African LDCs discuss trade strategies

The Ministry of Trade of Ethiopia and in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) concluded meeting on regional Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF).

The workshop conducted in Addis Ababa, forms part of a wider capacity-building programme being run by the EIF on providing Least Developed Countries (LDCs) with the tools to deliver results in the implementation of programmes on trade and becoming more active players in global economy.

In his opening remarks, , Ethiopia’s Minister for Trade Bekele Bulado highlighted the analytical work already undertaken by Ethiopia under the EIF through the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS): “The DTIS Update of Ethiopia has identified various constraints which have hindered the smooth growth of the trade sector to generate the foreign currency required for sustainable development.”

Speaking on behalf of the African Trade Policy Centre in ECA, Ms Heini Suominen said, “The share of intra-African trade is low compared to other regions, and we have failed to effectively act as a shared force in the global arena. The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) under negotiation can act as a vehicle for change in this respect.”

Ms Joy Kategekwa, Head of the Regional Office for Africa, UNCTAD stated that the, “EIF is unmatched in its potential, supporting trade as a propeller for LDCs’ national development. The EIF is keeping the trade agenda alive in LDCs with key implementation ongoing for national priorities important in supporting poverty reduction and sustainable development. UNCTAD is proud to be a core partner supporting analytical work like in Ethiopia and Strategies like in The Gambia.”

The Addis Ababa event will help countries to get acquainted with the changes in Phase Two of the EIF and enhance their capacity to implement the Programme including showing results and ensuring long term sustainability of the programme. The event brings together 14 EIF countries, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia.