Key talks are underway in Botswana to shape a new programme that will support trade in Africa through technical assistance and capacity-building.
Partners and stakeholders in the Hub and Spokes Programme, an aid-for-trade initiative of the European Union, the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) Group, the Commonwealth and la Francophonie, are holding a three-day planning workshop for Eastern and Southern Africa in Gaborone.
The aim is to outline the framework for a successor programme to deliver targeted technical assistance and capacity building after the current Hub and Spokes implementation phase ends in August.
“Trade is essential for sustained growth,” said Jocelin Cornet, Head of Cooperation for EU in Botswana and the Southern African Development Community (SADC). “[There is] a role for the programme in partnership development and implementation of EPAs (Economic Partnership Agreements) in the short and medium term.”
Teddy Soobramanien, Acting Head of the Hub and Spokes Programme at the Commonwealth said: “Africa’s trade and development needs vary from region to region, with some countries and regions embarking on modernisation and industrialisation of economies. Trade can certainly be an engine for growth and build the resilience of African countries.”
The new framework will build on current best practice and incorporate new and emerging trade-related issues. It will be localised to regional contexts in order to contribute to African priorities.
Similar workshops were held in Fiji (Pacific region) in March 2018 and Guyana (Caribbean region) in April 2018.