The Role Of Parliamentarians In Domestication Of Trade Agreements
The role of African parliamentarians in international economic law-making is largely residual in nature. In most countries and regions, the role of the parliamentarian is only recognized at the latter end of trade negotiations when there is almost no scope review or change deal negotiated by the executive. Furthermore, the structure of most parliaments is designed to largely follow domestic economic issues with little attention paid to economic integration developments in the African continent and at the global level.
However, it is trite that trade and trade policy creates winners and losers at least in a relative sense. There is therefore an urgent need for parliaments to get engaged in the developments that ultimately shape the future of the African continent and that of their countries and regions. This is important given that the clashing twin objectives protecting national policy-making space versus the need to consolidate individual country-based markets into regional and continental markets to be competitive in global markets are always on the table. Consequently, the ongoing negotiations at the AU on AfCFTA serve as an example of a prime area in which these two objectives are at play. This calls for the active participation of parliamentarians intending to not only shape the economic future of their countries but also that of the African continent.
Officials from Trade and Trade Related Ministries and parastatals, officials from Regional Economic Communities, Negotiators, and Regional Integration Practitioners. Private sector player in transport and logistics.
At the end of the programme, participants will be able to:
- Apply critical thinking skills to analyze the economic effects of different trade policies, including their potential benefits, costs, and trade-offs;
- Analyze the opportunities and challenges associated with liberalization, considering factors such as market access, competition, trade flows, and investment patterns;
- Apply knowledge of the historical aspects of the political economy of international trade to analyze and interpret current trade issues and trends;
- Describe the role of parliamentarians in the negotiations and formulation of international trade norms and rules;
- Indicate the linkages between international and regional to the national economic and development agenda;
- Discuss trade policies that are subject to international trade negotiations and their relationship to national policy space;
- Reconcile the need for domestic policy space and create competitive regional and continental markets;
- Describe accountability mechanisms associated with negotiation and implantation of trade agreements;
- Review the rationale behind creating consultative and substantive links with various stakeholders and constituents.