The WTO, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the World Bank and the International Trade Centre (ITC), who expressed their support for the new facility at a press conference on 3 December, will participate in the development and implementation of the training facility and its forthcoming training programmes. Sweden and Tanzania would also welcome other donors and relevant agencies to collaborate with the training facility in the future.
The facility will provide training for participants from Africa, with a special focus on least-developed countries (LDCs). The training activities will support participating countries in implementing a future WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which aims to reduce bottlenecks and improve procedures for the flow of goods across borders. The facility responds to the need for better coordinated and targeted training for government officials in Africa.
The facility will also provide a platform for African government officials and customs officers to exchange experiences.
“The Trade Facilitation Agreement represents huge potential gains for developing countries. The facility will help African countries unlock this potential and is yet another confirmation of Sweden’s commitment to Aid for Trade,” said the Swedish Minister for Trade, Dr Ewa Björling.
“Trade facilitation is an indispensable and necessary step to helping LDCs to integrate into the global economy. Through this facility, the governments of Sweden and Tanzania will ensure that LDCs receive training and capacity-building in this area. I welcome this donation,” WTO Director‑General Roberto Azevêdo said.
Further voices of support at the press conference were:
Mr Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD, said: “Our partnership with Sweden to grow African trade facilitation through a training centre of excellence in Arusha represents the welcome confluence of Swedish innovativeness and UNCTAD’s desire to have a more prominent footprint in Africa. I am happy to be party to this important initiative.”
Ms Arancha González, Executive Director of the International Trade Centre (ITC): “ITC welcomes Sweden's initiative in investing in TRAPCA and we stand ready to support the countries and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region in building up the necessary capacity and knowledge on trade facilitation procedures.”
Mr Christophe Joseph Marie Dabiré, Commissioner for Regional Markets, Trade, Competition and Cooperation of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), said: “I welcome the initiative to create a trade facilitation training centre in Africa. This project will greatly contribute to strengthening the capacity of experts from all the African regions. I am glad that there is strong collaboration between TRAPCA and West African countries, allowing the latter to benefit from the centre's training activities."
"By implementing WTO Trade-Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) with regional partners, there is a better chance for coordinated activities and a balance in the way the workload and costs are shared between the WTO and its partners leading to improved TRTA results," Ms Bridget Chilala, Director of the WTO Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC) said.
From TRAPCA and ESAMI:
Peter Kiuluku, Executive Director of TRAPCA: “At TRAPCA we believe that training and capacity‑building in trade facilitation will help African countries and especially LDCs to take advantage of potential gains in both regional and multilateral agreements. All integration schemes require capacity-building to ensure human resource competencies are available to drive necessary institutional changes.”
Prof Bonard Mwape, Director-General of the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI): “ESAMI is proud to host TRAPCA and any additional resources and facility that leads to skills development for LDCs is appreciated. On behalf of ESAMI member countries, I wish to commend Sweden, and its development agency Sida, for this gesture. ESAMI will provide TRAPCA with the necessary facilities to continue to serve Africa in the quest for beneficial integration into the multilateral trading system.”
The trade facilitation training facility will be part of the Trade Policy Training Centre (TRAPCA) of the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI) in Arusha, Tanzania. TRAPCA was created in 2006 as a result of collaboration between the ESAMI, Lund University and Sida. Sweden has regularly supported TRAPCA since its creation.
For more information please contact:
Joakim Reiter, Sweden’s Ambassador to the WTO, +41 79 358 3404, [email protected]