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Consultant in e-commerce-Economic and Financial Governance Department – GEFI> Business Facilitation and Regional Economic Integration Department ADDIS ABABA,ETHIOPIA-August 2020

Economic and Financial Governance Department – GEFI> Business Facilitation and Regional Economic Integration Department

Online since: 07/31/2020

Deadline for Submission 21/08/2020 10:09


Global objective 

The activity aims to provide a solid framework to support DTI in the development of the e-commerce strategy in Africa. The African Digital trade Strategy should be the best guide for negotiations and the formulation of the AfCFTA Protocol on Digital trade to safeguard and promote the interests of Africa.

Specific objectives

The specific objective of this activity is to assist DTI in formulating a draft digital trade strategy which is in line with current African requirements in the field of digital trade and / or digital commerce, taking into account specifics of the context indicated above.

Given the context, this activity will focus on developing a first draft African e-commerce strategy from the perspective of African Member States. The draft strategy should incorporate the views of all current and future debates.

Under the general supervision of the Director of the Department of Trade and Industry, the consultant will work under the direct and daily supervision of the Head of Trade Division and the Facility’s Trade Technical Expert when required. The Consultant will work closely with DTI as well as with other AU Commission staff members who are active on digital development issues.

The technical development of the draft strategy will cover the following activities:

  1. Preparatory undertakings
    • Examine the report on the situational analysis of digital trade in Africa, identify gaps and document findings;
    • Identify the main catalysts of digital trade and the problems linked to internal supply for African Union Member States which must be solved to develop capacities;
    • Identify best practices in other regions: develop brief examples / boxes which could be included in the strategy;
    • Research and recommend the appropriate approach so that this activity is included in a coherent manner in the proposed strategy;
    • Identify external obstacles to the expansion of digital tradedigital trade in Africa;
    • Identify any other influencing problems which should be taken into account to ensure the growth of African digital tradedigital trade platforms;
    • Take into account relevant cross-sectional or similar studies [1];
    • In collaboration with DTI, conduct consultations with stakeholders from representatives of the private sector in the e-commerce sector.
  2. Drafting of the African e-commerce strategy
    • Design and propose the roadmap and methodology for the development of the African E-commerce strategy;
    • Design and propose a framework for the African E-commerce strategy;
    • Describe the  support measures that will be necessary for African Member States to develop e-commerce activities

Expected Output

The activity aims to deliver the following main results:

  1. A draft E-Commerce strategy
  2. A diagnostic and mapping study on the current state of e-commerce activities within the departments of the AUC and with the relevant stakeholders (UNECA, AfDB, EU, etc.) in order to identify the policy gaps and inconsistencies of African e-commerce and develop collaborative strategies;
  3. A draft strategic framework for the E-commerce strategy in close collaboration with DTI staff;
  4. A draft roadmap and associated methodology for the development of the  E-commerce strategy;
  5. Expected method and delivery

Main deliverable expected:

  1. A framework and draft of the e-commerce strategy containing a review of all the above items, written in English and organised in an intelligible, easily understandable and appropriable manner. The consultant will be invited to present the draft document when finalised at a meeting convened by DTI in order to revise the contents accordingly to comments and suggestions. This meeting could also be held online.


The results of the work will be examined and validated at each stage by the resource person from DTI. Regarding the methodology and work organisation, it will be proposed by the Consultant at the start of the mission, and validated by DTI.

The study is subject to further refinement proposed by the recruited consultant and could be carried out in two main phases according to the breakdown below:

  • First phase: review all stages of the methodology and produce a provisional report including the inventory and diagnosis of the problem of developing a draft strategy for digital trade in Africa. The provisional report will be examined by DTI which may consider further consultations with the stakeholders for possible validation. Strategic choices will then be made taking into account the current African priorities in the matter including objectives/results to be achieved, the strategic axes, and the action plan. The deliverables may be systematically reviewed by relevant stakeholders;
  • Second phase: produce final and consolidated draft strategy report which will go under a validation process by DTI and other relevant stakeholders;
  • Final phase: organisation of a virtual workshop extended to all partners associated with the draft strategy for a solemn presentation of the draft strategy.

