The Deputy Attorney General of Tanzania, Mr. Gerson Mdemu, has called upon senior government officials in Africa to be patriotic when negotiating contracts on behalf of their countries – in order to come up with the best of win-win trade deals that can benefit and boost the economies of their respective nations.

Mr. Mdemu made these remarks on behalf of the Attorney General of Tanzania Hon. George Masaju during the official opening of a regional negotiation skills training programme on ‘International Trade Agreements’ in Dar es Salaam organized by UONGOZI Institute in collaboration with the the Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment (CCSI) of Columbia University in New York, and the International Senior Lawyers Project (ISLP).

“Before we engage to negotiate, interests of our Countries must not only be known but also protected patriotically,” said Mr. Mdemu.

“The question that remains a challenge is how do we best protect interests of our Countries as we deal with international and multinationals agreements? Certainly negotiations skills are highly called for. This two weeks training officially launched today will in a way, provide some answer to this basic challenge,” he said.

On his part, the Capacity Building Specialist of UONGOZI Institute, Mr. Kadari Singo, said that the ongoing training which started on Monday, 19th June 2017 will last for two weeks, and consists of 31 senior government officials from 9 African countries including; Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi, and the hosts -Tanzania.

The programme aims to strengthen negotiation capacities and competencies of senior officials that are involved in negotiating trade agreements, hence impart to such participants sufficient practical skills with a direct focus on International Trade Agreements by using a variety of real case studies mostly from the countries present here or any other that is relevant.

By the end of the training, participants are expected to be able to:

1. Equip with requisite negotiation skills and techniques in order to define and achieve strategic national and sustainable objectives during complex negotiations.

2. Build on the learning gained and apply the negotiation skills in a specific context that is trade negotiations; and

3. Build in general negotiation skills, to master negotiation processes and techniques, apply different negotiation styles and skills, and lead in negotiations to achieve the desired outcome.