Job Opening

Posting Title: Trade in Services Expert
Department/Office: Economic Commission for Africa
Duty Station: ADDIS ABABA
Posting Period: 03 August 2022 - 09 August 2022
Job Opening Number: 22-Economic Commission for Africa-187583-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

Promotion of Trade in Services in the ECOWAS region through frameworks that support increased regional coordination of Services sectors.

Work Location

Home Based

Expected duration

The expected duration of the assignment is five months.

Duties and Responsibilities

Background

The African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), through the Regional Integration and Trade Division (RITD), is a specialized unit within the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Its mission is to act as the leading Africa-based Centre of Excellence and a continental hub for providing and coordinating technical support for the development of trade policies in Africa. ATPC works with stakeholders at all levels to enhance the implementation of sound national, regional and international trade strategies, policies and programs. The Centre also conducts research to generate and disseminate knowledge on trade and provides policy advice, training and capacity building based on the needs identified by its partners.

One of the key focus areas of ATPC's work is to assist the African Union (AU) and its Member States with the negotiation and implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement both individually as well as in groups through their Regional Economic Communities (RECs). Trading under the AfCFTA Agreement commenced on 1 January 2021 and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Secretariat needs technical assistance to be able to effectively support the implementation of the AfCFTA Agreement.

ECOWAS Member States are currently engaged in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) trade in services negotiations with 40 other African countries, which together account for a combined population of 1.3 billion people and a combined GDP of more than US$3.4 trillion. All ECOWAS Member States are now signatories to the Agreement and 12 Member States are State Parties to the Agreement. Although the AfCFTA negotiations are Member States-driven, ECOWAS continues to coordinate the positions/approaches of its Member States. For Member States, the approach is to build on the national and ECOWAS acquis.

The Protocol on Trade in Services forms an integral part of the AfCFTA Agreement, and under its auspices, a hybrid approach is taken to liberalization, with commitments being undertaken by State Parties through Schedules of Specific Commitments on the one hand, and broad regulatory frameworks for cooperation, in the services sectors.


In order to support the AfCFTA negotiations process, ECOWAS Member States need to make informed choices about how to reap the benefits presented by the services liberalisation, while at the same time managing the challenges that may come with it. The AfCFTA negotiations will influence other services negotiations that ECOWAS will be engaged in.

In this context, ECA intends to hire an expert in Trade in Services to support the preparation of a regional Schedule of Specific Commitments and the development of a work programme on Trade in Services for seven (7) services, namely Construction and related services, Distribution services, Education services, Energy services, Environmental services, Health and social services, and Movement of natural persons.

OBJECTIVE OF THE ASSIGNMENT

The main objective of this assignment is to support the ECOWAS Commission to develop a work programme and draw-up a regional Schedule of Specific Commitments on the seven (7) services of the Protocol on Trade in Services for the ECOWAS region. However, support may also be provided to conclude the first 5 priority services sector, which are Business, Communication, Financial, Tourism and Transport.

Duties & Responsibilities

The Trade in Services Expert will work under the overall guidance and joint supervision of the Director of Trade Directorate of the ECOWAS Commission and the ATPC Coordinator. More specifically, the consultant will work under the direct supervision of the Acting Director of Trade at the ECOWAS Commission, who will send to the ATPC Coordinator its deliverables/reports.

The consultant shall perform the following key tasks:

a. Support the AfCFTA negotiating team in ECOWAS Member States in finalizing the offer and request for trade in services for seven service sectors, as well as five priority services sectors (if necessary);

b. Provide training on AfCFTA negotiations on trade in services to relevant stakeholders in the public and private sectors;

c. Inform ECOWAS Member States Governments about the data from the analysis of the regulatory audit carried out in their countries (in cooperation with the World Trade Organization and the World Bank Group) and on the data contained in the regulatory audits (which data exactly do the audits contain, what does the information mean, how can it be used for policy formulation);

d. Develop a strategy to use regulatory auditing to develop a meaningful negotiating position for the AfCFTA Trade in Services negotiations for other service sectors;

e. Develop Regional Protocol on Trade in Services

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications: Advanced university degree (i.e. Master’s degree) in Trade, Law, Economics, Development Studies or related field with relevance for the assignment.
Experience: Fifteen (15) years of proven experience in trade in services, trade policy formulation, regional integration and development, or related areas is required.

Proven experience in trade in services negotiations, specifically in scheduling specific sectoral commitments on the regional and continental level, with excellent background in the necessary technical details incl. General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) methodology and AfCFTA Trade in Services Modalities and experience in regulatory audits for trade in services negotiations incl. the methodology of the Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) is desired.
Language: English and French are the working language of the United Nations Secretariat. For this consultancy, fluency in English language is required.

No Fee

THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CHARGE A FEE AT ANY STAGE OF THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS (APPLICATION, INTERVIEW MEETING, PROCESSING, OR TRAINING). THE UNITED NATIONS DOES NOT CONCERN ITSELF WITH INFORMATION ON APPLICANTS’ BANK ACCOUNTS.

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