Vital Training Centre Loses Swedish Funding: A Valuable Trade Policy Training Centre Located in Arusha, Tanzania and Originally Set Up the Swedish Aid Agency Sida, Can No Longer Rely on Funding from That Source. but the Management Is Determined to Find Other Ways to Fund This Vital Organisation

By Krause, Par | African Business, February 2013 | Go to article overview

Vital Training Centre Loses Swedish Funding: A Valuable Trade Policy Training Centre Located in Arusha, Tanzania and Originally Set Up the Swedish Aid Agency Sida, Can No Longer Rely on Funding from That Source. but the Management Is Determined to Find Other Ways to Fund This Vital Organisation


Krause, Par, African Business


IN ORDER TO GUARANTEE THE SURVIVAL of the pan-African trade training centre Trapca, the management of the institution is now trying to get the private sector on board. If successful, the former aid-dependent institution will turn into a private-financed business-and trade supporting organisation.

The Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (Trapca) was established in 2006 by Swedish aid agency Sida in cooperation with Lund University, Sweden, and ESAMI--Eastern and Southern African Management Institute.

The purpose of the institution is to train and empower students from least developed countries (LDCs) and lower income countries in issues related to international trade, in order to strengthen the countries' capacity in the area of trade policy. Since it started, about I.,800 students from both the public and the private sectors from the whole of Africa have improved their knowledge of trade agreements and their skills in trade negotiating at the centre's location in Arusha in northern Tanzania.

The managers and the financiers who employ the students are pleased with the results, and a number of follow-up studies shows that former students perform better in their assignments after attending Trapca's courses. But the centre's situation will soon change rather dramatically.

"Our biggest challenge for the near future will be funding. According to our business plan, we are looking at different options when it comes to financing our activities," says David Kalaba, the principal finance and administration officer at Trapca in Arusha.

From 2015, the aid agency Sida will no longer guarantee financing for the courses--in 2012 the aid agency put $4m into Trapca but according to a new contract, fees paid by the students or by students' employers will be one of the main sources of funding.

"But fees are not a realistic option in a longer perspective," Kalaba says, adding that despite the fact that the demand for Trapca's courses is the same, the number of students has dropped by 30% since the fees were introduced. This year, the fees for students from LDCs are $400-800 for the shorter courses and $8,800 for a full master's programme. These fees are subsidised. Students from low income countries (LICs) receive lower subsidies, and pay double these amounts. …

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