Senior African trade representatives are meeting at WTO from 21 to 24 July with ITC, UNCTAD and WTO officials to prepare for the 5th WTO Ministerial Conference, to be held in Cancún this September.
The participants include 32 trade officials from 16 countries participating in the Joint Integrated Technical Assistance Programme to Selected Least Developed and Other African Countries (JITAP), which is jointly run by ITC, UNCTAD and WTO.
The trade officials attending the meeting are from the capitals of Benin, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d´Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, United Republic of Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia, along with ambassadors and representatives from the permanent missions of these countries.
Agriculture, services, industrial tariffs and other issues on the Doha agenda are being discussed. Participants will share the information with others in their country preparing for Cancún.
JITAP, jointly operated by ITC, UNCTAD and WTO since its inception in 1998, helps selected African countries improve their institutional and policy-making capacity to engage in the multilateral trading system. The results of this meeting will be brought to each country´s Inter-Institutional Committee on Trade. The committees have been set up to help develop national consensus and coordinate policies and strategies on implementation of WTO Agreements, as well as to prepare for multilateral and other trade negotiations.
Ambassador Nathan Irumba of Uganda is chairing the workshop. The opening session was attended by Dr. Kipkorir Rana, Deputy Director-General, WTO; Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Director, Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities, UNCTAD; and Mr. Joseph Smadja, Deputy Executive Director, ITC.