Research Theme 3 - Globalisation and Regional Integration

Sub-Theme 1: Regional and International Trade

The analysis on the relationships between different trade factors is critical in order to increase the understanding of the links, as well as the possibilities of designing policies to assist the country’s development through inter-country trading activities. The importance of this point is central to EAC, SADC and COMESA, which are strongly geared towards trade integration with the overriding objectives of poverty reduction, food and nutrition security, and adoption and mitigation of the impacts of climate change2.

The fact that various stages of trade liberalisation and globalisation will produce winners and losers means that the effect on poverty, climate change and food and nutrition security will have to be taken into account as EAC, SADC and COMESA promote regional trade integration and participate in international trade negotiations. Tanzania’s trade promotion will have to use benefit of the country’s geographical position of being a neighbour to as many as 8 countries with which to trade naturally, and the fact that Tanzania is a gateway to the Indian Ocean for 6 of these countries. Research under this sub theme will specifically focus on all or some of the following areas:

    (a) Dynamics of the formal and informal practices of cross border trade;

    (b) The relationship between Trade, Climate Change and Food Security in Tanzania;

    (c) What Supporting Facilities have been put in place for regional and international trade and what could be improved;

    (d) Trade facilitation provided by Tanzania’s physical infrastructures that is in the process or is planned for implementation; and

    (e) Implication of globalization to the national economy.

Sub-Theme 2: The Dynamics of Regional and Global Economy

With the ascendance of new economic powers on the world trading and finance scenes, especially the emerging economies, the dynamics of the global economy is changing profoundly. These emerging powers are establishing bilateral trading and finance ties with Tanzania. ESRF will reposition its research to better understand the dynamics of relations resulting from the changing situation, and more importantly suggest how Tanzania should correspondingly respond strategically to establish or cement its relations with these countries.

This pertains particularly to exploiting the opportunities for trading and investment. Sub-Theme 2 should lay accent on supporting Tanzania’s export drive including the searching for new promising markets, as well as promoting investments from these countries. Thus, ESRF will focus on the following research questions:

    (a) How can Tanzania tap the opportunities from other emerging economies through exports and investments by establishing strategic partnerships;

    (b) The political economy of trading, investment and foreign aid; and

    (c) The implication of global economic evolution to the local economy.

Sub-Theme 3: Monitoring Regional Economic Integration within EAC, SADC and COMESA

ESRF will be carrying out regular research for monitoring of the regional integration process within EAC, SADC and COMESA. By nature, this kind of research is a long-term informative task. This imitative aims at yielding periodic briefs on the status and challenges of the integration process, with the status possibly illustrated in a comparative performance index among the integration member states.

The corollary aim is to raise awareness of a significant segment of the society regarding the social and economic implications of EAC, SADC and COMESA so that it triggers high preparedness to reap the benefits of the integration process. This task also includes identifying top executives in the regional institutions and national governments, the private sector, and especially like-minded CSOs to collaborate with in carrying out the monitoring agenda.


ESRFs activities are supported by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and International Development Research Centre (IDRC)