The Trade and Investment programme seeks to build a strong and active constituency that can influence decision-making processes and to promote accountable economic governance practices at the local, national and international levels to develop a trade and investment framework that supports the imperatives for structural economic transformation in Africa.
Structured in line with their developmental imperatives and economic conditions, trade is crucial to the ability of African countries to reorganize their economies and promote equitable development. Appropriate (national and regional) trade and investment policies, facilitated by supportive multilateral trade and investment systems and regimes, are critical to this effort.
The establishment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 1995 provided an institutional framework for the momentum for global trade liberalization and deregulation of investment that had developed since the 1980s thanks to the political sway of the so-called Washington Consensus policies.
The remit of liberalization and deregulation was thus expanded to include investment, competition, government procurement, labour relations, and environment, among other things.