Two trade-related projects have been signed by the financier, African Development Bank (AfDB), as well as three regional economic communities – the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC).
PANA reports that the programmes are the Tripartite Capacity Building Programme (TCBP) and the COMESA Trading for Peace Project.
The Tripartite Capacity Building Program is a US$7.5-million grant to the Tripartite (EAC-COMESA-SADC) which aims to enhance the capacity of the RECs to address trade-related constraints.
The programme will facilitate the negotiations process for the establishment of a Tripartite Free Trade Area, scale up industrial research and help in the identification and the removal of non-tariff barriers and other bottlenecks that prevent the Tripartite region from being borderless.
The second project was a US$963,000 grant to COMESA to support the implementation of its Trading for Peace Programme (TfP).
The TfP is the first formal COMESA programme to address post-conflict reconstruction and development.
Its objective is to consolidate peace in post-conflict areas, especially the Great Lakes Region by encouraging interaction and building trust between communities through the facilitation and formalization of cross-border trade.
The project will increase access to information in various border areas through the establishment of Trade Information Desks and the provision of targeted trade-related training
The TfP is financed through the recently launched Africa Trade Fund (AfTra), a Bank-hosted, trade-related technical assistance facility with the objective to enhance the trade performance of African countries. Canada provided the seed capital to launch the AfTra.