Pursuing Lasting Impacts

… pursuing lasting impacts through the provision of independent economic and legal advisory support, capacity building and the creation and dissemination of knowledge & information

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ILEAP’s Beneficiaries

ILEAP’s primary beneficiaries are state and non-state actors in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, ILEAP currently focuses on Anglophone and Francophone beneficiaries in West, Central and Eastern Africa.  Beneficiaries can be classified into four categories:

The first category of beneficiaries includes country coalitions.  Here a priority is accorded to the Least Developed Countries (LDC) group; the African Group at the WTO; the African Union; and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States.  These larger groups and coalitions are particularly important for negotiating the rules that govern international trade at the multilateral level, such as the overall modalities that shape WTO agreements, as well as for coordinating efforts to guide the broad parameters in bilateral negotiations e.g. with Europe. Such coalitions are also increasingly take a role in the promotion of cooperation and convergence on policy and regulatory matters.

Regional economic communities (RECs) – or regional groupings more generally – make up the second category of beneficiaries.  This category has taken on even greater prominence in recent years, as the momentum behind various regional integration efforts in Africa has increased, and with it, the trend towards trade and investment policy formulation at the regional level.  This can be seen throughout sub-Saharan Africa, for example in the significant advances in East Africa under the Common Market Protocol, the proposed COMESA-SADC-EAC Tripartite FTA, as well as still on-going efforts towards negotiating (and eventually implementing) Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) between the ACP regions and Europe.

National governments comprise the third category of beneficiaries.  This includes those Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) directly involved with external trade policies and negotiations, as well as sectoral officials, regulatory authorities, and other officials whose input and knowledge are required to promote the taking of informed and coherent decisions with respect to policy reforms, negotiations and eventual implementation.

The fourth category of beneficiaries consists of non-state actors (NSAs), comprising a network of Southern and Northern institutional and individual partners, such as civil society groups, private sector associations and operators, and academia and research institutions.  Such actors often include those most likely impacted by potential or implemented trade reforms on the ground – be it through new challenges or opportunities – and hold much of the knowledge that is essential for ensuring local input and ownership.  A particular emphasis in recent years has been working with private sector associations to better enable their engagement on the policy and regulatory framework in their sector, with the ultimate aim of assisting them to take better advantage of new and existing market opportunities.