The role of parliamentarians in the domestication of trade agreements

Statement of need

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.

Expected training outcomes

  • An ability to think critically, strategically
  • An appreciation of the economic effects of trade policy
  • A deep understanding of the conceptual complexities of liberalisation and their implications on the domestic economy and regional integration
  • Understanding the historical aspects of the political economy of international trade
  • Advanced knowledge of the role of parliamentarians in the negotiations and formulation of international trade norms and rules
  • An enhanced understanding of the linkages between international and regional to the national economic and development agenda
  • Understanding trade policies that are subject to international trade negotiations and their relationship to national policy space
  • An ability to reconcile the need for domestic policy space and create competitive regional and continental markets
  • Knowledge of accountability mechanisms associated with negotiation and implantation of trade agreements
  • Review the rationale behind creating consultative and substantive links with various stakeholders and constituents


  • Familiarizing parliamentarians with economic issues subject to international trade negotiations and their implications on their regions as well as their countries.
  • Economic dimensions of international trade agreements and negotiations but also on their implementation implication.
  • The political economy of international trade negotiations provides context to the historical foundations of international economic law and recent developments as well as potential developments.
  • Domestic dimensions of international trade include an overview of checks and balances that must inform parliament’s interaction with the executive, the private sector and civil society.
  • Exposé of global best practices and link to key pillars of the economic agenda that underpins.

Target group

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

2 Weeks

Venue and Dates

Venue: Kampala, Uganda
Date: 5 – 16 August 2024

Course Fees



    Self EmployedEmployedNot Employed

    Puplic/ParastatalPrivateRegional/Civic organisationsAcademic Institution