Making policies work
  • Publication

    Principles for public-private partnerships - towards sustainability? Lessons from SAGCOT, healthcare in Lesotho, and Better Factories Cambodia

  • Publication

    The EIB's innovative role in ACP countries under the Cotonou Agreement: Options beyond 2020

  • Publication

    Sustainability and human rights in EPAs: A comparative analysis between the Caribbean and African EPAs

The core aim of the Economic Transformation and Trade programme is to facilitate and inform a process of economic transformation in developing countries, in particular Africa, in its various dimensions at the regional and international level.

Economic growth is a necessary but not sufficient condition for poverty reduction – long-term inclusive development outcomes need balanced and equitable growth.

Growth must be accompanied by economic transformation towards more productive and sustainable activities. A vibrant private sector, a diversification away from an over-reliance on natural resources and integration into regional and global value chains is needed. This can be achieved through conducive trade arrangements and the creation of effective regional markets.

Taken together, these conditions form the basis for improved economic governance and regional integration, encompassing physical integration, policy coordination and pooled resources to stimulate production capacities, trade flows and investment.

Many African countries still face major development challenges – but most are working to put in place reforms to strengthen their economies and institutions.

Europe has been Africa’s major trade, investment and aid partner for many years. But the African economic landscape is rapidly changing and European approach must adjust accordingly, even while Europe itself struggles with financial and economic crises.

Because politics and social dynamics matter, greater emphasis must be placed on understanding political and economic realities at work in Africa and beyond in these transformative processes.

Economic Transformation Wordcloud

 Our strategy

The Economic Transformation and Trade Programme will contribute to all four themes of the  2012 – 2016 ECDPM Strategy through our publications and engagement with policy makers.

We focus on the synergies between international drivers of governance and how the objectives of developing countries are supported by international partners:

  • G20 Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth

  • Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation

  • Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals

  • The EU and its ‘Agenda For Change’

  • World Trade Organisation (WTO)

In our role as an independent facilitator, ECDPM is well placed to foster new synergies for dialogue and cooperation on issues of economic transformation, regional integration and trade. We support policy reform processes at local, national, regional and international levels and focus on the role of the

  • European Union (EU)
  • The African Union (AU)
  • African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP)
  • African Regional Economic Communities (RECs)
  • G20

Through this strategy, we aim to facilitate and inform a process of change in the Africa towards a flourishing of trade, greater economic transformation and integration through an agenda set by empowered stakeholders.

Our work

Supporting economic transformation requires a collective effort by a range of policymakers and stakeholders. ECDPM as a non-partisan knowledge-broker and facilitator, has played an important role at in empowering stakeholders to effect positive change.

Our strong reputation and distinctive focus on drivers and barriers to policy implementation has enabled us to bring new partners and new policy insights to the table in various debates.

  • ECDPM continued to partner with the African Union Commission (AUC) and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on a number of trade and regional integration initiatives. We were invited to participate at the Trade and Agricultural ministerial meetings of the African Union Heads of State and Government Summit and the AU-EU Joint trade and Customs Facilitation Forum.

  • Working in collaboration, the African Union (AU) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) developed the Africa Mining Vision, setting out key issues at the national, regional and continental level. Actively involved, ECDPM published From Curse to Purse: Making Extractive Resources work for Development that was presented at the Eighth African Development Forum. As a direct outcome, ECDPM was invited to participate at the International Conference on Mining for Sustainable Development in the Great Lakes Region.

  • ECDPM in collaboration with BUSINESSEUROPE, the Donor Committee on Enterprise Development (DCED) and TraidCraft organised a conference to discuss ways of measuring the development impact of engaging the private sector for development with participants from the private sector, civil society and donor organisations.

  • With several partners, ECDPM organised a high-level panel at the European Development Days focusing on the opportunities and risks of blending. As a result of our discussion paper to government, private sector and civil society stakeholders in Europe, we embarked on a new joint initiative with the US Agency for International Development (USAID)  to expand this stream of research and dialogue activities.

Read more highlights in the ECDPM 2012 Annual Report, 2013 Annual Report


Watch videos from the Economic Transformation and Trade programme, explaining more of the work we do and capturing knowledge from events and workshops


EDD13 Joost Oorthuizen: The Sustainable Trade Initiative

The European Commission, Civil Society Organisations and the private sector - when talking the same language isn’t quite enough