2014 Events

Competition Issues in Public Procurement

Dec. 05, 2014. • Geneva, Switzerland | World Competition Day

This year’s theme for the World Competition Day being “Competition Issues in Public Procurement”, the event explored how integrating principles of fair competition in public procurement could help in more efficient utilisation of government revenues. When competition is curtailed, more than fair price is paid for lower quality goods and services and taxpayers’ money is wasted. It is, therefore, important that the procurement process is not distorted by practices such as collusion, bid rigging, lack of competitive neutrality or abuse of dominance.

Promote agricultural investments: an opportunity o enhance food security in the EAC

Nov. 04, 2014. • Bujumbura, Burundi | EAC Geneva Forum

Agriculture is the main sector supporting the livelihoods of a majority of East Africans. However, the contribution of the sector to GDP has been reducing in all the EAC Partner State as many turn away from the sector due to both production and supply constraints. The sector is dominated by small scale farmers and characterised by low investments. However, in the last decade, private capital is increasingly being injected into the sector. This has been mostly through large scale land acquisitions and agro-based industries to promote value addition as well as promote food security.

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Building on Momentum for Impact: Intertwining Climate, Food, Trade Policies

Nov. 03, 2014. • Bujumbura, Burundi | PACT EAC Project

In East Africa, overlapping and incoherent policies on climate change, food security and trade have prevented the region from leveraging synergies and trade-offs between these areas, with the risk of disturbing priority agendas. Under the theme “Building on momentum for impact: intertwining climate, food, trade policies”, this regional meeting reviewed the progress of CUTS International’s PACT EAC project in achieving more coherent policy responses cutting across the thee areas at the national, regional and multilateral levels. Participants from relevant national and regional institutions, the private sector and the civil society acknowledged that the momentum already created – with significant policy and practice changes - must be sustained over a longer period of time.

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Policy Uncertainty Reduces Investment

Oct. 16, 2014. • Geneva, Switzerland | UNCTAD World Investment Forum

Evidence points to inverse relationship between policy uncertainty and inward foreign investment. While political and regional milieu play their part, policy and regulatory prescriptions at domestic and international levels substantially influence uncertainty, thus impacting investment. CUTS International and Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Kenya organised this side event to the UNCTAD World Investment Forum with the objective to develop a programme agenda aimed at identifying specific causes of policy and regulatory uncertainty, measures to address the same, and developing a roadmap for working with relevant stakeholders to put the prescriptions into practice.

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EU-EAC Economic partnership agreement (EPA): State of play & national perspectives

Oct. 09, 2014. • Geneva, Switzerland | EAC Geneva Forum

With a deadline of October 2014 to complete and sign the EU-EAC EPA looming, a number of important issues still remain to be agreed. At the 18th EAC Geneva Forum, EAC WTO negotiators discussed the challenges that their countries could face in implementing the agreement and different alternatives to overcome them. The participants also briefly discussed the state of play of the EAC countries concerning trade facilitation.

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Training Workshops on Developing Coherent Policies accross Climate, Food and Trade

Sep. 15, 2014. • East African Community (EAC) | PACT EAC Project

In September 2014, CUTS International, with partners across the East African Community Partner States concluded a series of national and regional training workshops on “Climate, Food, Trade: Developing Coherent Policies and Programmes”. This free training course leading to a merit certificate introduces the key concepts of climate change, food security and trade and their interrelationships in the policy processes, and real life consequences. It also looks at regional decision-making and policy frameworks in place, as well as relevant international agreements and intuitions. A simulation exercise was included as a unique experience of engaging with others on promoting more coherent policies and programmes.

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Sustaining Improvements in Climate, Food, Trade Policy Coherence

Aug. 19, 2014. • East African Community (EAC) | PACT EAC Project

After having successfully brought together, informed, trained and moved to advocacy action hundreds of East African stakeholders for greater policy coherence across climate, food and trade issues, the PACT EAC project is soon coming to a close at a time when much more work is still needed. This series of forward-looking national workshops convened stakeholders of food security, climate change and trade in each EAC country to reflect on ways to sustain the recent improvements in policy coherence across the three issues triggered by this project. The meeting identified a set of follow-up advocacy and research activities for the next 3-6 months, and brainstormed around elements for a possible follow-up project.

