Monday, June 19, 2017

Uongozi Institute seeks to increase Africans’ capacity in negotiating contracts

By John Namkwahe @johnteck3

Dar es Salaam. The Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development (Uongozi Institute) has started a two week regional trade negotiations skills training programme that focuses on equipping officials with skills and techniques to secure trade contracts that benefit their countries.

The training, launched on Monday, will see trainees from eight African countries including Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Namibia and Uganda, acquire negotiation skills.

Officiating the opening of the programme, Tanzania Deputy Attorney General Gerson Mdemu said the training comes at the time when Africa really needs win-win contracts.

"To ensure a win-win situation when signing trade negotiations, it is essential to have requisite skills and techniques. This training progremme, then, comes at the right time,” he noted.

Mr Mdemu clarified that the training session has not been prompted by the ongoing mining controversy between the government and Acacia Mining PLC over metallic mineral concentrates saga. “This is part of the annual training programmes, planned way in advance. It has nothing to do with the ongoing mineral controversy,” he said.

The government and Acacia Mining as well as its parent firm, Barrick Gold Corporation, are set to start talks over the issue. At the centre of the controversy is the allegations, leveled by two presidential committees, that Acacia Mining has been under-declaring its mineral ore exports, denying the government trillions of shillings in revenue.

Head of Capacity Building Department at Uongozi Institute, Mr Kadari Singo said the programme is being implemented in collaboration with international experts from Columbia University, Centre for Sustainable Investment (CCSI) in New York, and the International Senior Lawyers’ Project (ISLP).

The programme will have two sessions, negotiation skills with focus to trade commercial contracts which will take place from June 19th to June 26th, 2017 and a second session to take place from 20th to 27th June, 2017.