The Standards Alliance, a public-private partnership between the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in coordination with the African Union (AU) and the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is supporting U.S.-Africa trade relations through the appointment of a technical advisor for technical barriers to trade (TBT) to the African Union.
The technical advisor will support the implementation of TBT-related commitments under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and help facilitate greater cooperation between the U.S. and Africa as the AU implements the largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The TBT advisor will support the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of the AU Commission to design and implement commitments described in Annex 6 (Technical Barriers to Trade) of the AfCFTA, and support cooperation on TBT-related issues. The Standards Alliance will fund this position, and will work with other U.S. stakeholders and AGRA to provide oversight and guidance to the selected advisor to ensure ongoing cooperation.
The Standards Alliance has supported engagement with African countries since 2014, focusing on important subjects such as the operation of WTO TBT Enquiry Points; good regulatory practices; and participation in international standards activities. In addition, ANSI has built a strong foundation of partnership with African entities such as the African Organization for Standardization (ARSO), an intergovernmental organization established by the AU for harmonization of African standards. ANSI and ARSO signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2014 and have cooperated on numerous events and activities. This new effort to support a technical advisor to the AU will build on that foundation to further strengthen U.S.-Africa ties for standardization and encourage effective implementation of the AfCFTA.
The Standards Alliance's partner organization, AGRA, is seeking proposals from qualified applicants for the technical advisor position. This role will be responsible for assisting the AfCFTA Secretariat with the coordination of specialized African entities in the area of standards and with regional and national African standardization agencies to support the implementation of a work plan of the AfCFTA, TBT Annex. The candidate will assist in building TBT-related capacity of regional economic blocs to further the objective of effectively implementing the AfCFTA. The TBT Advisor will also play a role in managing relationships with international donors that will provide technical assistance for TBT issues.
The TBT advisor will also have a strategic role, ensuring that the development of the TBT-related components of the AfCFTA promotes open trade flows between the U.S. and Africa by emphasizing international best practices. The advisor will encourage mutually beneficial solutions to support necessary capacity-building efforts as African nations harmonize their TBT requirements. Through this coordination, the advisor will continue to support the expansion of U.S.-Africa trade flows.
The full announcement and Terms of Reference (TOR) can be found on AGRA's website. The deadline for submission is May 11, 2020, 5:00 p.m. East African Time (EAT). ANSI encourages interested parties to apply via the link and to share this opportunity with relevant networks.