The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) is holding a three-day workshop this week on the trade dispute settlement system of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to identify and resolve trade concerns of Ecowas member States in line with the sub-region’s economic integration vision.

The workshop, which will be held in collaboration with the Trade Advocacy Fund (TAF) of Britain’s Department for International Development (DFID) and GIZ, the German International Development Co-operation agency, is taking place in Dakar, Senegal from Wednesday to Friday.

A statement from the Ecowas Commission says the workshop programme will seek to emphasise the concept of international trade disputes as an important trade policy tool through presentations on the WTO dispute settlement system, with particular attention to the experiences of developing countries.

Furthermore, the initiative will serve to introduce the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL), which provides legal support to developing and least developed countries in defending their legal interests in the WTO legal system.

The workshop also seeks to grant support to Ecowas countries involved in dispute settlement and to equip delegates with the know-how in identifying trade barriers in external markets in order to provide support to domestic exporters.

All Ecowas countries are members of the WTO and so far, four member States — Benin, CAte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Nigeria — have participated in WTO disputes as third parties. However, no Ecowas country has been a complainant or respondent in any WTO dispute.

Source: Nam News Network