Summary of the assignment:
|Nature of assignment
|All the 6 EAC Partner States
|12 Working days
|To Executive Director/CEO
Regional integration in Africa was envisioned since the early days of the formation of the OAU as a means to sustainably develop African economies through enhancing competitiveness. This agenda was then furthered through the Lagos Plan of Action and was given legal grounds through the Abuja treaty which provided the vision to eventually establish an African Economic Community (AEC) through set stages.
The African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) has been signed by 54 out of the 55 African Union (AU) Member States. As of February 2023, 49 African countries have ratified and deposited the instruments of ratification. The AfCFTA is intended to create an internal market for 1.3 billion people. The AfCFTA was ratified to dismantle barriers to trade and stimulate employment-promoting economic growth at continental level.
The AfCFTA aims to strengthen Africa’s economic integration by creating a continental market with the free movement of persons, capital, goods, and services, which are crucial for deepening economic integration, and promoting agricultural development, food security, industrialization, and structural economic transformation. It is expected that the AfCFTA will result in an expanded and secure market for the goods and services of State Parties through securing adequate infrastructure and the reduction or progressive elimination of tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade and investment.
In March 2018, during the 10th AU Extraordinary Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda, the Agreement Establishing the AfCFTA and its three Protocols was signed. An Annex on the AfCFTA Rules of Origin was among the nine Annexes to the Annexes to the Protocol on Trade in Goods that was adopted during the 31st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, in July 2018. Further, an Appendix to this Annex detailing the hybrid Rules of Origin was adopted at the 12th Extraordinary Session of the AU Assembly in Niamey, Niger, in July 2019.
The negotiations of the AfCFTA have progressed with the commencement of phase 2 issues in Investment, Competition Policy and Intellectual property rights. Work is still ongoing under phase one to complete the outstanding issues under Rules of Origin and finalization of the market access offer of goods under category B and C. Since trading began on January 1st, 2021, relevant stakeholders especially the private sector have to quickly adjust to the requirements for trading under the AfCFTA. The EABC and Afri-Exim Bak therefore comes tobuild this capacity to ensure that they are not left out given that 3 out of 6 EAC Partner States have commenced trading through the AfCFTA under the Guided Trade Initaitive.
- RATIONALE FOR PARTNERSHIP WITH AFRI-EXIM BANK
To strengthen the role of EABC in advocating for a stronger private sector in the EAC regional integration agenda, EABC has entered into a partnership with AFRI-EXIM BANK to position the private in the region to reap the benefits arising out of the AfCFTA. In this partnership, EABC will work closely with its National Focal Points to undertake various activities such as sensitization workshops for SMEs and women in business on the AfCFTA Protocols and their relevance to business in the EAC region with an aim of positioning the private sector to effectively take part and benefit from the AfCFTA.
This partnership hence seeks to address competitive and capacity gaps within the EAC private sector with a view to contributing to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area. The partnership will facilitate the EABC to build the capacity of the private sector to contribute to the ongoing negotiations, give clarity on the status of the negotiations process of the AfCFTA, the benefits embedded in the agreement to the private sector, the mechanisms for the implementation as well as share information on the initiatives, tools and products developed and supported by the AFRI-EXIM Bank aimed at facilitating the private sector to develop capacities to participate in trading through the AfCFTA such as the Pan African Payment and Settlement System and how the private sector can tap into such facilities.
- RATIONALE OF THE ASSIGNMENT
To achieve the success and implementation of the AfCFTA, member states must actively engage with the private sector, and allow them to share their reflections based on industry perspectives. During the AfCFTA Business Forum, which preceded the AU Extra-ordinary Summit in Kigali, the business community pledged its support for the AfCFTA. Similarly, the African leaders revealed their political will to engage the private sector in the implementation of the AfCFTA.
The East African Business Council with support from the Afri-Exim Bank, is desirous to carry out sensitization workshops, and awareness campaigns on the AfCFTA for the private players (SMEs and women in business) across the EAC region.
