The International Economic Growth Division manages projects that are pioneering new approaches to agriculture, food security, climate change, and competitiveness—as well as monitoring and evaluating projects within these sectors. We work throughout Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East for chiefly governmental clients, including the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The West Africa Trade Hub is one of three USAID-funded trade hub projects in Africa. It works with private sector associations and regional governmental entities to expand trade, increase investment, build institutional capacity, and improve the enabling environment. Targeted value chains are livestock, cereals, cashew, shea, mango, and apparel. The project works closely with a number of partners, including ECOWAS, UEMOA, CILSS, the Borderless Alliance, and several value chain associations. The work takes place in 14 countries, with more concentrated assistance devoted to targeted trade corridors, including those between Burkina Faso and Ghana, and Mali-Cote d’Ivoire.
Job Title: Senior AGOA Specialist
Abt Associates seeks candidates for the Senior AGOA Specialist position on its USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub project. The Senior AGOA Specialist will manage the Trade Hub’s promotion of AGOA in West Africa. He / She will be based in Accra, Ghana, and supervise an AGOA Coordinator who is based in Dakar, Senegal. Substantial travel in the West Africa region is required. The position will begin on July 15, 2016 or as soon as a suitable candidate is identified.
Candidates must demonstrate a record of results in export development, as well as an ability to design and carry out project activities in collaboration with multiple clients and stakeholders. Fluency in English and French are required. The Senior AGOA Specialist will report to the Senior Value Chain Leader based in Accra, Ghana.
Key Roles and Responsibilities
- Coordinate programmatic activities to support to the global value chains of textile and apparel throughout the West Africa region.
- Work with farms, firms, associations, and other relevant entities to facilitate exports under the auspices of AGOA.
- Support implementation of the work plan assuring appropriate coordination with partners.
- Draft terms of reference for specific technical assignments
- Write and review technical reports or sections of periodic project reports
- Review consultant reports, assuring consistent quality control and timely submission to the client.
- Coordinate with the M&E specialist to gather and analyze performance management data, especially from the AGOA Trade Resource Centers (ATRCs).
- Conduct AGOA/ETLS customs documentation training when requested by the chamber of commerce and US embassies in the different countries in West Africa
- Help identify training needs and oversee and support training of exporting companies and AGOA Trade Resource Centers (ATRCs). Specifically, in conjunction with the AGOA Coordinator, work closely with the ATRC Coordinators in each country to:
- Plan and then participate in the launching events focused on a general presentation and discussion of AGOA and the benefits from these programs in West Africa. These events are to be ½ day workshops to present how companies can take advantage of the AGOA legislation to increase their own exports.
- Ensure monthly workshops for selected export ready companies about AGOA related issues take place in each country. These companies will be selected from previously-developed lists of companies in each country (compiled by the ATRC Coordinator).
- Ensure working groups are created with private sector companies established in each country managed by the ATRC Coordinator; these working groups will meet quarterly.
- Support linkages between the ATRC and AMCHAM representatives (where they exist).
- Ensure that all deliverables related to these activities are finalized by the ATRC Coordinator for submission to the Trade Hub Grants Manager.
- Coordinate with the apparel value chain specialist especially during the implementation of these activities as many of the export ready companies are in the apparel sector.
- Represent Abt and the project in public settings through meetings, conferences, and presentations.
Preferred Skill / Prerequisites
- Advanced degree in export development, trade facilitation, agribusiness, agricultural economics, or related field with 10 years of experience.
- Strong familiarity with AGOA a must
- Experience with USAID or similar donor programs, ideally interacting directly with the donor regarding programmatic, strategic communications, and contractual issues.
- Fluency in English and French.
- Excellent interpersonal, supervision, problem-solving, and coordination.
- MA/MBA with 7 – 10 years of experience OR PhD with 4 – 6 years of experience OR the equivalent combination of education and experience.
Abt Associates is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse workforce. Abt Associates provides market-competitive salaries and comprehensive employee benefits.