Expected duration5 months
Background The African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), through the Regional Integration & Trade Division, 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. ECA, through ATPC is assisting Member States in building resilient regional value chains in Africa particularly in the textiles sector for the successful implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). Globally, demand for Africaâ€™s natural resources is high. Yet, despite this demand and the potential it holds, African economies remain dependent on the extraction and export of raw materials, as opposed to bringing added value to its resources that will allow it to move up critical value chains, export refined minerals or finished products, and retain the rents associated therewith. This obstacle is due to many reasons including information asymmetries on production processes, limited knowledge on sources of inputs within the continent, and the inability to connect disparate markets along the same supply chain. Given this context, several initiatives exist that hold the promise of removing information asymmetries and integrating African economies like, for example, the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which entered into force on 30 May 2019 and seeks to serve as a platform to increase intra-African trade, its industrial content, and help to integrate Africaâ€™s disparate economies. While trading under the AfCFTA officially began on 1 January 2021 no meaningful trade had taken place until October 2022 when the AfCFTA Secretariatâ€™s Guided Trade Initiative (GTI) was launched. The GTI is a pilot initiative intended to test the readiness of the AfCFTA structures and processes to support meaningful trade across the Continent on preferential terms. However, even today negotiations on a number of issues critical to the operation of the AfCFTA, including those on rules of origin (RoO) in a small number of important areas, remain outstanding. To date, about 88% of RoOs have been agreed but negotiations on automotive and textiles/clothing are still pending. For trade to happen in any sector, it is imperative that relevant RoOs not only be in place but also be simple, flexible, and transparent. Moreover, countries and businesses need to have information on where goods can be sourced and produced from within the Continent. The Niamey Declaration adopted at the African Union Extraordinary Summit on Industrialisation and Economic Diversification of November 2022 recognized that the sustainability of the AfCFTA calls for a strong commitment to accelerate Africaâ€™s productive transformation. To achieve that, building resilient regional value chains in Africa is an imperative. Only then can Africa build the level of global competitiveness that is essential to realize the vision and aspirations of the African Unionâ€™s Agenda 2063. The Extraordinary Summit directed that the African Union Commission in close collaboration with UNECA and other relevant institutions to support Member States develop regional value chains in priority sectors, including food, automotive, apparel of cotton, and pharmaceuticals in the context of the AfCFTA. In this sense, developing a full picture accompanied with a solid narrative of what is available and the gaps in terms of raw materials and production inputs on the continent, with a focus on the textiles/clothing sector, would help both African businesses and Governments make critical decisions. This is critical to help finalizing RoO negotiations under the AfCFTA Agreement and the effective implementation of national AfCFTA implementation strategies, especially for the development of value chains in the textile/clothing sector. The availability of product sourcing information will further help policymakers better understand how to maximize the benefits from the AfCFTA and particularly where efforts must be concentrated to promote intra-African trade and value chains development/upgrading. It is in this context that the ECA through ATPC seeks to recruit a lead consultant to assist with the production of a study that maps out clear opportunities for the development/upgrading of textile/clothing value chains across Africa and development and harmonization of standards related to the sector, in AfCFTA context. Objective of the assignment The aim of the assignment is to strengthen the development of regional value chains in the textiles/cotton sector in Africa by bridging the information gap on what is available in AfCFTA States parties along with other relevant information such as quantity, quality and price. This will go a long way in allowing countries and businesses to properly develop a sourcing strategy and optimise the potential of the AfCFTA. Specifically, the Consultant is expected to guide the development a database and develop a study of available raw materials and inputs on the African continent in relation to the textiles/clothing value chain, particularly that of cotton. The deliverables thus are: a) A database that allows for the identification of sourcing information (with details on origins and destinations, and distinction between Africa vs. outside Africa) for textile/clothing across Africa that includes quantities available, prices, and quality ratings. This database will also include information surrounding the logistical constraints of sourcing cotton within Africa (as compared to the rest of the world), the set/available used standards for textile/clothing and the challenges in the adoption of these standards; and b) A study providing an overview of the potential sources for textile/clothing across Africa, discussing RoO requirements for relevant products to qualify for preferential trade under the AfCFTA, discusses the methodology used to construct the database, discusses the challenges, opportunities, and implications of expanding trade and standards development and harmonization in textile/clothing across Africa, and maps out the potential for developing regional value chains in the textile/apparel/cotton industry in Africa and provide policy guidance. Duties and responsibilities Working under overall guidance from ECA and the direct supervision of the ATPC, the consultant is expected to: a) Serve as a lead, working closely with the support consultant (responsible to build the database), in the identification and sourcing of data on the availability, prices, and quality ratings for textiles & clothing in Africa. b) Prepare, in close collaboration with the support consultant, an inception report outlining the methodology to be used in the collection of data and construction of the database. c) Serve as the lead author on a study that maps out clear opportunities for the development/upgrading of textile/clothing value chains across Africa and development and harmonization of standards related to the sector, in AfCFTA context, and , largely based on information collected in the database. This study should include a discussion on rules of origin requirements, the methodology used to construct the database that informed this study, and discus challenges, opportunities, and implications of expanding trade and regional value chains in textiles and clothing in Africa including the effects of harmonizing standards in the textile/clothing sector in Africa. d) Oversee a researcher serving in a support function on the collection and analysis of data for the construction of the database described in (a). e) Travel, as needed and approved, to select countries to facilitate the data gathering and collection or restitution. f) Participate in a hybrid workshop to validate the database and study. g) Participate in dissemination events intended to inform government stakeholders of the database. h) Other ad-hoc assignments, as necessary
Qualifications/special skillsAdvanced university degree (Masterâ€™s degree or above) in Economics, Statistics, Trade, Development studies, or related fields is desirable The candidate should have a minimum of ten (10) years of proven experience in trade policy formulation, value chain analysis, regional integration and development, or related areas in Africa. Familiarity with data analysis using statistical packages is an asset for this position.
LanguagesEnglish and French are the working languages of the United Nations. For this post, fluency in English (both oral and written) is required. Knowledge of French, Portuguese, and/or Arabic is an asset.
No FeeTHE 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 APPLICANTSâ€™ BANK ACCOUNTS.