner counties in using trade as an engine of sustained growth and human development, to enable these countries to integrate effectively and beneficially into the Multilateral Trading System. JITAP is contributing to the setting up of a trade policy process that helps each country identify its trade interests in the framework of its overall development and poverty reduction strategy and, based on this identification, develop a specific trade strategy for policy formulation, negotiations, and implementation.

A number of African Trade Ministers spoke of how JITAP has brought together all relevant stakeholders through the creation of Inter Institutional Committees (IICs), and how it has helped the IICs to disseminate trade related information to the general public and to key personnel through the Reference Centres and National Enquiry Points set up or strengthened under the programme. The ministers underlined the human and institutional capacities built under the programme, and how it has helped their countries in sectoral export strategy formulation and created synergies between all Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) activities in their countries.

The three implementing agencies reiterated their commitment to help African countries in building human, institutional and entrepreneurial capacities, and urged the donor community to further grant its support to JITAP and other trade-related technical cooperation programmes.

JITAP is the first TRTA programme of its kind in which the three major multilateral trade agencies have joined forces and coordinated their responses towards building trade-related human, entrepreneurial and institutional capacities in Africa, in order to enable the African countries to integrate effectively and beneficially into the Multilateral Trading System (MTS).

In all 16 countries benefiting from the programme, this has resulted in a clearer vision of the available export opportunities created as a consequence of the improved market access conditions. Public and private sectors jointly participate in the formulation of export strategies, covering various products such as cassava, hides and skins, textiles, fish products, fruits and vegetables. The programme has also helped the benefiting countries to strengthen their national committees dealing with trade negotiations, by enlightening and involving more actively the private sector and civil society in the preparation of international trade negotiations. The personnel trained by JITAP on international trade negotiations and issues — more than 360 so far have been trained under the current phase of JITAP — are more active in the preparation of technical studies and negotiation strategies at the WTO and at regional level, including the negotiations engaged under AGOA, ACP-EU EPA negotiations, etc. The programme has created or strengthened more than fifty specialized trade information points with access to international trade sources, including the WTO, UNCTAD and ITC. Another fifty of such information points are to be set up before the end of 2006. These information points contribute to informing exporters and traders from partner countries on the regulatory requirements in export markets for SPS, TBT, TRIPS and GATS.

The JITAP programme is now in its second phase. The first was concluded in December 2002. A new phase was launched in February 2003 for a period of four years. This phase incorporates the original eight countries (2) in a consolidation stage, and the additional eight countries in a foundation stage. The Eight original countries will exit the programme as at 31 December 2005.

The donors to the JITAP programme are: Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, Tunisia, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania and Zambia. back to text
2. Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda. back to text


Meeting on JITAP
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