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.