Policy makers benefit from IDEP course on trade policy and regional development

Dakar, 18 April 2018 (ECA) - The development of Africa requires the implementation of appropriate economic policies, including trade policies.

A clear vision and an appropriate implementation agenda are particularly important as the continent needs to build capacity to make the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) effective following its launch at the Kigali African Union Summit in March.

The African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), within its mandate to support the African continent in building capacity of its officials, takes into account these crucial issues in its activities.

Thus, IDEP organized a course on international trade policy for national and regional development which was held from 9 to 18 April 2018 on its premises, in Dakar, Senegal. The course aimed to give to the 25 participants the necessary tools to design, implement and follow-up effective trade policies for their respective country, their sub-region and the whole continent.

The programme was sponsored by the Niger Embassy in Senegal. The First Counsellor of the Niger Embassy in Senegal, Mr. Abdou Salifou, delivered a speech at the beginning of the course.

He expressed his gratitude to IDEP for the invitation to sponsor the event. He also recalled Niger’s commitment to the Agreement on the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), under the leadership of President Mahamadou Issoufou, the continent’s champion of regional integration.

Mr. Salifou also talked about Niger’s multilateral trade relations and its good intentions with regard to the integration of the WAEMU's trade policy. He urged the trainees to use their new skills when they get back home in developing policies that will enhance regional integration and inter-African trade.

Mr. Mustapha Sadni Jallab, Head of the Training and Research Division, who chaired the event, thanked Niger for sponsoring the course.

He said the training on trade policy was timely, especially as calls for regional integration in Africa continue to grow louder.

Course Director, Mr. Yenkong Hodu, emphasized the importance and timeliness of the CFTA agreement for Africa.

"Signing agreements is one thing, implementing them is something else," he said, adding the CFTA would change the African landscape if fully implemented.

He spoke about the World Trade Organization (WTO) saying its role was to set the general framework for trade, but it was the responsibility of the Member States to understand the opportunities offered so they can take advantage of them.

Dr. Seydina Ndiaye, a resource person, highlighted the need for Africa to increase intra-African trade, nothing other regions where way ahead in this regard.