International Consultant to Prepare a Policy paper on Trade for Peace in South Sudan
The Republic of South Sudan is faced with a severe multifaceted crisis and heightened vulnerability to fragility encompassing political, economic, social and humanitarian dimensions. The recent outbreak of the violent crisis in Juba on 8 July 2016 followed by a declaration of ceasefire on 11 July was unforeseen and constituted a setback to the smooth implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS). On the economic front, the country is reeling under a deep macroeconomic crisis, high inflationary pressures, steep decline in value of the South Sudanese Pound vis-a-vis the US Dollars (as well as other major international currencies) exacerbated further by the oil price volatility and oil production shocks.
Despite challenges and concerns, the government has sought to pursue key public finance management reforms as enshrined in Chapter IV of ARCISS and has passed a progressive 2016/17 budget with bold fiscal measures aimed at restoration of macroeconomic stability. It has also undertaken some economic and fiscal stabilization measures recently, several of which seek to address the provisions of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS). The economic measures announced thus far including through the budget of 2016/17 and they include: increasing revenue (raising taxes, reduce exceptions, strengthen tax administration, and increase oil revenues); reducing expenditure (payroll, discretionary, and government contracts); cash management (cancel all outstanding cheques, cash committee, arrears repayment plan); and strengthening monetary policy and banking system (capital and reserve requirements, renegotiate loans, and financial audit) as also progressively consider removing distortions in oil pricing and subsidies. Further a National Revenue Authority is being established to ensure competent and effective oversight mechanism that controls revenues collection.
South Sudan’s trade policy and regulatory frameworks are under review and finalization. There exists a draft trade policy document prepared by South Sudan EAC accession secretariat which is being updated in a consultative manner.
South Sudan is a landlocked, import dependent economy and is heavily reliant on oil exports. The economy is largely undiversified and a process of structural transformation through the process of industrialization and trade diversification is an urgent priority for the Government of South Sudan.
South Sudan has a huge window of opportunity as a late comer to devise a smart and transformative strategy of economic and trade diversification through industrialization and boosting local production.
Given its dominantly young population comprising more than 60 percent of the total population of 12 million people, trade can be an engine of growth, industrialization and job creation in the country. This will also help to strengthen the economic foundations for peace, address widespread discontent particularly amongst the youth and help to move the country towards stabilization and recovery. In order for the country to move to the sustainable development pathway, there is a clear need for ushering in a new way of thinking and working- indeed ushering in nothing short of a paradigmatic shift in the current policy framework which has a robust political commitment at the highest levels. A peaceful and stable policy and investment framework while affording ease of doing business, a streamlined and enabling taxation system is a sine-qua-non to achieve this ambitious goal.
Duties and Responsibilities
Scope of Work
The international consultant will report to the Undersecretary, Ministry of Trade and Industry while closely liaising with the EIF Coordinator and the National Implementation Unit under the Department of external trade of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, with overall technical and logistical inputs and support from UNDP.
While reviewing the current economic situation, the draft trade policy documents including the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study, the consultant will undertake:
- A rapid review and analytically highlight the importance of trade in building sustainable peace and development in the country;
- Identify quick wins including on the extant areas of South Sudan’s comparative advantage and the sector for prioritization; this will also link up with the current thrust of the Ministry of Trade and Industry on ‘Made in South Sudan’ products;
- Identify good practices from with Africa, Asia with a focus on the East African region on the role trade has played in growth and poverty reduction;
- Provide key policy recommendations to strengthen the agenda of trading for peace.
The consultant will undertake a desk review of existing analytical work and relevant programmes in South Sudan related to private sector and trade development, existing draft trade policy documents including the Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (DTIS). The consultant will implement a participatory and consultative approach.
The consultant is expected to produce:
- Draft Trade for Peace in South Sudan paper
- Strong analytical skills;
- Ability to interpret results and make recommendations;
- Effective communication skills and proven leadership capacity;
- Ability to work in multi-cultural, multi-disciplinary environments;
- Ability to work under tight deadline;
- Sound negotiation and representational skills;
- Integrity and adherence to UN values.
Required Skills and Experience
Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics or related field
- At least 10 years of demonstrated track record and experience in documentation of trade successes in Asia and Africa;
- Understanding and experience in trade, regional economic integration and WTO accession, including policy research and applied aspects;
- Knowledge of trade-related and relevant sectoral issues in South Sudan or East Africa;
- Experience in working with Sub-Sahara African countries. Previous experience in South Sudan is an asset;
- Knowledge of EIF operational guidelines strong advantage;
- Experience in working in post conflict context is an added advantage;
- Knowledge of the UN system is an asset.
- Excellent writing and oral skills in English.