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United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Invites for Pre-qualification for Consultancy to Develop National Strategies for the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

Bids closing date 27 May 2019
Bids opening date No Specific Opening Day
Published on ( May 14, 2019 )
Posted on May 14, 2019


  • Title of the EOI: Invitation for Pre-qualification for Consultancy to Develop National Strategies for the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)
  • Date of this EOI:13 May 2019
  • Closing Date for Receipt of EOI: 27 May 2019
  • EOI Number:  EOIUNECA16362
  • E-mail Address: 
  • Address EOI response by fax for the Attention of Rahel Tarekegne
  • UNSPSC Code: 80151501, 80151502, 80151503, 80151504, 80151505, 80151600



1. Background

The Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) signed in Kigali, Rwanda, on 21 March 2018 is a key milestone in Africa’s integration Agenda.  The scope of the AfCFTA covers trade in goods, trade in services, investment, intellectual property rights, competition policy and possibly e-commerce. This wide scope moves the Agreement beyond the requirements of a traditional free trade area. A main underlying argument is that by stimulating economic growth and diversification, the AfCFTA will help to generate economic activities for higher value-added at domestic and regional levels. 

The implementation of the AfCFTA will certainly involve adjustments in countries to overcome potential challenges and seize the opportunities offered by integrated markets. Given the significant diversity in the economic configuration of African countries, they will be affected in different ways by the AfCFTA. It is expected that from the short to medium-run, structural changes through reallocation of factors of production, could entail costs of adjustment. 

This notwithstanding, harnessing the full benefits of the AfCFTA starts with its domestication, ratification by member States being a prerequisite. The benefits of the Agreement, once in force, will not come overnight. Countries would need to identify where their comparative advantages lie for diversification and value chains (for both goods and services) development. This will enable them to design and implement necessary actions with a view to harnessing these advantages. They also need to identify means to deal with costs adjustment including any adverse financial impact that could result from the Agreement’s implementation. These certainly entail for African countries to develop national AfCFTA tailored strategies that are aligned with existing policy frameworks at national, regional and continental levels. The AfCFTA National Strategies will complement the broader trade policy of each State Party to the Agreement and identify opportunities, gaps, and steps required for it to take full advantage of continental and global markets while optimizing the AfCFTA induced opportunities.   

It is in this context that the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) through its African Trade Policy Center (ATPC) proposes to recruit consulting firms to support African countries develop AfCFTA National Strategies. This recruitment is being undertaken in the context of a technical assistance project implemented by ECA in collaboration of the African Union Commission (AUC) and few other partners and financial support by the European Union. 

2. The objective of the consultancy 

The objective of the consultancy is to support African countries to develop AfCFTA National Strategy. The Strategy will complement the target country’s broader trade policy and identify key trade opportunities, current constraints, and steps required for it to take full advantage of national, regional and global markets in the AfCFTA context. The Strategy will be aligned with regional and continental policy frameworks. Consonant with its objective, the AfCFTA National Strategy for a project country must include, at least, the following key elements: review of production systems and trade performance, analysis of relevant policy and regulatory environment and their alignment with the AfCFTA Agreement and other regional and continental frameworks; identification of market opportunities and prioritization of sectors/products for trade and regional value chains development through a statistical analysis; mapping of current constraints and potential impediments to the identified priority sectors; strategic actions to address potential obstacles, and in particular non-tariffs barriers (NTBs).  Furthermore, the national strategies must account for a number of cross-cutting issues including human rights, gender equality, children, adolescents, migration, environmental and climate change as well as technologies. All these elements must be complemented by an effective monitoring and evaluation frameworks and financial resources mobilization plans to implement priority actions of the Strategy.

3. Scope of the assignment 

Specific tasks in developing the AfCFTA national strategies for a target country will include, but are not limited to:

a) Undertake to scope missions to engage all stakeholders through individual or group  consultations and  lay the ground for the preparation of the AfCFTA strategies;

b) Organize stakeholders’ national forum on AfCFTA where countries issues will be discussed;

c) Develop a draft AfCFTA national strategies based on guidance from the national forum and informed by national and regional diagnostic reviews, sectoral assessments and case studies. 

d) Develop a clear Strategic Action Plan including sectoral actions plans with responsibilities and roles of each entity at sub-national, national, regional, continental and international levels clearly identified; 

4. Approach and methods 

The consultant will employ the following approaches, methods and data sources. 

a) Interviews with ECA and its sub-regional offices as well as with other project implementing partners including the African Union Commission (AUC), the International Trade Center (ITC) to receive further guidance on the consultancy assignment, process, expectations, and final deliverables; 

b) In-depth interviews with various stakeholders or groups of stakeholders in the target country to understand key issues of relevance to the strategies; 

c) Review of existing, and production of new knowledge products to inform the strategies; 

d) Multistakeholder consultations with the government, the private sector, youth, civil society organizations, academia, regional economic communities and development partners; 

e) Primary data collection, complemented by secondary sources, to inform the various components of the AfCFTA National Strategies. For Non-Tariffs Measures, the methodology for data collection will rely on the template and approach developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.1 

The development of the AfCFTA National Strategies will be based mainly on a broad Guidelines document to be provided by ECA. The document will highlight in some details the key elements to be considered in the AfCFTA National Strategies. 

Because of the dynamic nature of the project and the possibility for changes in the scope of work as more countries join the project, this EOI is for Vendors Pre-qualification, to be followed by a solicitation (RFQ) to evaluate vendors for an award for specific countries, as and when required bases. For Specific Requirements/Information; kindly refer to the invitation for Pre-qualification: PRO32-3-49-RITD/19. 

UNECA is precluded from entering into a contract with a vendor that is not fully registered with United Nations Global Market lace (UNGM) and did not obtain UN Global Market Place (UNGM) Vendor ID Number. Thus, only those vendors who are registered or provisionally registered or have started their registration process in UNGM will be eligible to receive the solicitation document-RFP. (Use https://www.ungm.orgwebsite to register at UNGM:).

Interested vendors who fulfill the requirements are required to submit the completed Vendor Response Form plus all required supplemental documentation through the addresses stated on Invitation for Pre-qualification documentation (found on the below links) on or before 27 May 2019. Please direct all your queries to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa using the email provided above.

Vendors interested in participating in this planned solicitation process should complete the Vendor Response Form (Found at or ) and send to UNECA before the closing date set forth above together with the required documentation.


Filed Under
Consultancy Other
Consultancy Financial
Consultancy Organizational

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Applicable date: Jan 16th, 2021