Senior Scientist in Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS)
AKADEMIYA2063 is an African non-profit research organization with headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda and a regional office in Dakar, Senegal. AKADEMIYA2063 aspires to create, across Africa and led from Rwanda, state-of-the art technical capacities to support the efforts by the Member States of the African Union to achieve the key goals of the agenda 2063 of transforming national economies to boost growth and prosperity. The main goal of AKADEMIYA2063 is to help meet the needs of African countries in terms of data, analytics and mutual learning for the effective implementation of Agenda 2063 and the realization of its outcomes by a critical mass of member states.
AKADEMIYA2063 seeks to recruit a Senior Scientist to lead its data and analytical work to improve Africa’s sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) systems for food security and trade. All work will be collaborated with the African Union Commission’s Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (AUC- DARBE) and the United States Department of Agriculture – Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA – FAS). The data and analytical work will aim to 1) ensure an effective implementation of the African Union’s SPS Policy Framework, 2) identify investment options and policies for addressing the challenges of food safety and SPS measures in Africa; and 3) facilitate dialogue, mutual learning, and cooperation among African countries for harmonized SPS polices and capacities.
Description of Duties/Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of the Director for Operational Support, the Senior Scientist will perform the following duties.
1. Explore and evaluate priority SPS investments for implementing the AU SPS Policy Framework and Annex 7 of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement
- Review SPS and food safety related policy documents, research evidence, databases and performance tracking tools at national, regional, and continental levels
- Develop a typology of countries based on their institutional, human, and physical infrastructure capacities for implementing SPS regulatory systems and requirements
- Lead effort to collect data on SPS compliance costs, investment needs and costs in five target countries
- Assess the cost of SPS complicance and identify the institutional, human, and physical infrastructure investment needs and priorities for improving SPS compliance and for an effective implementation of SPS measures and the AU SPS Policy Framework at country, regional and continental levels
- Evaluate costs and benefits of SPS investments in boosting intra-Africa agricultural trade, increasing agricultural productivity, and reducing health risks and costs
- Prioritize SPS investments using available prioritization tools such as Prioritizing SPS Investments for Market Access (P-IMA)
2. Conduct analysis on food safety in Africa
- Conduct a detailed review and analysis of the CAADP Biennial Review (BR) food safety data including data gaps and reporting challenges
- Examine the status, challenges, and best practices in food safety, and explore policy reform options and capacity building required for an effective implementation of the AU SPS policy framework
3. Provide knowledge sharing and performance tracking tool development support to AUC- DARBE
- Support organization of regional dialogues and learning events to promote coordination of SPS policies, mutual learning on SPS experiences and best practices among AU Member States, and coordinate with the Senior SPS Advisor to deliver messaging on food safety
- In collaboration with other partners, organize trainings on data collection, analysis and tracking tools to build the implementation capacities in RECs and AU Member States
- Contribute to the development of tools for tracking SPS implementation progress by AU Member States
- Contribute to the development of an SPS index to be included in the CAADP BR report
- Collect and analyze data on capacity building activities and share findings
- PhD in Agricultural Economics, Economics, International Trade, Agribusiness, Food Safety, Development Studies or closely related field
- At least 10 years of relevant professional experience working on food safety and SPS measures
- Proven experience on strategic and policy research related to food safety, or plant and animal health
- Proven understanding of global and regional trade issues and policies and a good understanding of the World Trade Organization’s SPS Agreements and the operations of other organizations related to food, animal and plant health such as Codex, IPPC, OIE etc.
Required Knowledge and Skills
- Very good knowledge of international food safety requirements and SPS related matters
- Excellent written and spoken English
- Strong analytical capabilities, preferably econometrics, investment costing and prioritization tools
- A good understanding of the African Union’s SPS Policy Framework and Annex 7 of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team-oriented multi-cultural environment
- Fluency in French