COMESA special edition of UNCTAD online course on trade and gender launched today!

29 May 2017

The eight week online course for 80 participants from 19 countries, including government officials, researchers, civil society representatives and staff members of the Common Market for East and Southern African (COMESA) Secretariat will begin on 29 May, with discussions focusing on the various links between trade and gender.

Building upon the success of its online course on trade and gender, UNCTAD has broadened the scope of this initiative by tailoring the courses to the specific needs and context of targeted regional groups, the first one being COMESA.

The knowledge acquired through the course will enable participants to mainstream gender considerations in their research, teaching, policy making, advocacy and fieldwork.

"Mainstreaming gender into trade policy through the inclusion of gender considerations in policy formulation and implementation, and in the negotiations of trade and other agreements is key to economic growth", said Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD's Secretary General.

The online course for COMESA is accompanied by a new teaching module - Trade and gender linkages: An analysis of COMESA - which complements and enriches the existing teaching material with data, case studies and an in-depth analysis of the linkages between trade performance and gender equality in the COMESA region.

"I am grateful to be selected among those who will take up the online teaching on gender and trade for COMESA", mentioned Willy-Marcel NDAYITWAYEKO, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Management of the University of Burundi.

"Thank you very much for accepting me to be part of the team attending the course" wrote Tawina Mbalu from the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre.

During the course, emphasis will be placed on:

  • The interactions between trade and gender and their links to countries' inclusive development strategies

  • The influence of trade integration on gender outcomes in COMESA countries in different economic sectors

  • The development of knowledge and skills for the design and implementation of gender-aware trade and development policies corresponding to the needs and interests of COMESA countries

The online course, which will end on 23 July, is the result of a collaboration between UNCTAD's Trade, Gender and Development Programme and COMESA's Division on Gender and Social Affairs. The course is part of a capacity-building project on trade and gender funded by the governments of Finland and Sweden.