IDG worked through the DFID-funded Trade Advocacy Fund (TAF) to provide assistance in order to enable the country to more effectively participate in the multiple trade negotiations. The TAF Mission was aimed at assisting the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Cooperatives and Marketing (MTICM) of the Government of Lesotho to:
- conduct a review of its current trade negotiations management strategy, including the country’s participation within the WTO and multilateral trading system, agriculture markets, eligible preferential agreements, and regional integration;
- identify and prioritize Lesotho’s short, medium and longer-term requirements for technical, legal and logistical support to trade negotiations;
- and develop a Concept Note for a larger-scale TAF project or series of TAF projects providing possible tailored advice, training, research analysis and logistical support for the purposes of improved participation in and outcomes from specific trade negotiations.
Recommendations for an effective trade negotiations strategy focused on the short, medium and long term, including strengthening the internal capacity for trade negotiation of public sector officials, the private sector and civil society. The purpose of this activity was not only to improve the trade policy regime but also to strengthen trade facilitation so that firms in Lesotho are better able to conduct trade with firms and consumers throughout southern Africa and beyond. Moving forward, the TAF are now implementing a project based on the earlier design work.