The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, took the lead, in consultation, collaboration, and coordination with partners, to design a 3-year regional trade promotion program. The program aims at addressing some of the challenges preventing the business communities in Arab countries and Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries from fully taking advantage of existing trade potentials within the two regions.
In this regard, a study commissioned to the International Trade Centre (ITC) to assess the mentioned untapped potential trade opportunities between the two regions, confirmed the importance of these opportunities and pointed out the main sectors that could increase the cross regional trade between the two regions.
To bridge these untapped export potentials, the ultimate objective of the program has been designed to leverage on new commercial partnerships, strengthen existing ones, and increase trade flows. In addition, the Program shall enhance trade and investment across the two regions through cooperation among trade and investment support institutions. In order to support the member countries from both regions, the Arab Africa Trade Bridges Program has been designed keeping in view the challenges and opportunities.
The Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program aims to facilitate partnerships for trade and investment between the two regions. The Program strives to support the development agenda in beneficiary countries contributing to export development, economic diversification, job creation and inclusiveness, with a special attention to the youth and women.
The core objectives of the AATB Program are:
- Increase commercial and business exchanges between SMEs from both regions through awareness raising of available trade opportunities and activation of business networks;
- Strengthen capacity of Trade Support Institutions and SMEs on relevant export tools and trade intelligence;
- Explore the potential and support the development of inter-regional value chains in strategic economic sectors;
- Provide opportunities for trade finance and export credit insurance to exporters from both regions.
The expected results include:
- Establish new business partnership and promote trade between the two regions;
- Disseminate information on market opportunities and trade regulations;
- Create opportunities for traders to present their export products;
- Establish online business network that will facilitate further business contacts and information exchanges;
- Develop trade finance and export credit insurance products and services offering to facilitate business relations between exporters and importers.
The project, funded by different regional and international organizations as well as by some MCs, will be implemented by ITFC, in close cooperation with support institutions at national level. Other founding members can also implement activities/ projects under the AATB, in coordination with ITFC.
To achieve the above-mentioned outputs and objectives, and to efficiently cooperate and coordinate in the implementation of the AATB Program, it requires a dedicated Project Manager (AATB PM), who should have an extensive experience in managing trade development and trade promotion programs. This person, who will be part of the AATB Project Management Unit (PMU), is selected directly by ITFC.
Under the overall guidance of the ITFC Chief Executive Officer, the AATB Project Manager will be reporting directly to the Trade Development Division and will undertake the following tasks and will have the profile described below:
- Be the focal point of AATB Program vis-à-vis the AATB projects/ activities stakeholders;
- Develop operational mechanisms, through consultations between ITFC and the executing agencies for efficiently implementing AATB Program;
- Coordinate, in consultation with the donor Agencies/ Countries, on an annual basis, the preparation of work plans for AATB Program as a whole, and support the delivery of the Project in partner countries in an integrated manner;
- Ensure that the AATB objectives are properly reflected into the approved AATB work plans.
- Set up an efficient and operational network of AATB Focal Points;
- Maintain good contacts with potential donors, under the guidance of the ITFC CEO, for possible raising of resources to strengthen the AATB Project.
- Prepare an annual operation plan and budget
- Be directly involved in the resource mobilization (design and delivery)
- Manage the implementation and the coordination of project’s activities in the field in accordance with the action plans, and ensure that they are aligned with the guidelines of the AATB Governance Body;
- Ensure that each implemented program/ activity is meeting the required standards, expected results and impact, and within the allocated budget;
- Report to ITFC any changes, problems and budget issues during the implementation of the Projects/ Activities;
- Report on the progress of the AATB action plan implementation to the AATB Executive Committee (EC) on quarterly basis.
- Prepare financial reports of the AATB per project/ program
- Review and advise on any relevant matters for the successful implementation of the AATB approved project, and formulate recommendations regarding the project strategies upon review of project deliverables;
- Report, on an ad hoc basis, to the ITFC CEO, and undertake any other tasks as agreed with ITFC and the Executing agencies; and make recommendations for follow-on actions as necessary.
Qualifications, Competencies and experience:
- Reporting to the Division Manager, Trade Development on the execution of AATB projects;
- Managing the preparations and the reporting of the AATB Governing Board (Governing Board meetings)
- Ensuring effective communication on AATB with the donors, the beneficiary countries and the stakeholders;
- Ensure AATB Web site adequately maintained.
Advanced university degree in international marketing, business administration, economics or equivalent; at least 10 years of experience in trade-related project management and coordination in developing countries, with consistent experience in the Arab and Africa region. Proven experience in needs assessment, programme formulation, management and evaluation; computer literacy and excellent report writing and editing abilities; business attitude and demonstrated skills in managing complex technical cooperation projects; ability to work with minimum supervision with ethics, efficiency, competence and integrity and in harmony with people of different backgrounds.
Languages & Nature of Contract:
- Fluency in spoken and written Arabic, English and French.
- Fixed Term Contract for one (1) year.