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Building knowledge for trade and development

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Dar-es-Salaam University visits Geneva organizationsTwenty-nine graduate students from the University of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, have ended an eight-day study tour of Geneva trade and development organizations. The workshops, organized by UNCTAD covered the broad issue of economic development with a focus on commodities.

"This has been a memorable and invaluable experience," said Charles Lufurano Domician, graduate student at the University of Dar-es-Salaam. Domician was one of 29 students attending an eight-day study tour in Geneva from 18 to 27 April. "The students who attended the course," said Domician, "are now in a position to advise the Tanzanian government on commodity policies and WTO issues".

The tour was organized by UNCTAD's Virtual Institute (Vi) and Commodities Branch. It included over 33 workshops and presentations on international commodities production and trade, and the role of the "Geneva institutions" in international trade and development.

Students worked with staff of UNCTAD's Commodities Branch examining issues related to commodities production and trade – issues of specific interest to their country. They also attended workshops on the broader aspects of economic development, in particular in the least developed countries.

The workshops followed the structure of the Virtual Institute's new training material on commodities, which will shortly be made available to Vi members.

The students also visited the World Trade Organization and the International Trade Centre.

The first part of the programme, on commodities production and trade, contributed towards the final mark of the students' masters degree programme. Students were assessed on their coursework throughout and sat an exam at the end of the programme.

Not only was the tour an invaluable learning experience for the students. It also contributed to the University of Dar-es-Salaam's capacity to deliver in-depth and wide-ranging expertise in commodities and economic development.

It is hoped that a similar tour can be organized again next year.

For more information on the Virtual Institute, see "Development starts at home: making universities more relevant" in the Issues in Brief series.

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