Saana Consulting Ltd, in partnership with the Policy Practice and the IDL Group, has been contracted by DFID Southern Africa to undertake the “Scoping for Design: Supporting Regional Trade and Integration in Southern Africa”.

The new DFID regional trade and integration programme will follow on from Trade Mark Southern Africa (TMSA), DFID’s previous regional trade and integration programme, which closed early in March 2014 following a critical review by the UK’s Independent Commission for Aid Impact.

The new programme is expected to primarily focus on the implementation of trade facilitation reforms in Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to reduce the costs of trading with an explicit focus on the poor, thereby helping to create the conditions for increased trade, competitiveness, growth and poverty reduction.

In particular, the new programme is expected to focus on the following key elements:

  • Support on pro-poor trade facilitation and regulatory reforms related to regional trade and integration in targeted countries;
  • Support to national implementation of regional trade agreements, the WTO Trade Facilitation agreement, and the new COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite FTA;
  • Alignment and complementarity with national business environment reform, value chain, development corridor and hard infrastructure programmes;
  • Alignment and complementarity with other donor, private sector, and non-government actors’ efforts in the region.

The specific focus and intervention areas will be decided by DFID based on the findings and recommendation made by the current scoping for design project.

The project commenced in February 2015 and the consultancy team, led by Mr. Tom Pengelly from Saana Consulting, has undertaken two scoping missions (covering Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana and South Africa,) to meet with a broad range of stakeholders in government, regional economic communities, civil society and the private sector. The scoping for design is currently in its final phase, due to be completed in January 2016, where detailed programme options are being developed for DFID to consider for the design of the new programme.