The USAID Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) program is a five-year, flexible buy-in mechanism jointly managed by the USAID Africa Bureau, Middle East Bureau, and Africa Regional Missions. It was designed to mobilize enterprise-driven solutions that increase trade and investment in Africa, including North and Sub-Saharan Africa. It strengthens Africa’s markets by developing new trade and investment relationships, particularly between the United States and African continent. It also works to achieves development outcomes across all sectors.
Overview of Job Description
The 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. This effort will require significant collaboration and creativity that leverages the combined resources of the USG. The role will also facilitate increased information sharing with the private sector to ensure programming is grounded in transactions and market opportunities that businesses and investors are specifically pursuing. 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. The role will employ an approach that empowers companies to identify and directly manage these efforts rather than establish a list of predefined service offerings and experts. Firms will be expected to co-invest in these activities.
The Trade Specialist will provide technical inputs into the implementation of ATI’s Africa-based trade and enabling environment activities to leverage and support relationships with key stakeholders with the regional economic bodies, trade promotion agencies; African and international nongovernmental organizations (including development banks and financial institutions, national or regional business and trade associations); and African businesses, trade service providers and other potential partners. This role will work collaboratively and in conjunction with the Activity Managers, Investment Specialist, and MEL Specialist to coordinate and deliver all ATI technical trade and enabling environment activities, delivering on deals from various Annual Program Statements and other approaches, and ensuring adoption of ATI in all buy-in activities across the continental teams. The Trade Specialist will manage trade and business enabling environment activities as assigned by the Senior Technical Director- Africa for a responsive, demand-driven implementation.
- Contribute to the annual work-planning and activity design; support buy-in development and scoping based on effective models to maximize impact;
- Contribute to the identification, structuring, and supporting of trade deals and providing input into ATI’s service offerings and initial programming as they pertain to the design and implementation of trade and business enabling environment activities;
- Provide technical input in the design of: USAID Missions Buy-In Scopes of Work (BISOW), design of continental trade and enabling environment SOWs, project-wide participation in technical evaluation committees to assess potential trade and enabling environment deals, grants, and subcontracts solicitation(s), private sector engagement and network development, and ATI continental/buy-in service offering(s);
- Contribute to co-creation discussions with USAID and other stakeholders, in coordination with members of the ATI team and DAI Home Office support, to inform and develop relevant aspects of the ATI’s foundational technical activities as they relate to trade and the business enabling environment;
- Lead trade strategies to engage new and under-utilized partners, and ensure compliant activity implementation;
- Identify and develop priority trade and business enabling environment partnerships to create synergies between ATI and other ongoing trade-related activities in Africa, in close collaboration with the Senior Director – Africa, Embassy Deal Team Lead, and Activity Managers;
- Serve as a representative for ATI in meetings with officials from USAID, other USG agencies and partners, governments, corporations, capital partners, and other key stakeholders across Africa;
- Manage and oversee specialist trade and business enabling environment consultants assigned to support ATI activities;
- Participate in strategic and technical meetings in collaboration with USAID Missions or others as part of ATI’s co-creation process with USAID’s regional and bilateral Mission stakeholders;
- Provide a more in-depth role in trade programming and provide support beyond the initial design stages. This support could include working directly with partners or having a more robust role in the activity design, implementation and monitoring; and
- Contribute to the quarterly reporting and Activity updates to ensure that the ATI team proactively reports to USAID Africa SD, Regional and Bilateral Missions
- Postgraduate degree in international development, trade, and private sector development or relevant university degree that demonstrates complementarity to the scope of requirements;
- Demonstrated technical expertise in trade and business enabling environment programming and processes, preferably under USAID-funded programs;
- At least ten years of demonstrated experience supporting, leading, designing, and/or supporting projects that contribute to significant trade and business enabling results in Africa;
- Minimum 7 years of experience working to develop and maintain strategic partnerships with U.S. Government agencies, African government institutions, international and regional economic bodies in Africa, trade service providers, and other key PATI stakeholders;
- Experience and knowledge of trade and business enabling environment issues and how they link to U.S. Government priorities, with the ability to identify trends and strategically adapt activities to improve impact;
- Experience working in African countries to implement trade and private sector development strategies, with a preference for experience working at a regional level in Africa;
- Strong analytical, organizational, written, and oral communication skills, attention to detail, and ability to prioritize tasks and work efficiently;
- Solutions-oriented, customer-service motivated team player who is also able to work independently and on own initiative; and
- Demonstrated ability to work across multiple geographies and a range of private sector and public sector partners;
- Fluency in English required.
- Fluency in French preferred.
The Trade Specialist reports to the ATI Senior Technical Director- Africa.
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