The USAID Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) program is designed to bolster the U.S. Government’s ability to boost trade and investment to, from, and within the African continent. The continent-wide program is USAID’s flagship effort in support of the Prosper Africa initiative and will expand and accelerate two-way trade and investment between African nations and the United States.
Driven by market demand, ATI embraces innovative approaches to achieve its goals. ATI is designed as a small, core set of centrally coordinated technical and institutional support activities, and a large, flexible performance-based subcontracting and grants under contract facility designed to support the needs and opportunities that USAID Missions and the private sector identify.
The USAID ATI trade objective seeks to mobilize trade, including two-way between the U.S. and Africa, through a proactive approach that identifies and/or improves private sector awareness of opportunities, information sharing, and direct facilitation of new and existing business relationships. Building on almost two decades of successful Trade Hub work, the mechanism will have a particular focus on supporting African exports, intra-Africa and to the U.S. Activities must also accelerate the implementation of the existing Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) export strategies and trade preferences with the U.S.
In Southern Africa, USAID Southern Africa seeks to sustain the significant progress made on the USAID Southern Africa Trade and Investment (USAID TradeHub) through a buy-in program activity under ATI from October 2022 to September 2026, titled the USAID Africa Trade and Investment Southern Africa Buy-in Activity (the Project). Specifically, the Project will focus on increasing exports from targeted Southern African countries to South Africa and boosting sustainable utilization of AGOA opportunities by targeted Southern African countries, including South Africa. To do this, the Project will deepen the market systems approach initiated under USAID TradeHub to tackle the root causes that limit Southern Africa’s agricultural and non-agricultural market systems – addressing incentives, behaviors, and relationships that impede the region’s trade competitiveness in three market systems:
- Trade promotion system refers to mechanisms linking supply with demand and helping exporters identify and meet these demands. Trade promotion activities are about raising awareness of agricultural trade opportunities among market actors;
- Trade enhancing services system, encompasses the sets of services that increase export competitiveness and functional ability to export. Trade enhancing service include all activities that build the export firms’ capacity to respond to the demand in the end markets in South Africa and the U.S.; and
- Supply chain management system deals with linking buyers to a robust supplier/exporter base and support to meet buyer needs. The activities in this market system relate to the core market functions of linking export firms to buyers with their products and services.
While the Project will initially focus on these three market systems, this list may be modified as opportunities and needs emerge and as USAID funding allows. The activity will operate primarily in the following Southern African countries: Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia.
KEY DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Country Representative will have three principal roles in-country: (a) representation and high-level liaison with USAID South Africa, private sector, representatives of the Government of South Africa and other donor programs, (b) portfolio identification, development, and oversight, and (c) technical delivery and reporting. The Country Representative shall also conduct the following tasks:
- Provide input for conceptualization, development, planning, coordination, and implementation of the Project in-country.
- Develop and maintain relationships with key local stakeholders (private sector, public, donor/development agencies, in-country U.S. Government agencies, etc.) to build and nurture country-level partnerships, solicit interest, obtain buy-ins, and mobilize resources, as appropriate.
- Monitor progress of activities against the approved workplan, flagging delays or challenges with suggested resolutions to the Team Leader, Activity Manager and the Monitoring and Evaluation (MEL) team.
- Act as the senior interlocutor between the project and key stakeholders, including USAID Southern Africa Regional Economic Growth Office (REGO), USAID South Africa Country Representative, government ministries. private sector organizations and firms.
- Actively communicate with stakeholders across Project interventions to ensure their needs and accomplishments are widely known and understood.
- Convene and manage the private-public working partnerships.
- Manage and coordinate schedules and work of Project staff and consultants on short term assignments in South Africa.
- Ensure that all Project activities are closely coordinated with the USAID South Africa Country Representative, including drafts of all technical reports and other deliverables, such as separate work plans and discrete reports, and ensure they are shared with the USAID South Africa Country Representative for review and comment in good time in coordination with the Activity Manager and USAID Southern Africa.
- Coordinate any deployment of human resources for the program utilizing short term technical assistance (STTA).
- Monitor and report on the status of all donor and government activities related to trade, investment and commercial agricultural developments in the country.
- Responsible for overall risk management in the host country, which includes identifying, monitoring, and reporting political/implementation/security, etc. risks in accordance with the Project risk management procedures and USAID standards.
- Coordinate capacity building efforts with relevant partner organizations, and support stakeholder consultations and trainings.
- Provide input to annual work plans, weekly reports, quarterly and annual reports, success stories, briefs, and any other communication needs requested by the project, within the prescribed timeline; and
- Produce at least one weekly highlight report on a successful activity in South Africa per fortnight.
- Bachelor’s degree in economics, business administration, public policy, international trade, trade law/policy, political economy, or related area, with international experience preferred.
- 10+ years of experience working in economic growth programming or business management with a focus on trade and investment, trade facilitation, agribusiness, or related field.
- Demonstrated experience in conceptualizing, negotiating and closing trade or investment deals.
- Demonstrated experience establishing and maintaining relationships with a range of clients and counterparts, including donor agencies (USAID preferably), government, private sector partners, and multilateral organizations, to implement trade facilitation-focused activities and procedures.
- Previous working experience, knowledge of the South African economy and a strong private sector network in the priority sectors in South Africa.
- Demonstrated experience in developing an implementation strategy and workplan management.
- Excellent English speaking and writing skills including drafting clear and concise documents with minimal supervision.
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