The African Development Bank (AfDB) has provided USD 2.9 million supplementary funding for the Tripartite Capacity Building Programme (TCBP). The funds will be used to complete critical
activities that are essential to the smooth operationisation of the TFTA.
Among them is the completion of the industrial and Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) databases, training of border staff and women traders in risk based sanitary and phytosanitary measures, finalization of the manual on use of Tripartite Rules of Origin and implementation of the Value Chain action plans that are outstanding.
AFDB President Mr. Akinwumi Adesina confirmed the extra funding when he met Secretary General of COMESA Ms Chileshe Kapwepwe in Abidjan on February 4, 2019.
The two discussed the TCBP and other areas of regional integration that the Tripartite Task Force needs to pursue.
The initial TCBP grant of US 7.5 million was signed in November 2013 to support market integration, industrial and infrastructure development pillars of the tripartite work programme. As the executing agency, COMESA applied for supplementary funding in April 2018 following the depreciation of the initial funding against the USD dollar which had resulted in a reduction of the
amount to USD 7 million.
The mission to the AfDB offices in Abidjan Cote D’Ivoire this January, enabled COMESA to meet with the bank officials and follow up on the matter.
Noting that COMESA was one of the most dynamic Regional Economic Communities (REC)s in Africa, Mr Adesina said this was evident by the high number of AfDB funded projects in the regional bloc.
Ms Kapwepwe observed that a number of programmes implemented by the Tripartite RECs, such as the Tripartite Capacity Building Programme, were aligned to the Bank’s Regional Integration Policy and Strategy.
“The technologies for African Agricultural Transformation and the Trade Financing, programs of the Bank, have ready complementarity in the existing tripartite programmes and are therefore good candidates for this cause,” Ms Kapwepwe said.
The two affirmed their commitment to strengthen the existing partnership between the Bank and the Tripartite RECs by championing programs in which priorities of both institutions converged.
Me Adesina underlined the role of women in trade and called on the tripartite RECs to partner with the Bank in seeking ways to empower women. He further called on partnerships on the area of Investment, trade financing, and development of staple processing zones.
Other officials present in the meeting were the Director for Regional Integration at AfDB Ms Moono Mupotola, the Director of Trade and Customs at COMESA Dr Francis Mangeni, AfDB Regional Integration Officer Ms Zodwa Mabuza and TCBP Programme Coordinator Dr Seth Gor.