The aim of the Hub & Spokes project is to promote the effective participation of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in international trade negotiations and to strengthen their capacity to formulate and implement trade policies. International trade is a key component of overall development strategies in ACP countries and the Hub & Spokes project seeks to facilitate the ACP’s gradual integration into the world economy and contribute to sustainable development and poverty reduction in these countries.
The Doha Declaration issued at the Fourth WTO Ministerial Conference in November 2001 identified trade capacity building as a critical element of the development dimension of the multilateral trading system. Since the launch of the Doha Development Round and commencement of negotiations on Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the European Union, the scale of the challenge facing ACP countries has warranted support from the international donor community.
In response, in 2004 the European Commission, Commonwealth Secretariat and Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)—with the support of the ACP Secretariat—launched a joint initiative titled ‘Building the Capacity of ACP Countries in Trade Policy Formulation, Negotiations and Implementation’. The project is structured around the experienced trade policy advisers and analysts that have been deployed across the ACP region. It is this delivery of support to regional organisations and government ministries on trade policy matters that spawned the project title—‘Hub & Spokes’.
Hub & Spokes project has made a real contribution to the negotiating capacity and trade policy settings in the ACP. While the focus of the project varies region to region in the ACP, broadly speaking, the project has focused on three main activities:
1. Training and sensitising key stakeholders in ACP countries on trade policy issues.
2. Supporting ACP countries in formulating, negotiating and implementing trade policies.
3. Supporting ACP countries in developing national and regional consultative networks.
These activities are delivered by the Regional Trade Policy Advisers (or ‘Hubs’) and Trade Policy Analysts (or ‘Spokes’) that have been deployed to the regional organisations and government ministries in the ACP.
Click here for further details regarding project funding arrangements.