While commodity exports still account for the bulk of Africa’s impressive economic growth, foreign direct investment now plays an important role in many Sub-Saharan African countries. Flows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Africa have declined slightly over the last couple of years after a period of strong growth from 2004 to 2007, but are expected to recover with improving global economic and financial conditions and increased investment from emerging economies in Africa. In light of these developments, African countries must adopt more strategic approaches to investment in order to reap its full benefits. International negotiations represent a major opportunity for African countries to shape future trade and investment regimes especially with new and emerging partners. With their limited economic and political resources, Sub-Saharan African countries will need to adopt common negotiation positions in order to influence the outcome of trade and investment negotiations to achieve sustainable and lasting progress. At the same time, African countries will also need to strengthen their regulatory frameworks with regards to investment, and to develop the capacity to undertake complex investment negotiations in order to secure the best possible outcome and achieve sustainable and equitable growth through foreign direct investment.
The workshop aims at equipping participants with the necessary background knowledge and understanding of regional investment and integration, and the key negotiation issues pertinent to regional investment and integration as well as the required skills to perform effectively in regional investment and integration negotiations.
The workshop will cover issues related to multilateralism and regional trade integration, Regional Trade Agreements in the WTO framework, the Regional Economic Communities of Africa (RECsA), the institutional framework of regional trade integration in Eastern and Southern Africa, Common External Tariffs (CETs), systemic approach to regional integration processes in Eastern and Southern Africa, sectoral trade policies at regional level, evolution of international trade relations, points of contention related to Economic Partnership Agreements, developing coherent trade policies for Eastern and Southern Africa, and regional Integration and Aid for Trade.
The workshop will be led by a senior international expert with in-depth knowledge of trade and investment issues in relation to Sub-Saharan Africa. Additional international and regional experts will also be involved. Additionally, participants will be expected to present topics pertaining to their specific experience.
This two-day workshop will expose participants to key issues related to investment negotiations (see attached provisional agenda). Each session will involve a detailed exposé of the subject matter as well as a round table discussion. Certain sessions may include group work. A pack of training and reading materials will be provided for each module through the Internet. The last module will consist of recommendations by participants and a wrap-up by the Workshop Director.
Diplomats and officials from Eastern and Southern African countries involved in negotiations on regional trade and investment integration.
The workshop will take place at the International Environment House (IEH) in Geneva, Switzerland, and will be conducted in the English language.
UNITAR reserve the right to make a selection among candidates, if necessary. The selected candidates are requested to regard their participation as a firm commitment and to attend the workshop in its entirety.