The rationale is to ensure that the SMEs are aware of the status of the negotiations, and implementation of the AfCFTA as well as what the protocols mean to their businesses as they prepare to trade with the rest of their counterparts in Africa as key players and partners in the entire process.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE TRAINING
The major objectives of the sensitization workshops are and not limited to;
- Describe the progress under the AfCFTA phase I, phase II and plans for phase III negotiations and the resulting implications to the private sector participation in trading under the AfCFTA.
- Describe the AfCTA Guided Trade Initiative taking into consideration the eligibility criteria used to identify the implementing countries, the status of the initiative, products being traded, benefits to the implementing State Parties, the recommendation for the fulfillment of the requirements etc…
- Build capacity on the distinction between the TFTA and the AfCFTA and potential benefits from each Agreement,
- Conduct capacity building and training for the Private Sector on the key aspects of the AfCFTA under phase one and phase two negotiations.
- To contribute to the readiness of the private sector and the other stakeholders in facilitating trading under the AfCFTA
- Identify and make recommendations on the opportunities presented by the AfCFTA to the EAC private sector
- Highlight possible risks/challenges expected from the AfCFTA to the private sector in the EAC region while trading with the rest of the continent and propose the way forward/recommendations
- EXPECTED OUTPUT
The expected outputs from the sensitization workshop include;
- A detailed training report taking into consideration comments, suggestions and contributions from participants as regards the topics discussed
- Policy brief on how the private sector should be facilitated to benefit from the AfCFTA as trade has already commenced,
- Training manual on TFTA and AfCFTA to be submitted to EABC for future training sessions
- Opportunities presented by the TFTA and the AfCFTA shared with private sector players,
- Way forward/Action plan for addressing issues affecting the efficiency of the sector while trading under the AfCFTA presented.
VI. QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE
Asuitable candidate should hold the following qualifications and key competencies:
- Academic and Professional Experience: A Master degree or postgraduate qualification in any of the following fields, Statistics, Economics, Business Administration, International Trade, Trade Policy and Law or any other relevant field is required.
- Work Experience: A minimum of five (5) years’ demonstrable experience in AfCFTA and TFTA training and advocacy-related research and international trade-related issues. The consultant must have capacity to undertake the training in a maximum of 2-3 working days.
- Proven track-record in related assignments
- Knowledge of EAC Integration, and international trade, and demonstrated knowledge of the AfCFTA , Guided Trade Initiative, and the TFTA,
- Languages: Fluency in oral and written English is required as it is the main EAC working language. Good working knowledge of French and Kiswahili will be an advantage.
- Additional Skills: Excellent computer skills (Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel), Email, analytical tools/software for data analysis, experience in working with internet searches, online databases, and data retrieval) are required.
- DATE AND VENUE OF THE WORKSHOP:
The Private Sector National Workshops on AfCFTA will be conducted across the EAC Partner States as follows;
|9th -10th August 2023
|Hotel Africana- Kampala
|22nd-23rd August 2023
|11th -12th Sept 2023
|United Republic of Tanzania
|26th-27th Sept 2023
|Republic of South Sudan
|10th – 11th Oct 2023
|24th – 25th Oct 2023
THE APPLICATION PROCESS
The technical and financial proposal must be submitted separately and addressed to:
The Executive Director / CEO East African Business Council (EABC) Ninth Floor, Mafao House, Old Moshi Road P. O. Box 2617 Arusha, Tanzania.
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy to email@example.com
Clearly marked “CONSULTANCY SERVICES TO ROLL OUT SENSITIZATION WORKSHOPS FOR SMES AND WOMEN IN BUSINESS ON THE AFCFTA AND ITS IMPLICATIONS TO BUSINESS IN THE EAC REGION”
The technical proposal should also contain a current curriculum vita, work plan and methodology. Applications close on 5th August 2023.
EABC is an equal opportunity employer thus recruitment is on merit and with no regard to one’s age, colour, gender, marital status, disability or impairment, race, or creed. Canvassing shall lead to automatic disqualification. Environmental aspects will be taken into consideration.