The East African Research Capacity Development Foundation (EARCDF) joined the Vi today as a first think tank member from the United Republic of Tanzania, in addition to the two current university members - the University of Dar es Salaam and the Open University of Tanzania.
The idea of EARCDF becoming a Vi member came about upon its establishment in 2012, based on earlier discussions between ex-UNCTAD expert Sam Laird, and EARCDF's trade economist, Johansein Rutaihwa. The application was supported by H.E. Mr. Modest J. Mero, Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations in Geneva.
EARCDF is an independent research institution aiming to support and generate research and information necessary for improving the welfare and socio-economic conditions of the country's people. Its research covers regional integration, trade and investment negotiations, trade facilitation, climate change, food security, trade competitiveness and sustainable development.
In addition to research, EARCDF offers training and seminars, including on trade and investment negotiations, post-Bali trade facilitation, data collection for the global competitiveness report, or the impact of the tripartite FTA negotiations on Tanzania's market access and the country's industrial base. It also provides advisory services, data and information to various development stakeholder groups.
The cooperation between EARCDF and the Vi will be coordinated by the Foundation's director, Prof. Valentine Karugaba, whose areas of research include economic development, trade in goods and services, and trade facilitation. He will be assisted by Johansein Rutaihwa, whose recent papers focus on Tanzania's competitiveness and trade performance, trade facilitation in the East African Community, and FDI spillovers in Tanzania's manufacturing sector.
EARCDF is ready to offer its academic and policy platform to disseminate Vi members' research and host events of the network. They expect that the Vi membership will help them enhance their knowledge in the area of trade and development, and strengthen the links with Vi members and UNCTAD, in addition to those with existing partners, such as the Ministry of Industry and Trade, or the Nordic African Institute.