847 (XL) Aid for Trade

The Conference of Ministers,

          Recalling the Hong Kong Mandate of December 2005 to the WTO on Aid for Trade;

          Considering the Aid for Trade Task force recommendations to the General Council for the World Trade Organization (WTO) of July 2006 on how Aid for Trade could be operationalized,

          Taking into account the potential contribution that trade can make to Africa's overall development and poverty reduction as well as the importance we attach to mainstreaming trade into our development strategies;

          Considering the need to ensure that African countries build their supply side capacities and trade-related infrastructure to promote their trade and benefit from liberalized trade through effective integration into the multilateral trading system;

          Aware of the need for trade capacity-building to go beyond soft trade-related technical assistance to the support that would deepen the productive capacities of African economies, finance trade-related infrastructure, and at the same time help them to cope with the adjustment costs of regional and global trade reforms;

          Underscoring the importance of regional integration to Africa's effective integration into the global economy;

          Noting that substantial work still remains to be done to make Aid for Trade fully operational;

          Recognizing that the effectiveness of Aid for Trade depends on the delivery of new and additional resources commensurate with the scope of set objectives;

  1. Requests development partners to expedite the remaining work on Aid for Trade so that it can start benefiting the African countries;
  2. Further urges donor agencies and beneficiaries to enhance the effectiveness of Aid for Trade programmes and ensure that they are consistent with and supportive of regional and subregional integration initiatives.
  3. Encourages the involvement of the African private sector as one of the Implementation vehicles for Aid for Trade at national and regional levels;
  4. Requests the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in close collaboration with the African Union (AU), African Development Bank (AfDB) and other international trade institutions to assist member States and regional economic communities in the operatiolaization and implementation of Aid for Trade;
  5. Reaffirms its support to the role that ECA is playing in the implementation of Aid for Trade, especially in assisting African countries to define their national and regional Aid for Trade programmes, and also in the monitoring and evaluation of its effectiveness in addressing Africa's trade challenges;
  6. Calls on development partners to provide, in a predictable and sustained manner, the additional resources required by African countries to build their competitiveness and address supply-side and infrastructure constraints; and
  7. Undertakes to actively participate in defining priorities and programmes of the Aid for Trade initiative as well as in its implementation in close collaboration with our Ministries of Trade.