The success of regional trade policy to achieve true market integration will depend heavily on the capacity of trade officials to design, negotiate and implement the necessary interventions. Effective outcomes are also contingent upon the capacity of the private economic agents to participate in this process.
TMSA has supported TRALAC and the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business in the design of a trade policy management course specifically targeted at students from Tripartite countries and institutions. TMSA also provides scholarships for this course, which will start in July 2012 and will conclude by end 2013. Paul Kalenga from SADC (supported by TMSA) will be the lead lecturer, with other TMSA staff delivering short-term training interventions.
In addition, for Tripartite country trade officials and practitioners, TMSA has been supporting the development of general, short-term training modules on trade policy and trade-related issues as they apply to the Tripartite Free Trade Area – an ambitious $1 Trillion Trade Block which will unite, in a single market, the 26 countries of the three Regional Economic Communities of COMESA, EAC and SADC. To date, this course has been piloted in Zambia and Zimbabwe for government trade negotiators and representatives of other public and private sector stakeholders (50 – 60 people received training). A similar short-course training session will be delivered in Malawi at a later stage. In 2012/13 TMSA will train at least 150 government officials and private sector representatives from Tripartite countries in general FTA policy and implementation skills.
In addition, TMSA will provide in-depth training in negotiating skills for at least four officials from each of the Tripartite member countries in the coming year, and will further support countries through the provision of the Tripartite Trade Database and information.