About AfTIAS 2.0

During the last AfTIAS Board Meeting held in January 2019, the outcomes of the AfTIAS 1.0 and the evaluation of proceeding with a second phase of the Program were presented and endorsed by the Members and also welcomed the decision of the Arab Economic Summit held in Beirut (20/01/2019), calling upon ITFC to prepare the 2nd Phase of AfTIAS in cooperation with the League of Arab States (LAS) and all the Arab countries (22).

Based on this, the design for AfTIAS 2.0 Program was undertaken from July 2019 to February 2020 and then updated in March 2020 to take into account the new requirements arising from the COVID-19 pandemic impact on the economies of the region.

The design of AfTIAS 2.0 takes into account the key lessons learnt identified in the evaluation of the AfTIAS 1.0:

  • The need for a strong consultative process during the design phase, and a clear theory of change with measurable indicators of success to be developed during the design process.
  • AfTIAS 2.0 should be directly focusing on areas where it would have greatest impact.
  • The need for adequate financial and human resources to manage any further iteration of AfTIAS was also highlighted.

The AfTIAS 2.0 Program Document presents a summary of the problem analysis, objectives priority areas of interventions based on the needs of Arab countries, as well as the proposed implementation structures and modalities.

AfTIAS 2.0 is a five-year Program created to “enhance the environment for international trade in the Arab region by making it more efficient and inclusive, thereby creating opportunities for employment and contributing to sustainable development”.

More specifically, AfTIAS 2.0 Program aims at :

  • increasing intra-regional trade through the removal of market access barriers,
  • increasing the role of Arab states in global value chains, and
  • ensuring that the benefits of trade are shared more inclusively across all population groups, with special focus on the vulnerable groups, such as women, youth, and others.

The following figure indicates the priority interventions which were derived from a comprehensive objectives tree with 8 key results chains responding to the main identified problems faced by Arab traders. The prioritisation of the results chains is a critical element of the implementation strategy as it allows AfTIAS 2.0 Program to focus its resources. A careful analytical process was undertaken with each of the eight results chains undergoing scoring against a range of pre-defined factors which were weighted to reflect their importance.


In terms of the implementation approach, AfTIAS 2.0 will operate on the basis of five main facilities:


Trade Development and Competitiveness Facility

The Trade Development and Competitiveness Facility will address specific issues related to the removal of non-tariff barriers, regional trade promotion, encouraging enterprise innovation, increasing the technological readiness of business in the region, or supporting access to trade finance.

Inclusivity Support Facility

The Inclusivity Support Facility [RME4] will focus on the support of different disadvantaged groups – the poor, women, youth, and refugees and internally displaced persons – to participate in value chains and international trade. Actions eligible for support under this Facility will cover a wide spectrum of different types of innovative interventions proposed by facilitator organisations to encourage greater inclusivity of trade. Actions will be monitored and assessed to determine their effectiveness in increasing inclusivity in the Arab region with a view to encouraging replication of successful approaches.


Regional Investment Proposal Preparation Facility

The Regional Investment Proposal Preparation Facility will support and reinforce the capacities of government administrations in the Arab Region to prepare bankable proposals for investment financing of trade infrastructure projects. Examples include pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies, systems design, social and environmental impact analyses, cost-benefit analysis, and the preparation of tender documents. The Facility will provide funding for technical assistance to support government entities to prepare detailed investment proposals.

Reverse Linkage Facility

The Reverse Linkage Facility will make use of a technical cooperation mechanism enabled by IsDB whereby institutions in Arab countries exchange their knowledge, expertise, technology, and resources to develop their capacities and devise solutions for their autonomous development. Reverse linkage will be used to support the Arab states in developing the internal capacity of their ministries and agencies, NGOs, Chambers of Commerce, and other key organisations with respect to aspects of trade, competitiveness and inclusivity.


Research and Surveys Facility

The Research and Surveys Facility will provide, first, research necessary for the operation of AfTIAS 2.0 by providing essential data to allow evidence-based decision making. Second, it will support the development of centre[s] of excellence in areas critical to AfTIAS 2.0. And third, it will provide support to NGOs within the region as well as governments of less-developed Arab countries to help them prepare high quality applications under the different open calls.

The AfTIAS 2.0 implementation structure is based on the following main elements:

  • An AfTIAS Trust Fund, to administer donor contributions and AfTIAS 2.0 expenditures;
  • The AfTIAS Board, the main governance and oversight body;
  • An AfTIAS Secretariat in charge of AfTIAS 2.0 management; and
  • National Focal Points (NFP) in each League of Arab States member.

A monitoring and evaluation framework has been developed for AfTIAS 2.0. Program performance measurement will be facilitated by a complete set of performance indicators with fully established baselines and end-of-program targets.