The Negotiation Lab conducted a half-day training session at the Regional Trade Policy Workshop for Commonwealth African Parliamentarians on July 10, 2012 at the Beau Vallon Bay Resort in Mahe, Seychelles.
Attending the workshop were 12 parliamentarians from Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania. Each country sent a member from the ruling party of government as well as a member of the opposition. All the Members of Parliament sat on oversight committees dealing with trade and development. Also attending the workshop were representatives from the African Development Bank (AfDB); the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP); the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA); the Overseas Development Institute in the UK (ODI); and the Commonwealth Secretariat based in London who organized the event in conjuction with the CPA.
During the training session the participants took part in a three hour, Harvard Law School simulation entitled Pacrim Dispute, a fictional tri-party trade negotiation involving the importing & exporting of rice. The simulation is designed to exhibit the roadblocks that culture can play in a negotiation as well as the benefits of a win-win cooperative agreement if participants can work through the cultural barriers that are present. This simulation proved to be very relevant to the participants of the workshop as much of the conversation during the two-day workshop was dominated by the challenges that Africa is currently having in its trade relationship with China.