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International / Multinational

AGOA Specialist – West Africa & Investment Hub at Creative Associates International

Creative Associates International provides outstanding, on-the-ground development services and forges partnerships to deliver sustainable solutions to global challenges. Its experts focus on building inclusive educational systems, transitioning communities from conflict to peace, developing sustainable economic growth, engaging youth, promoting transparent elections and more. Creative is recognized for its ability to quickly adapt and excel in conflict and post-conflict environments.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: AGOA Specialist – West Africa & Investment Hub

Location: Abuja
Employment Type: Full-time
Report to: The Chief of Party based in Abuja, Nigeria.

Project Summary

  • The USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (hereinafter referred to as the Trade Hub) is a five-year, $140 million trade and investment facilitation activity that seeks to improve private sector competitiveness in West Africa through a market-based approach.
  • By working in partnership with the private sector and fostering co-investments, the project will generate new private-sector capital investment into key sectors to create jobs and increase trade between the U.S. and West Africa, including through increased utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The project comprises of three main components:

  • Design and administration of a Co-Investment Fund for private sector partnerships, including a portion for partnerships in Research and Development (R&D) towards innovating and modernizing practices in Nigeria across five targeted value chains.
  • Technical assistance (TA) that directly supports, coordinates, and engages with qualifying recipients (i.e., partners and grantees) to achieve USAID’s trade and food security objectives.
  • Urgently respond to the secondary economic impacts of COVID-19, notably to 1) increase access of working capital with financial actors, 2) prevent and mitigate job losses, and 3) help respond to local and regional supply chain disruptions and shortages of critical medical supplies and services as well as for agricultural inputs and food staples.

The project aims to achieve a minimum of $400 million in new private sector investment, 60,000 new jobs, and $400 million in exports by 2024. More specifically, in order to increase the value of exports from the West African region, particularly to the United States, the Trade Hub promotes AGOA and works with businesses to export to the U.S. duty-free. The AGOA strategy of the Trade Hub is focused on three main pillars:

  • Assist West African countries in implementing the AGOA textile visa system.
  • Provide information and raise awareness of AGOA and U.S. import requirements.
  • Assist West African businesses in exporting to the U.S. market.

Position Summary

  • The AGOA Specialist will provide support to public and private stakeholders regarding AGOA outreach and export promotion from West Africa to the U.S.
  • He/she will provide support to governments and regional partners (ECOWAS, UEMOA) on the  implementation of AGOA strategies, support to associations/export agencies on understanding AGOA and U.S. market entry requirements, training for governments and customs related to the textile visa and direct support to firms needing to file required export/import documentation to claim AGOA preferences.
  • The AGOA will support the project management, partner associations and exporters in AGOA-eligible countries in the West Africa region to fully understand and utilize the African Growth and Opportunity Act’s provisions.
  • S/he will provide guidance and support the development of regional or national strategies to increase AGOA utilization.

Responsibilities
Primary Responsibilities:

  • Provide information and raise awareness about AGOA and U.S. import requirements, primarily via workshops and webinars in collaboration with U.S. Missions and Trade Support Organizations through West Africa.
  • Supports the project management, partner associations and exporters in AGOA-eligible countries in the West Africa region to fully understand and utilize the African Growth and Opportunity Act’s provisions. S/he will provide guidance and support the development of regional or national strategies to increase AGOA utilization.
  • Identify the training needs and assist in organizing training workshops and webinars.
  • Liaise with ECOWAS, UEMOA, Chambers of Commerce, and Export Promotion Agencies around the region to organize and lead training events
  • Support West African businesses in exporting to the U.S. market by receiving and answering questions from businesses about AGOA eligibility and how to export specific products to the U.S.
  • Receive and evaluate expression of interest (EOI) regarding AGOA TA, and draft partnership agreements on TA to be provided to businesses.
  • Support the development of the West African Exporters’ Directory which will include key information, such as company description, certificates obtained, products’ specifications, contact details, etc., for interested U.S. buyers.
  • Assist U.S. companies to source goods from West Africa by identifying reliable suppliers in West Africa, collecting products’ specification sheets and other relevant documents, arranging for shipping samples to the United States, facilitating sales meetings and deals negotiation, and organizing U.S. buyers’ visits to West Africa.
  • Advise governments interested in obtaining or updating their textile visas.
  • Support implementation of the work plan assuring appropriate coordination with other Trade Hub teams and external partners.
  • Provide any assistance regarding AGOA to stakeholders and partners if needed.
  • Any other tasks to help facilitate exports and co-investment partnerships, as assigned.

Qualifications
Required Skills and Qualifications:

The successful candidate must have the following skills/qualifications:

  • BA / B.Sc in Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics, Trade Facilitation, or a related field;
  • Five (5) years of experience, or an MBA with two years of experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • At least five years of experience with USAID projects (or other similar donor programs) is highly preferable.
  • Demonstration of the ability to lead regional trainings on AGOA requirements, and work directly with firms and associations to understand and comply with AGOA and other trade-related requirements associated with access to the U.S. market.
  • A citizen of a West African country who is fluent in both English and French is highly preferable.
  • Previous experience in working with exporters and trade support institutions in West Africa.
  • Previous experience in promoting AGOA and export to the U.S. is preferable.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving, and mediation skills.
  • Fluent in both English and French.

Deadline: 7th January, 2022.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV either in PDF or Word format as one document to: Recruit@westafricatih.com using the Job Title as the subject of the mail.

Note

  • Local candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Only finalists will be contacted. No phone calls, please.
  • Creative Associates International Incorporation is an equal opportunity employer: Disability / Veteran.

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