Terms of Reference – Local Project Coordinator – Malawi

The Alliance is looking for a project coordination consultant to support its latest initiative in Malawi

Terms of Reference – Local Project Coordinator – Malawi

Center for International Private Enterprise / Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation


1. Background

The Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation is a public private partnership for trade-led growth, supporting governments in developing and least-developed countries in implementing the World Trade Organization’s Trade Facilitation Agreement. Alliance projects cut through red tape and end costly delays at borders by bringing together governments and businesses of all sizes as equal partners to deliver targeted trade reforms. The Alliance is led by the Center for International Private Enterprise, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the World Economic Forum, in cooperation with Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). It is funded by the governments of the United States, Canada, and Germany.

CIPE, on behalf of the Alliance, is about to launch a project to with two key components in Malawi. The two key components are:

  • Export training program: The training program aims to bolster the export capabilities of registered MSMEs, women-owned and women-led businesses in Malawi. The training program will mainly target agricultural businesses, the leading export sector in Blantyre and Lilongwe. It aims to benefit those businesses that have the potential of exporting to neighboring markets, taking advantage of the new opportunities offered by the AfCFTA. It is to be noted that, intra-African trade in agriculture is expected to increase by 574% by 2030 if tariffs are eliminated under the AfCFTA; coupled with projected 8.5% and 11.2% increase in wages for men and women, respectively.
  • HS Classification and Tariff Information Tool: A user-centric tool that will serve to easily assign commodity code and associated tariffs. By doing so, it empowers traders, particularly MSME businesses, in their export ambitions through the tool’s assistance to better understand market opportunities, duty obligations, compliance requirements, and preferential origin rules. The tool is transformative in trade facilitation, enhancing compliance, reducing the scope for honest mistakes, and fostering a more inclusive and transparent trading environment.

This project aligns with the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and more specifically with Articles 1 (Publication and Availability of Information) and Article 10 (Formalities with Importation, Exportation and Transit). Additionally, the proposed program complements our ongoing Alliance initiative to modernise the customs brokers industry. By simultaneously enhancing the capabilities of both MSMEs and customs brokers, we are creating a more cohesive trade ecosystem. The customs brokers, equipped with higher standards and technical knowledge from our existing project will be better positioned to assist MSMEs and WOBs who have participated in this new project.

Key local stakeholders, in a non-exhaustive manner, are:

  • Malawi Revenue Authority
  • Ministry of Trade and Industry
  • Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute
  • National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Clearing and Forwarding Agents Association of Malawi
  • Indigenous Customs Clearing and Forwarding Agents

The Alliance is planning to launch this project in March 2024. To support the implementation of the project, the Alliance wishes to hire the services of a local Project Coordinator who will work closely and cooperatively with the stakeholders mentioned above.

2. General Objectives

The objective of this position is to provide local coordination and day-to-day management of project activities to ensure the successful and efficient implementation of the “Opening Borders to MSMEs and WOBs: enhancing trade transparency and inclusivity” project.

3. Scope of Work

The position’s activities shall include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Providing management services to facilitate the day-to-day implementation of the Project in Zambia in accordance with the the Alliance’s goals;
  • Coordinating Project activities and liaising with Malawi government officials, private sector stakeholders, training institutions, and relevant non-government organizations;
  • Coordinating with CIPE management and CIPE technical consultants on the implementation of the program and developing strategic plans;
  • Providing support as Alliance Secretariat to the Project Working Group, organizing and convening monthly public-private meetings
  • Supporting regular missions from CIPE project management and international technical experts;
  • Meeting with visiting delegations from private and public stakeholders supporting the Project’s implementation; and
  • Coordinating with the Alliance’s Monitoring and Evaluation officers in the collection and analysis of data on the progress and implementation of the Project.

4. Specific Activities

It is expected that the consultant will conduct, as a minimum, the following activities:

  • Arrange consultations with the private sector throughout the execution of the project.
  • Provide technical and logistical support to any individual consultant or consulting firm hired during the implementation of the project.
  • Prepare monthly and quarterly progress reports highlighting the activities conducted, challenges faced, propose solutions, and monthly and quarterly objectives.
  • Support the development of terms of reference for the activities identified in the project plan.
  • Prepare, maintain and follow up on meeting minutes.
  • Participate in evaluation committees to evaluate technical and financial proposals as needed.
  • Co-lead project review exercises designed to adjust, organize and streamline project procedures/schedules/plans, highlighting the activities that will impact on project implementation.
  • Monitor progress on all deliverables and outputs identified in the project.
  • Participate in regular project evaluation and review meetings to identify current and future bottlenecks/challenges/risks and to develop and initiate resolutions.
  • Document all changes requested to project scope, schedule, and budget.

5. Duration of Assignment

The duration of the contract is until December 2024. Applicants that are only available part-time will be considered on a case-by-case basis as well. Expected start date: Immediate.

6. Reporting Arrangements

The selected candidate will report to CIPE’s Program Officer for Trade. The candidate will also work closely with the Chair of the Project Working Group.

7. Administrative and Logistical Arrangements

  • Candidates should already reside in or around Blantyre
  • Office space will not be provided by CIPE
  • Meeting space for monthly Project Working Group meetings will be provided on a rotational basis by the members of the Project Working Group in Blantyre, Malawi
  • Ability to travel 30% of the time between Lilongwe and Blantyre is a must.

8. Payment Schedule

For the performance of duties outlined in this Terms of Reference, the consultant will be paid monthly.

9. Technical Profile of Candidate


  • Minimum Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, Economics, Business, IT or another relevant
  • At least 5 years demonstrated experience in trade or public sector reform
  • At least 5 years demonstrated experience in donor-funded project implementation and coordination
  • Previous experience working with the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), and business support associations
  • Familiarity with the Customs Clearing Agent industry and the role and responsibilities of a Customs Clearing Agent
  • Previous experience in project monitoring and evaluation (M&E)
  • Sound working knowledge of project management techniques, tools and
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience working both independently and in a team-oriented, collaborative environment is essential
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English


To apply for this opportunity, please send a resume, cover letter, and financial proposal to tradejobs@cipe.org by 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time, Thursday February 29, 2024 with the subject line: “GATF Malawi Project Coordinator – [FULL NAME]”.

Any and all questions should be communicated in writing before the due date to the same email address.

11. Evaluation Methodology

Evaluation of an applicant’s suitability for this consultancy will be based on the applicant’s technical background as provided on the resume and cover letter as well as the applicant’s financial requirements.