Joy Kategekwa

Strategic Adviser to the Assistant Administrator and Regional Director, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Dr. Joy Kategekwa is a leading trade, investment and development law and policy specialist with over 17 years of experience, including at a leadership level, in shaping global and regional trade and development deals. She is the Strategic Advisor to the Assistant Administrator and Director, UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa in New York, supporting strategy and delivery of a $1.2 billion development programme, spanning 46 Sub-Saharan African countries. Prior to UNDP, she served as Founding Head of the UNCTAD Regional Office for Africa in Addis Ababa, leading advisory and programmatic teams that designed transformational continental and sub-regional trade integration and productive capacity programmes, strategies and treaties, including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). Previously, Dr. Kategekwa worked with the World Trade Organization, leading the WTO African Group, managing relations with Ambassadors and experts for effective participation and overseeing multilateral negotiations on special and differential treatment in WTO Agreements. Before that, she served as Oxfam International`s Trade and Investment Advisor in the Geneva Advocacy Office, leading relations with the UN, authoring key flagship publications on the economic justice campaign, and designing responses to the 2008 global economic crisis. At the Geneva-based South Centre, she led the work programme on Trade in Services, advising Africa, ACP and LDC negotiators on strategy and content in WTO and EPA negotiations. She started her trade career as legal officer at Uganda’s Permanent Mission in Geneva where she, inter alia, represented her country in WTO negotiations, quickly rising to LDC Focal Point on Trade in Services, Trade Facilitation and Intellectual Property Rights, where she led technical negotiation teams that designed the WTO services waiver; the Special and Differential Treatment chapter of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement; and the amendment of the TRIPS Agreement. She is the author of a series of peer-reviewed publications in world class legal journals and her book “Opening Markets for Foreign Skills: How Can the WTO help?” is an acclaimed treatise on the subject. She is a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Trade and Investment.

She holds a Ph.D. in International Trade Law from the University of Berne’s prestigious World Trade Institute, a Master of Laws in International Trade and Investment Law from the University of the Western Cape, and a Bachelor of Laws from Makerere University. She has taught Masters and Ph.D. courses at leading international trade and development law programmes. She is a trained vocalist, loves the piano and is a songwriter. She is married and is the proud mother of four beautiful girls.

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