The organisation of virtual or physical workshops will be done by the Consultant with the assistance of the Technical Assistance Facility team and DTI.


As the only recognised continental institution, the African Union is Africa’s key interlocutor vis-à-vis its external partners in its areas of expertise, such as diplomatic, economic and security issues. As such, the AU plays an essential role for the continent, carrying a common and shared continental voice. It exerts unifying power by providing a political platform for dialogue, coordination and joint decision-making. It thus acts as a spokesperson for African states to have more consistent common positions with international partners, particularly in international fora. The AU also intends to act as a catalyst for Africa’s development by promoting the exchange of experiences at continental, regional and national levels, thereby improving synergies, comparability and wider dissemination of best practices.

The AU and France have engaged in a strategic dialogue since the signing of a declaration of intent on 8 June 2018. In order to give substance to this dialogue and to enshrine it in the long term, EUR 1.5 Million in funding has been granted by the French Development Agency to Expertise France in the form of a 24-month technical assistance and capacity-building facility to support the AU on issues within its area of expertise, which present important challenges for the continent in line with the priorities set by the 2063 agenda for the transformation of Africa into a world power, and on which France has significant expertise.

Through the France-AU Declaration of Intent, signed on 8 June 2018, the following themes were identified: (i) peace, security and governance; (2) economic integration and sustainable development; (3) education, culture, art, sport and youth. This technical assistance Facility is fully in line with this second theme. Furthermore, this Facility will aim at accompanying the AU on issues on which it has directly taken action and which represent important issues for the continent.

More precisely, it will focus on (i) Support the establishment of instruments to achieve continental economic integration to make the African continent stronger through the development of its intracontinental activity and (ii) Enable African states to integrate sovereignty issues related to digital development to enable the continent to fully and equitably enjoy the fruits of this economy in full security. This proposed activity plays into these two key priorities.

 Qualifications and skills

  • Minimum qualification of a graduate degree in economics and/or international business and/or law and/or management and/or IT ;
  • Postgraduate qualifications in Economics, Development Studies, International Economics, International Trade Law, or at least 15 years working experience in the field covered by this activity;
  • Have already successfully developed regional strategies in digital economy;
  • Fluency in English is required, and proficiency in French or of another AU working language is desirable.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

General professional experience

  • Experience working in Africa and/or in developing countries, small states and least developed countries, an asset;
  • At least ten (10) years of professional experience in trade policy development in African Governments or Regional Economic Communities;
  • Experience in developing and implementing trade policies in Africa and working with international organisations is highly desirable;
  • Experience working with the private sector is highly desirable;

Specific professional experience

  • Ten (10) years of professional experience in developing strategies for assessing e-commerce markets;
  • Ten (10) years of professional experience in conducting research and clearly presenting the technical and legal requirements of digital trade.


The mission will take place partially in Addis Ababa and/or at the consultant’s home and will take place from September 1 to December 31, 2020.

Key Expert 1, 60 days – (20 field-based / 40 home-based, depending on travel feasibility).



The consultant should hold a briefing session at the beginning of her/his mission with DTI and Expertise France’s team, during which s/he will present the agenda for the mission, and get his/her methodology validated by DTI. Every on-site mission (if feasible given the Covid-19 Pandemic context), will be followed by a debriefing session in order to give feedback of the mission’s results, and to inform on the next steps. The consultant will also organise presentation sessions of the Draft Strategy. The consultant will also inform the Facility coordinator of all physical or online meetings conducted as part of the formulation of strategy in form of short reports.

The consultant should prepare and submit the first draft of the strategy along with an implementation plan for development of the Draft E-commerce strategy to the Director DTI no later than 60 days after commencement of consultancy. Presenting the strategy during the short validation workshop is also an option. A final version taking into account the comments of the relevant stakeholders will be received no later than 4 months after commencing the consultancy.

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