Experts Meet to Determine the Methodology for Measuring the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Aid-For-Trade to Africa.


ECA Press Release No. 42/2010

Addis Ababa, 31 May 2010 (ECA) -An Expert Group Meeting and Workshop on Aid for Trade and Africa’s Trading Capacity opened Monday 31 May at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The three-day workshop is being attended by trade experts from around the world, and will examine the total aid-for-trade flows to Africa and methodologies for determining its effectiveness.

In a message read on his behalf by Mr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, Chief of Staff, United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, said the meeting is critical as trade is one of the key pillars for bringing sustainable development to Africa.

He noted that Africa’s poor trading position was related to supply-side constraints including infrastructure bottlenecks, which aid-for-trade flows are seeking to improve. 

“Infrastructure and productive capacity building are the two categories receiving most Aid for Trade resources in Africa. This is not surprising because weak infrastructure and the weak productive capacity are the two most trade binding constraints for Africa,” he said.

He concluded that ECA is determined to work with partners to ensure that Africa becomes a key player in regional and international trade.

The overall objective of the workshop is to examine how effectiveness of Aid for Trade can be assessed, what are its impacts and how Aid for Trade can support regional integration processes in Africa.

By examining selected studies that have used different methodologies to assess the effectiveness of Aid for Trade; and by providing a forum for a dialogue between donors, African countries and Africa’s regional economic communities, the workshop will help to bridge differences in interpretation.  It will also determine aid can be better used to support regional integration in Africa.

The expected outcomes of the meeting are:

(a) Refinement of the methodologies for measuring the impact of Aid for Trade.
(b) Enhanced support for clear and focused strategies for regional integration among national and regional partners, including RECs, bilateral donors, regional development banks and international financial institutions.



The international community under the auspices of the WTO agreed to launch the Aid for Trade (AfT) initiative in 2005 during the Hong Kong WTO Ministerial Meeting. The main objective of AfT is to help Africa and other developing countries to overcome their infrastructure and supply side constraints so to benefit from increased trade integration and address the challenges such as those faced by the African countries.


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