Building a Cadre of Competent Trade Experts in Africa

About ESAMI-trapca

ESAMI-trapca’s History

The Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI), is a Pan-African intergovernmental regional management development institute owned by 10 governments in the Eastern and Southern African region, including Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Operating with offices in all member countries, except Seychelles, and headquartered in Arusha, Tanzania. ESAMI is ISO Certified and recognized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) as a Centre of Excellence, boasting over 40 years of experience in management, including strategic planning. ESAMI established the Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (ESAMI-trapca) in December 2006, with the mandate to support LDCs with technical expertise in various facets of international trade, such as trade policy, trade law, trade facilitation, trade negotiations, and the implementation of trade agreements and obligations in African countries.

Functioning as a semi-autonomous entity within ESAMI, ESAMI-trapca’s corporate governance structure reports to the ESAMI Board through the Director General of ESAMI. The Board comprises Permanent Secretaries from Ministries of Public Service or representatives from the 10 ESAMI Member States. The Board is responsible for ensuring efficient management of the Centre, providing policy directives, and offering strategic guidance for ESAMI and ESAMI-trapca. The Centre also has an Academic Advisory Council (AAC), that serves as an academic advisory organ to the Centre. The AAC comprises internationally recognized experts in international trade aspects with a focus on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Africa. The AAC supports ESAMI-trapca in maintaining academic standards, course relevance, and training development, and facilitates networking with suitable experts.

The Experts have been drawn from Academia, UNCTAD, WTO, WCO, AfCFTA, WIPO and other trade-related development partners. The Centre’s mandate is anchored on introducing new, innovative perspectives that foster economic development and sustainability for LDCs and African countries; integration with the multilateral, continental and regional trading system. With a broad reach, ESAMI-trapca has over the past 17 years of its existence trained officials and supported officials from over 47 African countries, including all the 8 Regional Economic Communities (RECCs). The Centre provides tailored gap analysis, informed strategic support, research, consultancy, and training services on all aspects of international trade policy, trade law, trade facilitation, trade finance, climate change, entrepreneurship, and SME development. The Centre also supports research-informed advocacy for enabling policies that foster the creation of environments that stimulate investment and ease of doing business. The main products for the Centre include:

  1. Master of Science in International Trade policy and Trade law (Accredited –Lund University Sweden)
  2. Master of International Trade Policy and Trade Law (Accredited-ESAMI- NACTVET-Tanzania)
  3. Post Graduate Diploma Advanced (Accredited -Lund University- Sweden)
  4. Master of International Trade Finance (Accredited-ESAMI- NACTVET– Tanzania)
  5. Executive Certificate courses in various aspects of International Trade
  6. Consultancy and research in all aspects of international trade.


To be a Centre of excellence in Trade Policy and Trade Law in Africa.



To build and enhance trade and trade related capacities of African countries for effective economic integration at policy development, negotiations, implementation and enforcement processes of international trade.

Our Core Values


We will remain neutral and independent as we carry out our work in order to gain the trust of all our stakeholders

Integrity and Professionalism

We will serve with integrity and professionalism by being accountable and transparent in all our dealings.


We will foster team spirit, collaboration and consultation as a way to maximise the synergy of working together for improved service delivery and to satisfy our customers.

Innovativeness and Creativity

We will be innovative and proactive in seeking better and more efficient methods of service delivery.

Our Guiding Principles

  • A clear priority focus on participants from least developed and other sub-Saharan Africa countries;
  • An ambition to the highest academic standards and to be able to provide university-level education based on the most recent academic scientific evidence, free from any biased political messages;
  • African ownership and total academic independence from any outside interference with course curricula fostered by Lund University; and
  • An inclusive approach to mainstream gender and poverty reduction perspectives in the curriculum in line with the core objective.

The strategic response to the identified African capacity needs on trade is anchored on trapca’s vision to be a centre of excellence in Trade Policy and Trade Law in Africa. This is driven by the mission to build capacities of African countries for effective integration at policy development, negotiations, implementation and enforcement processes of international trade. The main capacity challenges identified from the needs analysis include the limited negotiation skills, policy design coupled with very limited capacity to implement and enforce obligations under the trade agreements entered into by African countries.

In this regard, to generate strategic results from quality training of relevant target beneficiaries, the Centre will leverage on effective partnerships, networking, effective governance and operational efficiency. The strategic results will be generated through the pursuit of the strategic priorities that will guide the Centre’s operations. These among others include offering training with a focus on Africa. This will be supported by strategic partnerships and efficient operations aimed at ensuring the sustainability of the Centre.

Partners Supporting ESAMI-trapca

Trapca’s Strategic Thrust

ESAMI-trapca programmes are based on the trade capacity needs within LDCs and other low income Sub-Saharan African countries. The Centre will continue to ensure that programmes benefit from periodic research carried out in the form of training needs assessment and participants’ feedback. Programme appraisal, tracer studies and impact assessment form important parts of ESAMI-trapca’s training and capacity building process.

The instructional methods of ESAMI-trapca‘s programmes is aimed at providing learners with work workrelated skills and high retention rates of the knowledge imparted. The pedagogy will incorporate multi-modal delivery mechanisms for course materials (e.g. case studies, in-field situational tasks, simulation and role playing, trade data retrieval exercises, and presentation of course exercises and tasks).

Tailor made programmes and courses will be designed to address clients’ specific training needs. These will be conducted on mutual  arrangement at venues and dates convenient to the client.

Trapca’s Capability and Comparative Advantages

As a highly specialised trade policy and trade law training institution, trapca aims at being a converging centre where trade personnel from LDCs and low income countries meet and share experiences on how to engage in the context of the multilateral, regional and bilateral trading systems. As the premier African based, LDC-focused trade policy, trade law and trade facilitation training institution in Africa, trapca’s capability is engrained in the following characteristics:

  • A network of institutional and individual contacts collated through the long history of collaborating institutions ESAMI and Lund University and through trapca’s own credibility.
  • A successful trade policy training institution based in Africa, managed by a competent team committed to effective improvement and innovation.
  • A highly motivated, eminent global faculty of leading scholars in trade policy, trade law and trade facilitation.
  • A highly motivated, eminent global faculty of leading scholars in trade policy, trade law and trade facilitation.