A partnership with academia

Building knowledge for trade and development


altThe Virtual Institute organized a two-week study tour for 18 students of the professional Masters program in International Trade from the University of Dar-es-Salaam in Tanzania. The tour, held February 15-26, offered a tailored program covering, among other topics, a course on the economics of commodities production and trade, presented by UNCTAD's Special Unit on Commodities. 

Students were exposed to the research work and policy recommendations of UNCTAD experts, along with those from the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Trade Centre (ITC).  Lucas Saronga, Minister Plenipotentiary at the Permanent Mission of Tanzania in Geneva, also made the time to discuss with the students the role of the mission in trade negotiations in Geneva.

"The sessions … gave us the opportunity to interact with Geneva-based professionals, and to meet our representatives from the Tanzania mission in Geneva, exposing us to the practical dimension of the training, and providing us with opportunities to discuss trade and development issues with experts and professionals in the field," writes study tour participant, Felix Tinkasimile.

Much time was devoted to understanding the possible role of commodities in economic growth and development. The importance of the agricultural and mining sectors to Tanzania's economy was also discussed, along with policy recommendations to improve the performance of these sectors.
At the WTO, students discussed the Doha Development Agenda and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). In addition, a full day was spent at ITC, learning about market analysis tools and examining data related to Tanzania.
"The tour included hands-on training on the use of trade-related databases and analytical tools, as well as discussions on commodity policy development accelerating our experience on the trade policy environment and familiarizing us with some of the people, questions, data and tools which we may potentially be dealing with in the future, especially in advising our government on commodity policies and WTO issues," adds Tinkasimile.