Annual Conferences

11th Annual TRAPCA Conference

The last decade has seen the emergence of two new critical dynamics in the international economic arena – the rise of
China as a great power alongside the increased inclusion and role of Africa’s economies. Specifically relevant for this conference is the international economic legal relations emerging between China and many African countries. Those legal relations span everything from agreements and the regulation of: trade in goods and services; Chinese foreign direct investment in Africa; Governmental and regional bank finance projects; International intellectual property; and all other parts of the field of international economic law. As a new and increasingly important part of the international economic legal order there is much to be gained in our understandings of these new dynamics in international economic law (“IEL”). This is especially the case if scholars that study in relevant areas, especially Chinese and African IEL scholars, are able to share their research and ideas.

Read More
Paper # Tittle Download
TPW1301 Do Financial Reforms and Financial Development Enhance Merchandise Trade Performance_ View
TPW1302 Innovation and Agricultural Exports – case of sub-Saharan Africa View
TPW1303 Understanding the Political Economy of Crude Oil Rent Collectionin Africa -Lessons and Strategic Policy Options View
TPW1304 Use of the WTO Dispute Settlement System by LDCs and LICs View
TPW1305 What drives regional economic integration_ Lessons from the Maputo and North-South Corridors View
TPW1306 Situational Analysis of Legal and Policy Framework for Intellectual Property Rights in EAC, SADC and COMESA View
TPW1307 Assessment of the effects of regulatory regime on the cost of air transport in the East African Community View
Paper # Tittle Download
TPW1301 Do Financial Reforms and Financial Development Enhance Merchandise Trade Performance_ View
TPW1302 Innovation and Agricultural Exports – case of sub-Saharan Africa View
TPW1303 Understanding the Political Economy of Crude Oil Rent Collectionin Africa -Lessons and Strategic Policy Options View
TPW1304 Use of the WTO Dispute Settlement System by LDCs and LICs View
TPW1305 What drives regional economic integration_ Lessons from the Maputo and North-South Corridors View
TPW1306 Situational Analysis of Legal and Policy Framework for Intellectual Property Rights in EAC, SADC and COMESA View
TPW1307 Assessment of the effects of regulatory regime on the cost of air transport in the East African Community View
Paper # Tittle Download
TWP1101 Africa-China Investment Agreements – trends, tricks and traps implications for broader Africa-South Economic Cooperation View
TWP1102 Africa’s Agrarian Revolution – Legal and Policy Prescriptions for Impact Investment View
TWP1103 Aid for Trade, Adjustment Costs and Policy Options for the EAC View
TWP1104 Arab Sovereign Wealth Funds and Investments in Land and Water in Sub Saharan African Countries View
TWP1105 COMESA state of play regional integration View
TWP1106 Drivers and the challenge of the energy land water nexus in sub-Saharan Africa View
TWP1107 Exchange Rate Policy and Africa;s Foreign Trade – a Panel Cointegration Analysis View
TWP1108 Exchange Rate Sensitivity of Foreign Trade – Evidence from Malawi View
TWP1109 Foreign Direct Investment in Developing Country Farmlands – case of Acquisition or land grabbing? View
TWP1110 Foreign Investment – A potential source of funding land redistribution in South Africa? View
TWP1111 Foreign land acquisitions in Africa – an analysis of the impact of individual deals on local communities View
TWP1112 Foreign land acquisition agreements of Ethiopia – will they achieve major intended goals? View
TWP1113 Foreign land deals in Africa – policy implications for agribusiness development and poverty alleviation View
TWP1114 Implications of large scale land acquisitions by foreign investors for Nigerian Agricultural Policy reforms and Foreign Investment drive View
TWP1115 Infrastructure and Intra-member trade – case of ECOWAS View
TWP1116 Land grabs for biofuels and carbon farming – risks and opportunities for Africa View
TWP1117 Large scale land acquisitions for investment in Uganda – can it yield equitable benefits for small holder farmer? View
TWP1118 Large-scale land acquisitions in Africa – a contractual approach View
TWP1119 Proliferation of RTAs_Complementing or supplementing multilateralism? View
TWP1120 The foreign land purchases or the legal rights and obligations of the major players in the context of sustainable development in Africa View
TWP1121 The Neo-Liberal Turn in Regional Trade Agreements View
TWP1122 Towards an effective legal scrutiny of Foreign Direct Investments in Africa – revisiting the activities of Ramatex in Namibia View
TWP1123 Trade outcomes in Africa’s regional economic communities draft paper for TRAPCA trade policy forum, 2011 – Regional Economic Communities in Africa and Institutional framework View
TWP1124 Transnational acquisitions of land rights – implications for African economies View


