African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Specialist at Creative Associates International

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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: African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Specialist

Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Employment Type: Full-time
Report to: The Chief of Party based in Abuja, Nigeria.
Start Date: 1st May, 2022

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. as well as for exports within West Africa and from the sub-region to other countries by the Trade Hub’s grantees.
  • He/she will provide support to governments and regional partners (ECOWAS, UEMOA) on the implementation of AGOA and other export strategies, support to associations/export agencies on understanding AGOA and the U.S. and other country 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.

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.
  • 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
  • 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 needed assistance regarding AGOA and other exports to grantees, other stakeholders and partners as needed.
  • 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 expressions of interest (EOIs) regarding AGOA and other exports 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.
  • Any other tasks to help facilitate exports and co-investment partnerships, as assigned

Required Skills and Qualifications
The successful candidate must have the following skills/qualifications:

  • Master’s in Agribusiness, Textiles, International Trade, Strategies and Marketing, Trade facilitation, or related field.
  • 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.
  • 10+ years general work experience and 7+ years of progressive specific experience related to the position.  
  • At least five years of experience with USAID projects (or other similar donor programs) is highly preferable.
  • A citizen of a West African country who is fluent in both English and French is highly preferable.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send their CV in either PDF or Word format as one document to: [email protected] 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.
  • Candidates must be available to start no later than May 1, 2022.
  • Creative Associates International Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer: Disability/Veteran

Application Deadline  15th March, 2022.

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