Established in Zambia in 2000, CUTS International, Lusaka has been functioning as a centre for action (policy) research, advocacy and networking on issues of trade and development, competition policy, investment regulation and consumer protection. CUTS has distinguished itself through its stress on consumer – producer synergies for sustainable increase in consumer welfare, given that the ordinary consumer is not just a functional unit but human being whose welfare and growth depends significantly on his/her association with economic production and the income generating opportunities arising from such association. Its role is to promote pro-poor policy and practical changes as well as promote regional integration and engage in long-term capacity building of diverse stakeholders to address developmental challenges in Zambia and in the Southen Africa region.
The mission of the centre is to function as a resource, co-ordination, as well as networking centre, to promote South-South cooperation on trade and development by involving state and non-state actors (NSAs). The centre works alongside various non-governmental organisations, donor agencies, inter-governmental and governmental bodies, especially in the Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) to achieve the following objectives:
- establish civil society cooperation in the areas of trade, economic policies and the environment in Africa
- form national, regional and international coordination system and alliance building among organisations working on similar social and economic issues
- function as a resource centre to Africa-based NGOs, consumer organisations, the government and regulatory agencies
- focus on capacity building activities on international trade, consumer protection, foreign investment and competition policy issues at national, regional and international levels.