5th Annual trapca Trade Conference 25th – 26th November 2010, Arusha, Tanzania

Theme:The Dragon’s Forays into Africa

The Surge of Sino-African Trade and Investment Ties and its Policy Implications”

Introduction and Context

For decades, world trade has been dominated by commerce both among developed countries-the North-and between the North and the developing countries of the South. Since 2000 there has been a massive increase in trade and investment flows between Africa and Asia. Trade levels between China and Africa has gradually increased from $10 billion in 2000, to an estimated $55 billion in 2008. Analysts predict this level may rise to hit the $100 billion mark before 2010, in which case China will become the most important foreign actor on the continent. The increased level of trade underscores Africa’s growing importance to China. China is investing heavily in African oil exploration to help meet its rapidly-growing consumption. The new data suggest Chinese firms are beginning to diversify beyond oil and natural resources into a broad array of industries-a trend that could lead to more sophisticated products being produced in Africa and help Africa more fully participate in world commerce.

In the context of expanding trade relations, the Chinese are making a foray into the African financial sector. In 2007, China Development Bank, which has an estimated asset of $440 billion entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Bank for Africa (UBA), evaluated at $5 billion. Chinese firms are also taking on significantly more construction projects in Africa, most notably infrastructure works. But Africa is also buying more Chinese-made goods, the figures show. Exports from Africa to Asia tripled in the last five years, making Asia Africa’s third largest trading partner (27 percent) after the European Union (32 percent) and the United States (29 percent), according to a recent World Bank study on African trade relations with China and India. This lively trade relationship is coming against the backdrop of continued concerns about the economic future of Africa and its 300 million poor; but also at a time when many are hailing progress in Asia that has lifted some 400 million out of extreme poverty in the last 25 years. Many wonder if the same “miracle” can occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. While growing Chinese trade and investment is cause for optimism, some analysts and experts are cautioning that there are major asymmetries in the economic relations between the two regions. China’s comparatively high tariffs on Africa’s leading-and highest value-exports prevent Africa from fully tapping into these markets. Africa’s exports account for a mere 1.6 percent of what Asia receives from the rest of the world, according to some studies. In spite of the need for caution, “skyrocketing” Chinese trade and investment in Africa represents the beginning of a change in trade patterns. What is going on between China and Africa is part of the broader trend in the world of rapidly growing South-South investment and trade-trade among developing countries; and trade with China is producing goods affordable to Africans and Chinese, that are either being sold in Africa or exported to China, or to a third country. At the same time, more and more Chinese firms are seeking to manufacture and export sophisticated components, such as those produced by the South African auto parts industry, to the global market. This is allowing Africa for the first time to enter into this network of more sophisticated third-country global exports. If African countries are to benefit more from their trade with China, they must sustain reforms and also exploit the potentials. In this regard, the conventional remedy of reduced trade barriers will not be enough. More important are “behind-the-border” reforms to encourage competition, strengthen market institutions and improve governance in African nations, and “between-the-border” reforms in both regions, to reduce international transactions costs. Moreover, what is needed is something that Africa lacks: infrastructure-roads, airports, transit systems and telecommunications. Against this backdrop, there is intense interest by policy makers and businesses in both Africa and Asia, as well as by international development partners, to better understand the evolution and the developmental, commercial, and policy implications of African-Asian trade and investment relations. This interest is reflected, perhaps most notably, in the South-South discussions held during the African-Asian summit in Jakarta in April 2005 celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Bandung Declaration, where the dramatic rise in international commerce between the two regions figured prominently, as well as at the July 2005 G-8 summit in Gleneagles, where the leaders of the North underscored the growing importance of South-South trade and investment flows, especially as they pertain to the prospects for fostering growth and poverty reduction in Africa.

