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The 9th TCII Steering Committee of TCII

Posted on: December 14, 2020


The 9th Steering Committee (SC) of the ACP-EU TradeCom II Programme was held at the ACP House on 23 and 24 September 2020. The Committee was chaired by Mr. Escipión Joaquín Oliveira Gómez, Assistant Secretary-General responsible for Structural Economic Transformation and Trade, and assisted by Mrs. Christiane Leong, Expert Multilateral Trade Issues at the OACPS Secretariat and Project Manager for the TradeCom II Programme.

With reference to the reports of the last SC, Mr Gomez noted the very impressive results achieved by the TCII and expressed his appreciation for that. There was consensus on the importance of the TCII as a platform programme under ACP-EU Cooperation. There was consensus on the important gains in key areas in support of trade development for the benefits of the ACP beneficiaries. There was also consensus on the complexity of the results, and the beneficiaries, the partners and his team were of the view that the TCII programme has given very good results.

He further noted with emphasis that this programme has been implemented over 5 years, and has given very good results. He, thus, thanked the persons involved, from the Team Leader and his team, the colleagues at the EU Commission for following up the good implementation of this programme, and the colleagues at the OACPS Secretariat for their commitment.

DEVCO was represented by Mr. Antti Karhunen (Acting Head of Unit DEVCO.C.4) Mrs. Elisabetta Sartorel (Programme Manager - PSD and Aid for Trade Actions). Mr. Antti Karhunen emphasized the point that the EU and OACPS have been jointly implementing the TCII programme for over 5 years now and that has enabled both to timely respond to many developments and trade related needs of the countries that have benefited from this and other programmes. He, in that regard, noted that through the TCII Programme Management Unit and the flexibility that it has had in adapting to changing environments it has been very responsive and really helped the EC and the OACPS. He expressed appreciation to the Team Leader and to the team for this valuable work.

He specifically noted that in the past five years we have implemented over a 100 support programmes and projects under the different components, 50 under the Programme Estimates and 50 under RRF and the seven grant programmes. Basically, we have had a balanced coverage of the three ACP sub-regions. They have been very wisely executed programme in this respect. We really appreciate this work under this programme and the success in delivering quality outputs.

He further noted that it has also been sometimes under very demanding timelines that we have been able to demonstrate that this is a good programme that can respond. Therefore, we are grateful to the PMU and the Contractor (AESA) for the resilience also in the times of the Covid-19, crisis. We appreciate the fact that business continued and ensured that we were able to adjust the functioning of this programme adequately.

Mr. Ahmed Ndyeshobola (Team Leader of TradeCom II Programme) with the support of Mrs. Emma Orellana Diaz (TCII Regional Trade Expert), Mrs. Christiane Haziyo (TCII RRF Manager) and Mr. Oumar Tall (TCII Administrator) presented the activities carried out by the Programme Management Unit (PMU) during the period January-June 2020 and those that will be implemented for the period July 2020 to December 2021, namely the full implementation of the support programmes and projects under Programme Estimate 2, the Rapid Response Facility, the Grant Component and the related administrative and financial issues.

From the 371 project requests received from the ACP beneficiaries, the PMU continued to expand the scope of meeting the needs of the beneficiaries. This translated into a total of 166 support projects under the Programme Estimate (PE) component, 134 support projects under the Rapid Response Facility (RRF), and the five grant contracts and two contribution agreements. The support programmes and projects continue to be developed and implemented under the following five key result areas (KRAs):

  • KRA 1: ACP countries have increased capacity for formulate and implement suitable trade policies;
  • KRA2: ACP countries participate more effectively in trade negotiations and implement trade agreements to their benefit—focusing on EPAs, Regional and WTO trade agendas;
  • Customs systems strengthened in ACP countries;
  • ACP market access opportunities and standards enhanced;
  • Competitiveness and investment opportunities strengthened.

On the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the related responses the Team Leader informed the meeting that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to have significant impact on the implementation of:

  • The four PE2 support programmes that are under implementation for UEMOA, GUYANA, PACIFIC, and HAITI;
  • The many support projects under the RRF; and
  • The seven grant contracts and contribution agreements. 

The impact and related responses toe Covid-19 pandemic thus far, has been as follows:

  • For the PE2 and RRF projects the impact has been in terms of changing the modalities of the delivery of the services from active field activities to mostly remote support;
  • As for the actions under the grant contracts and contribution agreements, these have been impacted in terms of suspension of all or part of the activities for two to six months;
  • All activities under the PE2 and RRF are under implementation in their modified version as will be reported subsequently;
  • Most of the activities under the grant contacts and contribution agreements are now under implementation as will be reported by the respective grantees.

The meeting was also attended remotely, due to COVID-19 restrictions, by representatives of the seven Grantees who presented their respective activity reports and future work plans. The seven grantees are: COMESA Secretariat, UNECA, OECS Commission, OAPI, ESAMI-TRAPCA, FAIMM, REPOA.

During the meeting, the various stakeholders and observers were very positive in their remarks on the Programme’s activities over the period January-June 2020. Furthermore, the work plan for the period up to the end of 2021 was approved by the Steering Committee.

The Chairman, ASG Escipión Joaquín Oliveira Gómez, concluded the discussions by congratulating the work done by the PMU team, the commitment of the Contractor of the Technical Assistance and the confirmed support of the EC in the implementation of the Programme. He also congratulated the seven grantees for their effective progress in the implementation of the actions under their respective grant agreements. The next Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for April 2021.

Programme funded by European Union at the request of the Organisation of African Caribbean and Pacific States - Implemented by AESA CONSORTIUM