The World Trade Organisation's Regional Trade Policy Course (WTO-RTPC), aimed at enhancing the human and institutional capacity of WTO members so that they can take full advantage of their participation in the rules-based multilateral system and enforce their rights and obligations, opened yesterday at the CORE Building, in Ebène.
The course, being run till 21st June 2019, is offered by the WTO in collaboration with the University of Mauritius (UoM). It is being attended by some 30 participants from African countries as well as local participants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade.
The objectives are to: deepen participants' understanding of the functioning of the WTO and its rules and procedures; enhance comprehension of regional economic perspectives on trade policy and development; and to develop participants' capacity to find relevant information and documents on WTO-related issues, including the use of the WTO legal texts. Some 20 resource persons from the WTO and from the African region will intervene during the training.
This eight-week course, which fits within the WTO's Trade Related Technical Assistance activities, is co-delivered by Officials from the WTO Secretariat, Trade Policy specialists and academic experts from the region. To date, it has been run in several countries around the world including Thailand, Ecuador, Kazakhstan as well as Mauritius.
The RTPC was launched in Mauritius in 2018. Thirty-one delegates of English-speaking African members and observers of the WTO, nominated by their respective Governments, participated in the course during that year.
The WTO is a member-driven organisation and Governments have to be prepared to articulate and defend their interests and legitimate expectations. This can be done only when their Trade Policy Officials are knowledgeable about the multilateral trading system and well-versed in trade policy matters.
It is in that context that the RTPC plays a significant role in building the capacity of Trade Policy Officials of the African-English speaking region to enable them adequately promote and defend the interests of this region.