Working Papers

Paper # Tittle Download
TWP1001 African Regional Trade Agreements as Flexible Legal Regimes View
TWP1002 Enhancing foreign market entry by the East African Community – Lessons from European Union View
TWP1003 Enhancing the tradability of SSA’s exports – what can institutions do? View
TWP1004 Enhancing Tradability of Agriculture in SSA_ Matovu View
TWP1005 Informal Cross Border Trade of Agricultural and Horticultural Commodities between Cameroon and EMCCA neighbours View
TWP1006 Microfinance for rural entrepreneurship – theory and issues View
TWP1007 Proximity, Regional Integration and Weak Trade among African Countries – Perspective from SADC View
TWP1008 Services trade in Africa – unilateral reforms, Regionalism, multilateral commitments and economic growth View
TWP1009 The Contribution of Major Export Commodities of Ethiopia to the Instability of the Country’s Export Earnings View
TWP1010 Towards Climate compliant SA trade regime View
TWP1011 Trade Policy and Poverty reduction View
TWP1012 Trade policy and trade facilitation for African renewed economic growth – the case of ECOWAS View
TWP1013 Why ghana should implement certain international legal Instruments relating to international sale of goods Transactions View



The Fourth TRAPCA Annual Conference will be held from the 26th to the 27th November 2009 in Arusha, Tanzania. The Conference is coming at a time when the world is experiencing the worst financial and economic crisis since the recession of the 1930s. Under the theme: “Looking Ahead: Implications of the Global Financial/Economic Crisis on the Trade Activity Path for Developing Countries” the Conference examines the global financial/economic crisis with a view to propose how the crisis should be approached by policy makers in developing countries, especially African and Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

The financial crisis engulfed the world economy in levels unprecedented in recent history. Much as it is currently more pronounced in the developed world, low income and least developing countries are already feeling the adverse effects. The global economic meltdown triggered by the financial crisis poses wide reaching consequences on the already fragile economics of most of the developing countries, and in particular Sub-Saharan Africa. The ability of these countries to harness the trade opportunities and gains hitherto made on trade and development is seriously threatened. The economy wide implications and particularly the ability of the low income and LDCs to cope and realize their expectations in the global trading regime are less obvious and require the full attention of policy makers. The poorest countries for example need substantial help if they are to take on new WTO commitments. Critical among these resources are appropriate technical assistance and capacity building aid. The current crisis implies a likely contraction of these critical resources as the developed countries redirect their limited resources to the recession generated domestic problems.

The 2009 Conference re-examines the global economic crisis with a view to bring out their relationships with developing country financial markets, commodity markets and productive capacity and to propose how the crisis should be approached by policy makers in African and LDCs.

In the medium to long run, it can be expected that foreign investment in Africa will reduce as the credit squeeze takes hold. Furthermore, foreign aid, which is important for a number of African countries, is likely to decline with gloomy implications for attainment of the Millennium Development Goals. This is likely to trigger increasing pressure for debt repayment as the crisis gets deeper and the international institutions and western banks that have lent money to Africa need to shore up their reserves. This could cause further cuts in social services such as health and education, which have already been affected due to crises and policies from previous eras.

The degree of dependence on international trade by developing countries has been greatly on the rise. Dependence on international trade appears to be highly correlated with exposure to international markets and therefore exposure to the financial/economic crisis. Developing countries in general and SSA in particular are highly dependent on commodity exports for their foreign exchange earnings. This is largely supplemented by Foreign Direct Investment inflows and donor aid. The current economic crisis poses significant threats to all these channels of foreign exchange earnings. These threats in turn translate into rising unemployment, falling family incomes and adverse social outcomes.

The main concerns arising from these phenomena include declining international demand, falling commodity prices and demand driven drops in exports of developing countries. This will be exacerbated by declining remittances, deficit of credit and trade finance, capital outflows and contracting investment. It is imperative to assess the effects of the crisis on merchandise trade flows, goods sectors affected, effects on bilateral and regional trade flows, impact on trade finance, effects on commodity prices, effects on services trade and service sectors, and impact on FDI flows. Critical analysis of the implications of these issues is important to inform policy makers of the gravity of the concerns particularly for SSA countries.

From a policy perspective, the assessment of the transmission effects through the main trade channels highlighted above to employment, family incomes, health outcomes and capacity building initiatives that have significant donor support is important.

The impact of the global economic crisis is one aspect of the concern. The other aspect is the implications of the responses of developed countries to the crisis. The policy responses of the developed countries exhibit an inherent heightened protection threat. There is an increasing implementation of measures to safeguard domestic industries and employment, reduction of imports, increasing the tariffs within the bindings, providing WTO allowed subsidies, applying non-tariff measures such as restrictive health, safety and standards. These responses are likely to alter the competition environment to the disadvantage of developing countries.

