Pete Vowles speaking at today’s WTO Regional Dialogue event

Pete Vowles WTO
Attendees at the first Regional Dialogue on WTO accessions in Nairobi. Photo: Twitter/WTO

Department for International Development (DFID) Head Kenya, Pete Vowles, is speaking during the final day of the first Regional Dialogue on World Trade Organization (WTO) Accessions for the Greater Horn of Africa today.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kenya, the University of Nairobi and the WTO opened the first Regional Dialogue on WTO Accessions for the Greater Horn of Africa on Monday (28 August) in Nairobi, with the focus on regional integration and strengthening the multilateral trading system.

Initiated and hosted by the Government of Kenya, this event is specifically tailored for acceding governments in the Greater Horn of Africa region – Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Comoros. South Sudan is also participating in the Dialogue, as it is planning to submit its application for WTO membership shortly.

Mr Vowles is speaking at the third session which kicks off Wednesday’s events, moderated by Professor Tabitha Kiriti-Nganga from the University of Nairobi’s School of Economics.

According to the programme notes, the session will cover:

“Technical assistance and capacity building is an essential pillar in the WTO accession process, especially for LDCs (Least Developed Countries). Timely response to the specific and evolving needs of acceding governments is critical not only in facilitating the accession process but also maximizing the benefits they can derive from accession-related reforms.  Various support and assistance programmes are available from multilateral institutions and other development partners.  For acceding governments to effectively benefit from the available support, communication and coordination among support providers is important. This session provides a platform for exchange on the accession specific needs that emerged from the previous sessions of the Dialogue.”

The DFID Kenya head will be specifically covering ‘Strengthening Trade Negotiations Skills — Trade and Investment Advocacy Fund 2 (TAF2) and Support for WTO Accession’.

As well as the DFID, other development partners joining the event include representatives of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Executive Secretariat for the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Conference for Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Bank Group (WBG).

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