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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen the programmes coming out of the Centre for Trade and Regional Industrialisation. The MoU is intended to promote trade and regional industrialisation and infrastructure development through this strategic collaboration.

DTI UNDP MoU signingUNDP Resident Representative in South Africa, Gana Fofang, with Director-General of the DTI, Lionel October.

The partnership between the DTI and the UNDP will ensure that the Centre undertakes and facilitates applied research and analysis, and collects evidence on policies and good practices in developmental regionalism. It will also enable the Centre to develop tools, methodologies and knowledge for strengthening the implementation and monitoring of regional integration, as well as promote intellectual exchange among multiple stakeholders and across disciplines, according to UNDP Resident Representative in South Africa, Gana Fofang.

“We will also promote the dissemination of policies and best practices in the sub-region to support the development of policies at national level,” he said at the signing of the MoU. “In order to ensure results, the Centre will cultivate strategic partnerships with a range of research and policy institutions within the continent and other regions, as well as promote South-South collaboration and exchange of knowledge.”

The newly-launched Centre aims to strengthen regional integration through dedicated research to support the continental integration processes. It also intends to build the capacity of Africa’s trade negotiators in the ongoing Tripartite Free Trade Area and Continental Free Trade Area negotiations.

Director-General of the DTI, Lionel October, says that because the main role of the Centre will be to facilitate the implementation of the development integration approach, it will ultimately promote industrialisation across the whole continent, supporting Africa’s drive to enhance productive capacity.

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