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Hub and Spokes Programme assessed at Africa meeting

5 July 2016
Hub and Spokes II Global Meeting, Dakar, Senegal, 27 – 28 June 2016

The Hub and Spokes II Programme enhances trade capacity in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions by placing trade advisers in national ministries and Regional Economic Communities (RECs).

The Commonwealth’s Hub and Spokes team attended the 3rd Global Meeting for this programme in Dakar on 27 – 28 June.

Alioune Sarr, a Senegalese trade minister, opened the meeting. Speaking in French, he outlined the importance of the programme in Senegal: “The Hub and Spokes Programme has convinced the highest authorities of its pertinence, both in developing capacity and in the assistance that it offers beneficiary countries and Regional Economic Communities.”

The Minister further noted the important contributions the Programme and its advisors have made in Senegal, by helping to negotiate Economic Partnership Agreements, intra-regional agreements and the World Trade Organization (WTO) Doha Development Agenda talks.

Marc Boussey, the European Union’s Head of Cooperation in Senegal, echoed his support for the programme: “The Hub and Spokes Programme has encouraged South-South exchanges in external trade exports and has equally contributed to important national, regional and international agendas.”

Remarks were also delivered by Morgan Githinji, an expert on Market Access at the ACP Secretariat; Paulo Kautoke, Director of Trade at the Commonwealth Secretariat; and Chekou Oussouman, Programme Manager at the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).

The meeting included sessions on Trade Policy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); ACP Countries in the Multilateral Trading System; the Regional Agenda for ACP Countries; and, Aid for Trade (AfT) Partnerships.

It is a challenging time for ACP countries in light of the recently-agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Trade Organization’s Nairobi Package. Trade Advisers from the Hub and Spokes Programme will play a key role for countries and RECs in addressing emerging trade issues in these regions.

Mr Githinji emphasised the important contribution that the Hub & Spokes Programme can make in the future: “The ACP is committed to move forward with the partnership and to strengthen it.”

See more information on the Hub and Spokes II Programme.