*BY Paul Ejime
Regional CSOs continued their workshop on Trade Facilitation Advocacy in Dakar on Saturday with an overview and analysis of the 1995 Kyoto Trade Facilitation Agreement and the 2013 revised Bali Accord.
Col Guidado Sow, a Trade Facilitation and Customs Affairs Expert examined various Articles of the Agreement, the objectives as well as the interventions of the World Trade Organisation and their impacts on Africa.
He stressed the importance of political will and transparency from national to regional and global levels for more competitive and equitable trade that would benefit West Africa.
Justin Bayili, a trade and private sector expert x-rayed the regional Common External Tarif, its effectiveness and challenges in relation to Trade Facilitation in West Africa.
In examining the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme, Dje Kouame, a Trade Expert, said the effective implementation of the scheme could boost the benefits of Trade Facilitation in the region
Prof Fatou Sarr Sow, director of the Gender and Family Institute at Dakar’s Cheikh Anta Diop University, dealt with Gender Mainstreaming in advocacy for Trade Facilitation.
She examined the social classification, concept, analytical tools and scientific approach to gender issues “Gender is not men and women, but about science and the relationship between men and women” she stressed.
In Africa, she said, gender issue was about “domination and unequal system,” reinforced by perception and bias against women.
Prof Sow called for a transformation change to the negative perception and the elimination of gender the bias to maximise the contributions from a large section of the population at the national and regional levels in relation to trade facilitation.