Building Consensus

…bringing together stakeholders to raise awareness, build consensus, and increase the development orientation in technical assistance and capacity building on trade and investment

ILEAP Capacity-Building Workshop on Post-July 2004 African Strategies for Bilateral and Multilateral  

Nairobi, Kenya
November 10-12, 2004

Following the failure to agree on a text at Cancun in September 2003, WTO negotiations became increasingly intense in the first half of 2004. Success came at the July WTO General Council meeting, where Members finally agreed on the framework for the Doha negotiations. The General Council decision, otherwise known as the “July Framework”, includes a general text and four specific annexes (on Agriculture, NAMA, Services and Trade Facilitation) as a roadmap for future negotiations on the Doha Development Agenda (“DDA”).

Although the July Framework text addressed some of the issues of interest to African countries, the text leaves unresolved many difficult issues to be negotiated in the next “modalities” phase. The Framework also tends to provide general guidelines rather than firm commitments, and is unclear and ambiguous in various sections. For this reason, close attention must be paid by African negotiators in the modalities phase to ensure that their interests are protected. It is particularly important to establish an understanding of the July framework text and the implications for future modalities negotiations from an African perspective.

Alternatively African countries will enter into the regional phase of the negotiations with the European Union for the establishment of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). The EPAs in various aspects are relevant to provisions of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). All these trade policy aspects are in turn important for the poverty reduction strategy paper (PRSP) process.

The main objectives of the workshop are:
  • Ensure adequate understanding of current state of play in the negotiations; and
  • Discuss the approach to meeting the associated challenges and taking advantage of opportunities.

Nairobi, Kenya: Final Report

Nairobi, Kenya: Programme

Papers and Presentations