The Trade Law Centre (tralac) is an independent, capacity-building think tank established in 2001 as a non-profit organisation which builds trade-related capacity in Africa, assisting countries to improve trade governance and inclusive policy processes to ensure that trade contributes to sustainable development outcomes.
tralac has a core-network business model. The tralac core is lean, with a team of trade experts and a professional team to provide financial, administrative and logistical support for the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of tralac’s work programme.
Speaking to the Single African Market, Executive Director of Trade Law Centre (tralac) said in line with its mission to build trade governance capacity in Africa, supporting trade and regional integration for just and sustainable development outcomes at national, regional, continental and multilateral levels, tralac’s first AfCFTA Masterclass for selected senior and experienced trade journalists across Africa will make a lot a difference in information-sharing across the continent.
“This is the first masterclass for senior and experienced trade journalists across the continent to have journalists who have been reporting on the AfCFTA consistently for quite some time for not only conversations about the AfCFTA and a catch up with the latest development, and in particular the announcement by the council of ministers at the latest meeting at the end of July on the start of facilitated and guided trade which we expect to begin before the end of September, but also in using different media platforms/ opportunities and communicating across so many different channels.” Ms. Trudi Hartzenberg, Executive Director of the Trade Law Centre (tralac), explained.
The selected Senior Trade Journalists on the continent were updated on the current state of the AfCFTA, among others. The journalists were also taken through methods and tools in reporting on AfCFTA.
“We’ve really got to work across channels; and in some constituencies and countries, we do find that print news for example is still extremely important but the advantage of digital media opportunities is that immediate – you are operating across-borders so the barriers that geo-political borders pose to traditional media are simply transcended. We can also reach so many different constituencies through different media platforms, and using social media platforms, for example, is becoming extremely important to provide hot of the press news development but also to get immediate feedback,” the Executive Director of tralac added.
Tralac believes it is setting the stage to building a network of senior trade journalists who will inform the continent on AfCFTA to ensure that the agreement becomes impactful to the continent’s public.
“We have to support the AfCFTA Secretariat; you know they are the focal point for coordinating the negotiations but they also have a much bigger responsibility in terms of monitoring, evaluating and even offering technical assistance to the state parties and non-state parties as the negotiations continue. But with the supplementary role of non-state actors, like tralac, the media become extremely important.” Ms. Trudi Hartzenberg emphasised.