CAPAS-IV project: Strengthening the capacity of African countries to chart a course for policy reform in their service sectors using endogenous analytical and policy-making resources

  • Executing agency: UN/DESA Division for Public Economics and Public Administration
  • Start date: 1 November 1998
  • Total budget: USD 370,581

Overall Objectives of the Project:

The overall objective of CAPAS is to guide and support the development of an endogenous analytical and policy-making capacity for domestic and international trade policy in the field of services in African countries. The main targets of the CAPAS project are African trade ministries, line ministries dealing with services, private sector organizations, and the national consulting and research community. The goal is to provide African governments with tools for assessing and reforming national policy on services in conjunction with the integration of their countries into the global economy through active participation in the WTO multilateral framework for trade services.

Description of work:

1) Four training workshops will be organized to help trade negotiators prepare themselves to the next round of multilateral negotiations on trade in services which is to being on January 1, 2000 in Geneva. These workshops will be take place during the period October 1998 to end of 1999.
2) The project will support an in-dept, independent evaluation by the Carnegie Corporation and IDRC-Canada. The evaluation will be organized in early 1999 to access the impact, success and limitations of the CAPAS project.
3) The results of CAPAS programme will be further disseminated through the preparation of a series of reports based on CAPAS-III and a book
4) Depending on the outcome of the evaluation mentioned in Objective 2 above, further consultations will be held with selected countries involved in earlier CAPAS and a follow-up CAPAS programme will be organized. That programme would differ from the previous one in that it would turn over coordination and management to a small network of institutions involved in the previous CAPAS project that would serve as team leader and would take over like-functions served previously by the specialized UN agencies.

Activities implemented:

Organization of three major sub regional seminars to assist African trade policy makers in preparation for the new round of service trade negotiations under the WTO, assisting the joint IDRC-Carnegies evaluation team of the CAPAS project; dissemination of reports and technical information; and networking with the CAPAS network and other regional institutions to set p follow up activities for the future.

Activities envisaged for the future:


Problems encountered

The project had a slow start due to conflicting schedules of events bearing on the implementation of one of the objectives. Another delay was encountered in 1999 due to conflicting schedules with the WT meeting. However spacing the project bit resulted in a positive externality when the World Bank came on board. The project met all its objectives by 2001.