The ECOWAP 2021-2023 support program defines the scope and priorities of the ECOWAS Commission for continued USAID institutional and operational support to the Directorate of Agriculture. The Directorate's mandate is to guide policy development and direct regional programming to better enable agricultural development. Operational support is directed primarily toward advancing priority policy measures on intra-regional trade. Institutional support initiatives more generally aim to accelerate the overall implementation of agreed regional and national investment plans for agriculture and food and nutrition security, with increased stakeholder commitment.
The scope and defined priorities of the 2021-2023 ECOWAP support program are consistent with what has been an ongoing and evolving relationship with USAID in West Africa. Efforts to reduce trade barriers and harmonize sanitary and phytosanitary standards remain key initiatives of the program. Building a knowledge management system and conducting effective joint sector reviews for informed national and regional decision-making are priorities for continued institutional support over the next three years. Similarly, the continued establishment of the ECOWAS Agriculture and Food Development Fund is a priority in terms of broadening the financial base for the implementation of ECOWAP.
The program's stakeholders include the 15 member countries, producer organizations, private for-profit and non-profit entities, civil society interests, and technical and financial partners. The program's beneficiaries are West African agricultural producers and traders, food processors and distributors, and consumers. Hundreds of professional and technical staff from member governments will benefit from the proposed training activities to build organizational capacity and improve public sector service delivery. Dozens of non-government stakeholders will be invited to participate in training and information sharing activities to strengthen member organizations, improve coordination of private sector interests, and increase advocacy capacity for ECOWAP measures.
OVERVIEW OF THE ROLE
Under the supervision of the Director of Customs Union and Taxation in the Customs and Free Movement Department of the ECOWAS Commission, the incumbent will contribute to the promotion of regional trade facilitation issues to support improved monitoring and implementation of key ECOWAS and WTO trade facilitation mechanisms.
- Support the development and application by ECOWAS of analytical monitoring tools related to the progress of ETLS and CET;
- Provide programmatic support for ECOWAS implementation of the ETLS Task Force;
- Assure the Permanent Secretary of the ETLS Task Force;
- Support regional harmonization in prioritizing and implementing trade facilitation reforms, including implementation of the WTO Comprehensive Trade Agreement;
- Support coordination and harmonization of approaches to streamlining customs and border requirements, as well as automation and interconnection of customs and borders;
- Promote ECOWAS efforts to improve approaches to managing key regional trade corridors;
- Support expanding partnerships and consultation mechanisms with the private sector to promote the monitoring and implementation of trade-related reforms;
- Develop terms of reference and budgets for potential projects to promote these initiatives for consideration by ECOWAS and other donor agencies;
- Provide updates on the status of ECOWAS trade initiatives as outlined above as well as significant developments related to ongoing or new donor trade capacity building support ;
- Identify and develop opportunities for expanded collaboration on trade capacity building initiatives with donors and other development partners;
- Provide support in other work areas and undertake other tasks as needed.
Qualifications, Skills and Experience
- Master's degree (or equivalent) in law, economics, business, management, engineering, or related degree or other significant professional training to demonstrate expertise in trade and trade facilitation issues;
- A minimum of 15 years of relevant practical experience in the field of trade, with proven experience in supporting trade facilitation reforms in West Africa;
- An experience of effective work with government and the private sector on trade facilitation issues is preferred;
- Significant knowledge and understanding of the state of the regional economic and trade integration process in West Africa;
- Preliminary work experience with the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (TLS) Task Force (TLS Task Force);
- Expertise and experience related to international best practices in monitoring and implementing trade facilitation reforms;
- Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to build relationships and work effectively with government, donors and private sector partners to promote trade reforms;
- Expertise related to the mechanisms and status of trade integration issues in West Africa;
- Knowledge and experience related to monitoring and supporting the implementation of trade facilitation reforms;
- Thorough understanding of and experience with a broad range of trade facilitation issues, including but not limited to trade facilitation, trade policy, standards, and quality;
- Familiarization with institutions, agreements/conventions and tools available from the World Trade Organization, World Customs Organization and other international entities involved in trade facilitation issues.
- Ability to write a concept note/proposal and develop a budget.
- Ability to lead a team of interns/youth and instill a spirit of teamwork to engage employees and complete a well-defined set of activities;
- Ability to solve problems that arise with minimal direction and/or recommend and explain solutions or alternatives for approval;
- Contribute to the maintenance of the organizational unit's goals and performance standards.
- Interpersonal skills and ability to keep stakeholders informed of project progress or setbacks in terms of timeliness, quality and quantity;
- Knowledge of ECOWAS internal operational requirements for programs, projects, services and systems needed to achieve missions and performance goals;
- Knowledge and ability to apply techniques to generate creative ideas and new approaches to achieve goals.
- Ability to produce quality work in a fast-paced environment with high daily pressure to meet deadlines;
- Ability to work atypical hours as needed or required to meet set deadlines;
- Ability to work indoors in an office environment, whether cubicles, open offices or private offices;
- Familiar with normal office noise levels.
- Oral and written English.
- Knowledge of French is considered an important asset.
Place, Duration and Start of the Contract
- The candidate will be based at the ECOWAS Customs and Taxation Union Directorate in Abuja, Nigeria;
- The candidate will be under the direct supervision of the Director of Customs and Taxation, in partnership with the Director of Agriculture and Rural Development;
- The term of the contract is twelve (12) months with the possibility of renewal depending on the availability of funds and the performance of the consultant;
- The mission will begin within two weeks of the signature of the contract for intellectual services.
Candidate's Application Requirements
They will consist of:
- An expression of interest letter, including time availability;
- A recent résumé detailing work experience and similar missions;
- Three professional references (full names, positions, emails and phone contacts);
- Copy of highest degree(s);
- Copies of work or service certificates listed on the résumé.
NB: Any incomplete file will be rejected.
Submission of Applications
Applications shall be received no later than 20 september 2021 at 5 pm GMT, by hand delivery or by email to the following address: Agence Régionale pour l'Agriculture et l'Alimentation (ARAA), 83, rue des Pâtures (Super Taco), 01 BP 4817 Lomé, Togo - Tel. +228 22 21 40 03 (in a sealed envelope cover marked "Selection of an individual consultant, Senior Business Advisor to support the implementation of the ECOWAP-USAID 2021-2023 Operational Plan")
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org In the subject line: "Selection of an Individual Consultant, senior business advisor to support the implementation of ECOWAP-USAID's 2021-2023 operational plan".
NB: Applications that do not include the following in the subject line “Selection of an Individual Consultant, Senior Business Advisor to support the implementation of ECOWAP-USAID's 2021-2023 Operational Plan” will not be considered.
The consultant will be selected according to the qualification-based selection method as defined in the ECOWAS Public Procurement Code. An interview session will be held with a shortlist of candidates and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
The RAAF reserves the right not to respond to this call for applications.