WTO Chairs Programme (WCP)

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) launched the WTO Chairs Programme (WCP)  in 2010 with the objective of strengthening knowledge and understanding of the trading system among academics, citizens and policymakers in developing countries by stimulating teaching, research and outreach activities in relation to international trade and trade cooperation in universities and research institutions; The Chairs programme enables teams of trade experts on the ground in developing and least developed countries to conduct outreach among policymakers alongside curriculum development and training activities. The Trade Policy Training Centre (ESAMI-trapca) was admitted into the WCP in 2022 under phase III of the WCP after the ensuing rigorous selection process conducted by the WTO Secretariat with the participation of the WCP Advisory Board, 17 institutions  were selected in the current phase. The WCP aims to enhance academic institutions’ expertise on WTO work and issues, with a view to improving research, teaching, as well as outreach to policymakers. These aims are expected to be achieved via i) Research on trade policy and WTO-related matters; ii) Courses with WTO content developed by WCP Chairs; iii) WTO Chairs’ research disseminated to policymakers and other stakeholders; iv) the Number of students trained on WTO work and issues.

WTO Chair holders on behalf of ESAMI-trapca are Dr Caiphas Chekwoti , Head of Centre (WTO Chair) and Tsotetsi Makong , Trade Law and Trade Facilitation expert (co-Chair).

WTO Chairs Programme pillars

Research on trade policy and WTO-related matters generated by the WCP

Research on trade policy and WTO-related matters in the following categories: Books, book chapters, articles published in academic journals, working papers, and a number of theses completed under the Chair’s or Chair’s team member’s supervision.

  • Books published
  • Articles and book chapters published
  • Conference papers delivered
  • Working papers published
  • Trade policy briefs delivered 

Curriculum Development

WCP Chairs’ activities relating to the development of trade-related courses for students and other stakeholders, including government officials, researchers, and private sector professionals. There are two indicators for this output:

  • Students who successfully completed WTO-related courses,
  • New or updated WTO-related courses.
  • Total number of students completing WTO-related courses
  • Total number of new or updated WTO-related courses 


WTO Chairs’ research disseminated to policymakers and other stakeholders.


  • Conferences,
  • Roundtables,
  • Consultative Processes,
  • Outreach Events).
  • Advice Provided To Government Policymakers and Other Stakeholders

ESAMI-trapca Head of Centre Speaks at the ongoing WTO Chairs Conference in Geneva.

Our Head of Centre Dr Caiphas Chekwoti, who doubles up as the WTO Chair in Tanzania spoke on the Investment facilitation aspects of the AfCFTA Protocol on investment, synergies with the #IFD Agreement, including implementation and technical-assistance and capacity-building support needs at the ongoing WTO Chairs conference in Geneva. See below what he said. “Logistics...

Zoom Webinar: African context of emerging IP issues in digital trade and their implications for women.

This webinar was organized by ESAMI-Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa(Esami-trapca) WTO Chairs Program team to discuss the African context of emerging IP issues in digital trade and their implications for women in commemoration of the World Intellectual Property Day.

Trade capacity-building activities launched in Tanzania under Chairs Programme

The launch of trade capacity-building activities in Tanzania under the WTO Chairs Programme was marked at an event on 31 March at the Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa, an institution within the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute. Speaking at the event, Deputy Director-General Xiangchen Zhang said: “We are confident that the appointed team...