This project was funded by AUSAID and ran from June 2013 – September 2014.

The Alliance for Commodity Trade in Eastern and Southern Africa (ACTESA), established in 2009, is a specialised agency of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) with the specific mandate to promote regional integration and the competitiveness of the staple food trade, and to promote better integration of small farmers into national, regional and international markets. ACTESA’s 5-Year Operational Plan (2012-2016) provides a detailed roadmap for implementing the ACTESA Strategy, channelled through the mechanism of the AAPF. However roll-out of this plan will rely to a significant extent on the capacity of the ACTESA Secretariat and its ability to mobilize the necessary resources. There are capacity and operational issues facing ACTESA: its mandate as a specialized body of COMESA, the need to move from a project to a program approach, and to restore and build the confidence of key stakeholders. There is thus a necessity to build the capacity of the Secretariat, especially in capacity in brokering, building and supporting partnerships between public and private actors, and as a knowledge hub on staple food markets in its region.

Imani Development has been contracted by AusAID through their Australia-Africa Partnerships Facility (AAPF) to assist ACTESA in building their capacity to carry out its mandate as a facilitator of policy dialogue and as a knowledge hub on staple food markets in its region.

The main outcomes of this project are to:

  • Enhance capacity of the ACTESA Secretariat to implement key priorities of its Operational Plan
  • Assist key decision makers and the public to better understand and support regional commitments to allow free cross-border trade in staple foods; and
  • For ACTESA to establish a regional knowledge portal that collates information and best practices in relation to staple commodity markets in the region.