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The use of trade policy to promote economic and social development became increasingly important in the late 1980s and 1990s with the proliferation of free trade agreements and multilateral trade negotiations, under the umbrella of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Imani has worked to support developing countries where the human and technical resources required to participate effectively in such negotiations are lacking.


ICL has extensive experience in assisting governments and regional economic communities in trade negotiations and implementation of regional trade agreements, including COMESA, EAC, SACU, and SADC and various bilaterals. We work directly with policymakers, trader negotiators and actual traders from the private sector to: improve access to markets, streamline border procedures and regional transport infrastructure; facilitate conformity with international product standards; facilitate Public-Private Dialogue; enhance export performance, particularly for marginalized communities; improve trade negotiating skills and strategies across all sectors; and facilitate development of pro-poor trade agreements both within the region and externally.



Featured projects:


The Government of Malawi – Malawi Trade Portal (2015)

Imani participated in establishing the Malawi Trade Portal to support the growth of trade and enhance employment and economic growth. This included identifying trade information through intensive consultations with agencies and trade practitioners to determine precisely what trade-related information needs to be made available to facilitate trade transactions. 

The portal can be reached here


Export Development Fund - Strategic Plan 2016-2020 (2016)

Imani developed a strategic plan for the Export Development Fund (EDF). EDF seeks to promote the growth of the economy investing in the start-up, expansion, diversification, and modernization of export projects throughout Malawi. Imani conducted an in-depth organizational review to facilitate the development of a five-year strategic plan supported by a business plan and other ancillary documents.

Ministry of Industry and Trade - Trade Advocacy Fund Development 

Project focused on identifying Malawi’s trade negotiations priorities and producing a new comprehensive trade negotiations and management strategy. The aim was to improve the capacity of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the National Working Group on Trade Policy (a multi stakeholder forum) in implementing the trade negotiations management strategy and participate in the trade negotiations. It also delivered target training to ensure that Malawi has a pool of trained specialist negotiators.


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