Despite the recorded growth in output in several COMESA countries over the past decade, many of these countries struggle with some of the highest and most persistent rates of poverty globally. Coupled to this, both income and gender inequality persists. The COMESA region is however endowed with substantial human and natural resources while investment and trade have over the past decade expanded. Intra COMESA export trade has grown by over 150% between 2015 and 2006.
However COMESA economies remain is susceptible to shocks and stresses and these have the potential to negate development gains and stifle future growth.
In May 2016, USAID adopted a five-year East Africa Regional Development Cooperation Strategy (2016 – 2020) (RDCS) with an overall goal of “enhancing East African-led sustainable economic growth and resilience.” It focuses on three complementary and synergistic development objectives (DOs), namely: DO 1: Sustainable regional economic integration advanced; DO 2: Improved management of risks that transcend borders; and DO 3: East African institutions’ leadership and learning strengthened. This strategy was developed in consultation with stakeholders and partners across the East African region, including COMESA. Similarly, on July 12, 2016, COMESA concluded the final review of the draft Medium Term Strategic Plan (2016-2020) for adoption and implementation in October 2016, with an overall goal of deepening trade facilitation, market integration and ensuring the readiness of the Secretariat and region. COMESA developed this strategy after inclusive and extensive consultations with Member States and various stakeholders.
USAID and COMESA’s strategies have similar goals and its DOs and Strategic Objectives (SOs), respectively, align. Both Parties believe that working together to achieve these goals will be mutually beneficial.
Consequently USAD and COMESA signed the Regional Development Objectives Grant Agreement (RDOAG) in September 2016. The RDOAG will provide a framework implementation of activities in support of/in furtherance of the RDCS and in consultation with COMESA and other regional stakeholders.
Under the DO1, COMESA and USAID will endeavor to support statistical development in the COMESA region. In the Implementation Letter signed for the 2016-2017 work program, both parties intend to support work related to agriculture trade statistics, data quality related to the same and COMESA Secretariat capacity building.
The statistical consultant being hired will basically play a pivotal role in ensuring deliverables towards improved agriculture trade statistics.
The main objective of the consultancy The main objective of the consultancy is to enhance the implementation of the sub program related to the formal and informal agriculture trade.