About Us

Who We Are

The Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (trapca) is a Centre within the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI), which is an intergovernmental institute that is ISO certified and recognized by UNECA as a Centre of Excellence. trapca was inaugurated in December 2006, with the mandate of providing training and technical expertise on trade issues to professionals in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and low income Sub-Saharan African countries. Situated in Arusha, trapca is owned by ESAMI and in partnership with Lund University in Sweden.

Since its inception made possible by ESAMI and Sida partnership, trapca has focused its efforts on building long-lasting and sustainable solutions to economic challenges and aspirations of indigent sub-Sahara African countries.


Prof. Göte Hanson, trapca’s First Academic Director


The Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (Trapca) was established in 2006 as a joint initiative of the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI) and Lund University of Sweden,

read More

Our Vision

Trapca will develop into a centre of excellence in Trade Policy Capacity Building for Least Developed Countries and other Low Income Countries. We will be the most competitive trade policy training institution internationally,

read More

Trapca’s Strategic Thrust

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

read More

Through its continental reach and employment of a highly contextualised training interventions at conceptual and advance levels, trapca has made visible impact in sub-Saharan trading landscape. trapca’s Capacity Building interventions are premised on a series of evaluations and continuous needs assessments in sub-Saharan African countries as well as trade and trade related goals set by the international community and more importantly self determined needs at the continental level. The interventions target the Public and Private Sectors as well as Civil Society. They keep a keen attention of gender dimension of international trade. Specific training interventions seek to build highly contextualised- Africa centric yet internationally relevant conceptualisation and implementation capabilities sub-Saharan African countries. The interventions inject direct impact by targeting professionals already in the job market.

trapca programs are renowned for their quality by virtue of providing internationally recognised curriculum. The training interventions offer both theoretical and practical dimensions of international and regional trade. A highly renowned internal and adjunct faculty including highly respected scholars such as Prof. Peter van de Bosch, Patrick Low, experts from regional and international organisations and lecturers from universities across all continents of the world are part of the quality seal of approval of trapca’s interventions. These have enriched the quality trapca’s program and provide target beneficiaries with global conceptualisation of international trade as well as its contextualisation within the sub-Sahara African region.

While trapca has achieved tremendous results over the past 10 years (as partly evidenced by the chart below), trade and trade related capacity needs of sub-Saharan African countries far outstrip the available training offered. These needs have been spelled out in international instruments such and the SDGs, AU’s 2063 Agenda, Istanbul Program of Action, Regional Economic Communities agenda and implementation challenges, individual country’s trade policy and sectoral review reports etc. Moreover, this is further spelled out by the growing importance of technology in trade through e-commerce, structural importance of SMEs in sub-Sahara Africa, use of trade defense instruments, sectoral and regulatory aspects of international trade, international standards, trade Finance, trade facilitation, trade and investment, completion policy, NTMs etc.

Given trapca’s assessment of the quantum of sub-Sahara Africa’s trade and trade related needs, although important, short-term training offered by a myriad of entities have barely scratched the surface. Relative to short term interventions, long-term capacity building interventions have proved to yield sustainable impact that is commensurate with trade and trade related needs of sub-Saharan African countries. The outcomes independent evaluations of the trapca interventions and tracer survey of beneficiaries and their institutions on the relevance and impact of trapca’s work has confirmed the need for long-term capacity building interventions that are systematically complemented by short-term interventions. This approach is adopted in trapca’s 5-year strategy spanning from 2017 – 2021. The strategy identifies a need to offer medium and long-term period through a series of multiple entry-multiple exist training programs that offer both self contained and interconnected competencies. 

To confront capacity needs of African countries on a sustainable basis, trapca also works through forging partnerships of mutual interest and benefit with a view to providing highly effective, demand driven and value for money approaches to building directly employable trade and trade related capacities in sub-Sahara African countries. Recognition of cross- sectoral needs of sub-Saharan African countries is key to these partnerships. To date, trapca has partnered with credible entities ranging from the AU, FAO, World Bank, WTO, UNCTAD, ITC, ICSID, IISD, IDEP, individual countries and many institutions. These partnerships have been specific to country specific capacity building and collective capacity building of participants and institutions. This renders trapca a tried and tested platform that has a sustainable convening power by virtue of being an African intergovernmental institution with continental reach and internationally recognized

These courses are made up of pre-selected areas of trainings that the centre offers as open programmes. The courses can be tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of clients. These courses run to a maximum of 2 weeks. These course zeroes in on subject specific issues. Through these courses, the participants interrogate these issues in detail with a view to fostering a conceptual understanding of their significance and relevance at policy formulation and implementation levels. The course is deeply seated within the African experiences and circumstances at national, regional, continental and global levels.
Learn More

These courses are exclusively offered at the request of a client in any trade or trade related areas as well as the areas highlighted under executive courses. trapca has delivered a number of these courses over the years ranging from trade policy tools for analysis of trade data, trade in services, rule of origin, dispute settlement, trade and climate change, trade and food security and many other topics. The duration of tailor made courses is aligned to the needs of the client.

Learn More

These are highly intensive courses that confer conceptual and analytical competencies. These courses are certificated hence the participants are subject to an assessment that determines their level of performance. Each component of the course runs for two weeks.

Learn More