Digital Trade and e-Commerce Technical Advisor
Abuja, Nigeria
3d ago


describes responsibilities for the DCCP position of Digital Trade and e-Commerce Technical Advisor. The Technical Advisor will support the African Union’s Commission’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on digital trade and e-commerce for a period of up to 22 months.

The Technical Advisor will be based in Addis and work under the supervision of the Director of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Head of the Trade Division.

Because of COVID-related restrictions, the position is likely to begin virtually until physical placement can take place in the African Union Commission building.

Background :

In 2018, African Union (AU) member states signed on to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This milestone agreement brings Africa closer to its goal of boosting intra African Trade, as the AfCFTA is expected to increase consumer spending to about $1.

4 trillion in 2020, and inter-African trade by as much as $35 billion per year, according to UN estimates.

At the Heads of State Summit in February 2020, the AU adopted an African Digital Transformation Strategy (DTS) 2020-2034, which calls for the development of sectoral implementation strategies and action plans to operationalize the DTS.

The AU Heads of State and Government also agreed to have Phase III negotiations focused on an AfCFTA protocol on e-Commerce immediately after the conclusion of Phase II.

Negotiations are expected to begin in early 2021 tentatively. Heads of State also agreed to seek capacity building support throughout 2020 for AU member states and other AfCFTA stakeholders to prepare for the upcoming negotiations.

While digital trade represents a multi-trillion dollar market globally, Africa currently claims only a small share of e-Commerce revenues.

Nevertheless, digital trade in Africa is rapidly growing and is expected to constitute a growing share of trade under the AfCFTA.

Staff in the AU Commission Department of Trade and Industry, as well as many AU member state policy makers, require additional expertise and knowledge in policies related to digital trade and e-Commerce.

The AU Commission will benefit from the technical assistance for the development and implementation of the Digital Trade Implementation Plan of the DTS.

In addition, AU Commission staff and policy makers will benefit from capacity building on issues of digital trade and e-commerce.

This will also enable them to participate in the development of relevant policies as well as internal policy debates on digital / e-Commerce, and make informed decisions on the potential trade impacts that policy decisions may have on the African economy.

In this regard, the services of a Digital Trade and e-Commerce Technical Advisor are being sought.

Scope of Work :

Technical Leadership :

  • Provides high quality technical leadership to AUC on digital trade by, amongst other things, undertaking applied policy analysis;
  • developing policies, strategies and tools; providing policy advice to African member states on a full spectrum of digital trade policy issues;
  • Advances the DTI and AfCFTA Unit work on digital trade in a way that is responsive to member country needs, particularly the needs of small, vulnerable and least developed Member States;
  • Prepares and produces documents, briefs, reports and publications that are responsive to Member States’ policy problems, and devises mechanisms to encourage the adoption of policy recommendations;
  • Development of the Digital Trade action Plan of the DTS based on the E-Commerce Strategy for Africa;
  • Formulate possible policy models and options for consideration for e-commerce at the continental level, building on the experience of other regions of the South such as ASEAN and MERCOSUR among others, and provide any other necessary support as may be required;
  • Work with Tech labs to support private sector development on issues of Digital Trade and Ecommerce;
  • Coordinate with experts from other multilateral organizations involved in significant digital trade activities in Africa;
  • Prepares talking points and speeches for senior staff and makes presentations for specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • Any other relevant tasks.
  • Capacity Building & Knowledge Management :

  • Deliver technical assistance to AU member state policy makers and negotiators, as well as staff of the regional economic communities (RECs);
  • Develops toolkits, manuals, guidelines and other policy tools for use by policy makers of AU Member States and RECs.
  • Advocacy :

  • Advocates and influences international digital trade frameworks for the benefit of developing African Union Member States, particularly small and vulnerable, and least developed members;
  • Support AUC sensitization and outreach initiatives on digital trade and e-commerce in Africa.
  • Partnerships :

  • Establishes and strengthens strategic partnerships with international and regional organizations working on digital trade for the benefit of African Union Member States
  • Requirements / Qualifications :

    The position, which is open to citizens of AU member states, requires an advanced university degree (Master’s or equivalent) in an area that is demonstrably related to digital trade / e-Commerce issues, such as International Trade, Economics policy, law, or engineering.

    A combination of relevant academic qualifications and extensive work experience in the area of trade policy and information technology issues may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

  • A minimum of ten (10) years of expert work at the international level in the area of digital trade, including : at least five (5) years of experience working on policy formation in digital trade with either international or African governmental institutions at the national, regional, or continental level;
  • trade associations, civil society organizations; think tanks; academic institutions; or companies, and at least three (3) years of experience working in policies related to the digital economy (e.

    g., privacy policies, cybersecurity frameworks, data protection, taxation, and general Information Communications and Technology policies).

  • Citizenship of one of the AU Member States.
  • Familiarity with ongoing global debates on these issues in international fora, including the WTO, OECD, G20, APEC, Regional Economic Communities, etc. is strongly desired.
  • Experience in developing and implementing trade policies, especially in digital trade / ecommerce, and free trade agreements.
  • Experience working with the private sector is strongly desired.
  • Experience working on trade and trade related programs with the support of international cooperation in Africa is strongly desired.
  • Complete fluency in English required but fluency in both English and French preferred.
  • Knowledge of other African Union working languages is preferable.
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