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ECA, WTO sign pact to build Africa’s capacity in world trade

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Carlos Lopes, ECA Executive Secretary
Carlos Lopes, ECA Executive Secretary

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have renewed their cooperation to boost Africa’s participation in global trade.

The two bodies signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Geneva July 8, 2013 on what they call the Trade‑Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) and capacity-building for African countries.

“They agreed to jointly manage a Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) programme for selected participants from African countries on a cost-sharing basis,” said a joint statement.

Both 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.

According to WTO Boss, Pascal Lamy, building capacity to trade is a “must” step for Africa to more effectively participate in the global economy.

“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,” Carlos Lopes, ECA’s Executive Secretary said.

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

By Ekow Quandzie

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