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Promoting Trade in Services: Analysing the Potential for EAC

Jul. 18, 2014. • Geneva, Switzerland | EAC Geneva Forum

The 16th and 17th EAC Geneva Forum meetings were jointly held on July 18th, 2014 at CUTS International, Geneva. Four main issues on which country updates and issue notes had been prepared, were discussed, these were: (i) Promoting trade in services: Analysing potential sectors in EAC; (ii) State of play of Trade in Services: Leveraging Regional and International markets; (iii) Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA): An information Note on current scenarios and scope for the future; and (iv)China-EU-EAC Trade relations: Challenges and opportunities.

Climate, Food Trade: Linking East African Issues to the Global Context

Jun. 19, 2014. • Geneva, Switzerland | PACT EAC Project

This international conference by CUTS International invited representatives from East African Community Member States to interact with experts from the global community on policy options for coping with climate-related food insecurity through trade. Discussions revolved around topics like “WTO: What policy options for the Post-Bali Food Security Agenda?”; “Role of trade policies in the EAC in ensuring food security”; “Climate early warning systems for food security”; and “Mainstreaming environmental issues into trade policy and negotiations”; among others.

L’Inclusion des Acteurs Non-Etatiques pour l’Intégration du Commerce dans les Stratégies Nationales de Développement

Jun. 11, 2014. • Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso | EIF sPokes Project

Ce troisième atelier de renforcement des capacités du projet CIR sPokes s’est tenu au Burkina Faso où les participants ont élaboré et adopté une feuille de route pour l’engagement des Acteurs Non-Étatiques. Les travaux de groupes étaient précédés par la présentations du rapport-pays basé sur une évaluation conduite par CUTS International et un cours de rappel sur l’importance de l’intégration du commerce dans les stratégies de développement.

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Stakeholders' Workshop on Trade Mainstreaming in Nepal

May. 2, 2014. • Dhulikhel, Nepal | EIF sPokes Project

This capacity building worshop presented an assessment of current practices for engaging Non-State Actors in Nepal Public-Private Dialogues on Trade. Over two days, participants worked in focus group to design and adopt a roadmap that would help improving such practices towards greater impact of Non-State Actors on trade policies and programmes.

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The Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement: Challenges for Developing and Least Developed Countries

Apr. 1, 2014. • Geneva, Switzerland | EAC Geneva Forum

The implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement in LDCs will require capacity building and technical assistance, for which major investments are needed. Although developed countries have committed to provide assistance for these investments, the costs for developing countries and LDCs might be high and the benefits will only materialize gradually over time. At the 15th EAC Geneva Forum, EAC WTO negotiators discussed the challenges that their countries could face in implementing the agreement and different alternatives to overcome them. The meeting also took stock of the implementation status of several ongoing advocacy campaigns in the EAC for improved policy synergies on climate, food security and trade issues.

Promoting Food Security through Climate Smart Agriculture and Policy Coherence

Mar. 4, 2014. • Bujumbra (Burundi), Nairobi (Kenya), Kigali (Rwanda), Dar-Es-Salaam (Tanzania), Kampala (Uganda) | PACT EAC Project

The five national multi-stakeholder meetings held throughout May 2014 took forward advocacy campaigns for the inclusion of climate issues in trade policy and negotiations (Rwanda, Uganda); inclusion of trade issues in environmental policy (Tanzania); and stronger climate early warning systems (Burundi, Kenya). Participants also discussed existing gaps in research and capacity building related to agriculture, climate change and trade, to which future interventions should be directed.

Non-State Actors in the EIF: Towards a Roadmap

Feb. 12, 2014. • Lusaka, Zambia | EIF sPokes Project

This EIF sPokes capacity building workshop aimed to present the findings of CUTS' assessment of practices for engagement of Non-State Actors in the EIF, as well as finalize and adopt a roadmap for addressing current challenges. A refresher course on the importance of trade mainstreaming for development was also delivered.

The Bali Trade Facilitation Outcomes and the Road Ahead

Jan. 29, 2014. • Geneva, Switzerland | EAC Geneva Forum

The 14th EAC Geneva Forum was held on January 29th 2014 where country updates notes provided by the EAC capital-based partners on “Implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement from the EAC stakeholders’ perspective” were discussed. An issue paper was also provided on the “9th Ministerial Conference: Trade Facilitation Outcomes and the Road Ahead”. Delegates’ interventions focused on the post-Bali agenda.

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