Trade Not Aid
Trade not Aid
The Make Trade Challenge
– Projects which strengthen local business and sustainable trade
Make Trade (former Chamber Trade Sweden) has run an extensive capacity building program for six years together with local partners in developing countries, co-financed by Sida, the Swedish International Development Agency. The larger program was finished and reported on mid-2017. Since then we have been busy following up on results and designing our new program, the Make Trade Challenge and Make Trade Women.
Make Trade’s strength lies in the many close cooperations and partnerships we have built over the years with local member-based business organisations (BMO). Another strength is our focus on women’s economic empowerment and the unique network of women business ambassadors weve co-created.
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Key results from our projects
- Global network with ambassadors for women’s economic empowerment – The most popular and successful part of the CTS program is undoubtedly the CTS network and BMO capacity building program for Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE). The program’s goal is to develop participant networks and exchange experiences and capacitate stakeholders, tied to WEE, BMO and private sector development. Gathered within the framework of this annual event are both the partner organizations we have worked with and a wider circle of business organizations and WEE ambassadors from developing countries. Over the last four years, we have twice convened the WEE network in South Africa, as well as bringing it together in Indonesia and Stockholm. Through this work, we have built a unique platform to promote WEE and entrepreneurship in developing countries; our reach extending to over 100 business women from 30 business organizations and over 15 countries. Not only is this network is an asset for our partners in developing countries, chambers of commerce and industry in Sweden – it also supports our Swedish embassies, our government and Sida.
- Leadership through mentorship – Our Train the Trainers on setting up mentorship programs, has continued to evolve. It is now offered to companies as a service through the African Women Agribusiness Network (AWAN) for chambers in Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Iraq and East Africa. Train the Trainers provides superb added value for entrepreneurs and business people of all ages, inspiring them develop. It is also a service-offering for BMOs.
- Advocacy and training on sustainable industrial development – Our partner organizations have continued to sharpen their ability to work with competitiveness issues and political influence in the context of the seminars and workshops we have done around Industrial Development. The seminars have provided a basis for our partner organizations to strengthen their capacity for political influence and to work more closely with business training and networking. Specific focus issues have included the importance of increased regional trade and removal of trade barriers, discriminatory taxes, labor market regulations. We have also looked at sustainability, health and safety. One example is the regional trade report. Issued in 2015 it shows the importance of harmonizing and promoting internal trade in Africa.
- Promoting an efficient commercial dispute resolution through arbitration and mediation (Alternative Dispute Resolution – ADR) plays a major role for business, trade and investment as it provides efficiency and predictability in solving business conflicts. ADR is also a so-called third-party service, offering a revenue stream for the chamber of commerce. The program has greatly strengthened the ADR capacity for the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce (AACCSA), which already had an arbitration institute but which needed to increase both the government support (signing the UN convention on arbitration) and business deal flow on ADR. Through the program AACCSA has received both national and international recognition and increased the number of cases submitted to the Institute for Commercial Dispute Resolution (ICDR). Thanks to the program the Zambia Chamber of Commerce has also taken an important step towards building up an independent arbitration institute. It has concluded agreements on this with key players. Zimbabwe is now also planning on taking similar steps.
- Promoting market access and direct trade with the Nordic market. An important part of the program results is tied to increased market access and direct trade with Sweden and the Nordic market. Several trade delegations have visited Sweden from East Africa (e.g. EAC countries), Ethiopia and Iraq. Direct trade deals have resulted from this and specifically from the so called Spicy Kitchen trade activities done with AWAN, flower exports from Ethiopia to Sweden and also in the area of green technology with Iraq. The program has also indirectly promoted business between Swedish companies and our partner countries. Over the term of the program, we published several market reports around the importance of lifestyle products and agribusiness for developing countries and have also reported on green technology and regional trade.
- Knowledge and investment in sustainability and green technology – Environmental issues, including environmental technologies in the energy sector, but also widely linked to sustainability, has been a central part of our program, both as a part of the industrial development interventions and specialist training for AWAN’s green ambassadors. Energy efficiency, sustainable industrial production etc. have been key elements in the program. This has led to several companies strengthening their environmental work. Another major result is the green technology investment made by the Ethiopian flower farmers as a result of EHPEA’s training on composting and treatment of waste water.
- Proactive work on Leadership and Ethics as part of the trainings has resulted in several of the BMO’s – as well as individual businesses – taking pro-active action. We would especially like to highlight the work of the Zambian Chamber of Commerce, which has developed and adopted a Code of Good Conduct for Ethics which, had an immediate positive impact on their board and general assembly.