Dr Joy Kategekwa is passionate about the role trade can play in Africa’s development. She holds the distinguished position of Head of the UNCTAD Regional Office for Africa – leading delivery of the organization’s trade capacity building programmes across Africa. She is an international trade and development law and policy specialist and has spent the last 16 years shaping development-friendly trade agreements at both the World Trade Organisation and in Regional contexts. She is one of the architects of the African Continental Free Trade Area, having led technical teams in designing the draft legal negotiating instruments for the AfCFTA. Under her leadership of the Regional Office, UNCTAD has supported key African Union priorities including the AfCFTA; the AU Trade Facilitation Strategy; the AU SME Action Plan; the Pan African Investment Code; to mention but a few. She has also delivered important capacity programmes in Regional Economic Communities such as the ECOWAS Regional Services Policy Review; the EAC Trade and Development Strategy (2017-2022) and the SADC Bilateral Investment Treaty Template and others. She leads Aid for Trade missions to individual African States for trade policy formulation, as well as training and mainstreaming trade for development.
Prior to joining UNCTAD, Dr. Kategekwa was an official at the World Trade Organization responsible for the portfolio of African participation in the Doha Develop-ment Agenda negotiations, and the Committee on Trade and Development. Previously, she was an Advisor on trade and investment at Oxfam International’s Geneva Advocacy Office and led the South Centre’s capacity building programmes on trade in services. She is the author of a series of peer-reviewed publications in world class legal journals. Her book “Opening Markets for Foreign Skills: How Can the WTO help?” covers international trade in services and the movement of persons in cross border trade.
She holds a Ph.D. in International Trade Law from the University of Berne’s World Trade Institute, a Master of laws in International Trade and Investment Law from the University of the Western Cape, and a Bache-lor of Laws from Makerere University. She has a track record of academic excellence – was Uganda’s first state scholar in 1998, and has taught at various leading training institutions offering programmes on international trade and development law. She is the founder of the Joy Kategekwa Education Fund, providing scholarships to under privileged girls in Uganda.