Analytical discussions are critically needed that cover options for mitigating impending protectionism as countries generate responses to the crisis, support options for resuscitating the drying trade finance, options for equilibrating international supply and demand in the commodity market at both national and multilateral levels. Policymakers are also yearning for options for public investment programmes that facilitate inward foreign investment in the face of diminishing FDI flows. Likewise, options for enhancing south-south cooperation to mitigate the declining developed country market demand are imperative. In addition, options that focus on sustaining trade performance through improved productivity and competitiveness at the national level, and options that focus on long-term opportunities should constitute key discussion issues.

It is in the context of the above highlights that the fourth annual trapca conference is organized.

Objectives & Key Issues

Against the above background and context, the objectives of the Fourth trapca Annual Conference will be to:

Enhance, through presentations and interaction, the understanding among trade practitioners and policy makers, of the nature and extent of the global financial/economic crisis and its implications to developing countries, particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Examine the models and options for mitigating the adverse effects of the global financial/economic crisis on trade and development performance of developing countries, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa.Suggest the trade activity pathways available to developing countries (particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa), in light of the global financial/economic crisis.

Key Issues

Examining the nature, extent and ramifications of the global financial/economic crisis in the context of trade.

Identification of the effects of the global financial/economic downturn on the economies of the developing countries, especially those in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Establishing the trade-related effects of the global financial/economic crisis.

Methods, tools and policy options for mitigating the adverse effects of the global financial/economic crisis on the developing countries, particularly those in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Working Papers

Paper # Tittle Download
TWP0901 The Global Food Crisis – Where is Africa’s Voice in the International Legal Regime for Food Aid- View
TWP0902 Economic Slow down – implications for growth and trade in sub-Saharan Africa View
TWP0903 Foreign Policy in the Shadow of a Global Financial Crisis- U.S – Africa Trade and Investment Relations under an Obama Administration View
TWP0904 Mitigating the Impacts of Financial Crisis on African Countries View
TWP0905 The aid versus trade debate – are we asking the relevant questions_ View
TWP0906 Tariff escalation and African countries – who are the real friends-
TWP0907 Implications of plant breeders rights on food security of developing countries – case of Ethiopia View
TWP0908 Negotiating a development friendly services chapter in the EPAs View
TWP0909 Trade and Aid in Africa’s growth performance – an investigation View
TWP0910 Trade, WTO and the fate of selected African countries View
TWP0911 Trade and growth impacts on air pollution in the aggregated sub-Saharan Africa and selected African countries View



Multilateral, Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements: Emerging Scenarios and Challenges for African and Least-Developed Countries.The trade agreements have become the main vehicle of global economic integration since the last decade of the 20th century. At the centre of this development are the multilateral trade agreements under the World Trade Organization that are being further strengthened and expanded under the on-going Doha Round of trade negotiations. At the same time, the number, participants and coverage of various inter-regional, regional and bilateral trade agreements has been on the increase as well. In fact a larger share of trade flow is taking place under the latter than under multilateral commitments. Moreover, intentions to launch negotiations on further inter-regional, regional and bilateral trade agreements are expressed every month both by developed and developing countries.Trade agreements, whether multilateral, inter-regional, regional or bilateral, are no more about traditional trade measures (i.e., customs duties and border measures) only. They now cover many issues that are directly linked to domestic policy areas, such as, intellectual property, investment, domestic regulation related to services, competition, public procurement, standards , etc. This presents a clear trade-off, particularly for developing countries, between increasing predictability of market access for their exports and reducing the national policy space to adopt pro-development industrial, technological, fiscal, monetary, and employment policies.

Working Papers

Paper# Tittle Download
TWP0801 Impacts of Trade Intensity in China and India on the Aggregated Sub-Saharan Africa Economic Growth View
TWP0802 Assessment of performance of economic integration in Least Developed Countries View
TWP0803 EPA negotiations and RI in Africa View
TWP0804 FTA of Eastern and Southern Africa Is it Feasible View
TWP0805 Obstacles to economic integration in Africa View
TWP0806 Trade, Development and regional integration in Africa- EPA’s contribution to regional (dis)integration in decision-making in Sub-Saharan Africa Public Sphere View
TWP0807 African Countries And The WTO Negotiations On The Dispute Settlement Understanding View
TWP0808 AID for trade for LDCs in the global trading system View
TWP0809 Assessment of trade facilitation and competitiveness of Cameroon’s coffee sector – implications for trade liberalisation View
TWP0810 The impact of East Africa Community customs union on Uganda economy – a computable general equilibrium (CGE) analysis View
TWP0811 Feeling the stones – new thinking on trade and development View