The USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub Project (the Trade Hub) is a five-year, $140 million trade and investment facilitation Activity that seeks to improve private sector competitiveness in West Africa through market-based approaches. The Trade Hub is an integral part of the Prosper Africa initiative and partners with the U.S. and West African private sector firms to generate new private-sector investment in key sectors to create jobs and increase trade between the U.S. and West Africa, including through increased utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). This Activity comprises of two main components:
- Design and administration of a grant-making facility for private sector partnerships
- Technical assistance (TA) that directly supports, coordinates, and engages with qualifying recipients (i.e., partners and grantees) to achieve USAID’s trade, investment and food security objectives.
The Trade Hub also focuses on co-investment partnerships that increase agricultural productivity and profitability of smallholder farmers in Nigeria under a Research and Development (R&D) Fund towards innovating and modernizing practices across five targeted value chains.
The Grants Writers work directly with Trade Hub technical staff to develop final grant packages for USAID approval as applicants clear the full application and due diligence stages of the grants process. This is a critical role that requires excellent writing/copyediting skills, high attention to detail, and the ability to synthesize information from prior pre-award steps into the program description, budget narrative, milestone schedule, and annexes comprising the final grant agreement. In addition to the grant agreement, the Grant Writers prepare the grant negotiation memo documenting the pre-award process leading up to the grant approval request. The Grants prepares the grant packages, liaises with the Grant and technical teams on clarifications and edits, supplement technical / financial outstanding questions during final negotiations with the potential grantees, and facilitates the final submission to the USAID Contracting Officer.
The Trade Hub seeks candidates for two Grant Writers, which may be a combination of one bilingual in French and English and one English-speaking or two who are bilingual in French and English. Bilingual capabilities are highly preferred, but not a prerequisite to apply for this position.
Reporting and Supervision:
The Trade Hub Grants Writers will report directly to the Grants Director with dotted-line reporting to the HQ-based Project Director and Director of Grants and Administration to ensure full involvement of headquarters support and integration of corporate systems in the grants process.
- Liaise with technical staff to prepare final grant agreements based on applications co-created, negotiated, and finalized between the Trade Hub and successful applicants during the pre-award process. This includes finalizing language for the following key sections of the Project Description, ensuring they are logically linked and clearly and succinctly describe the proposed project:
- Project Background & Market Analysis
- Project Goal & Objectives
- Project Activities
- Project Deliverables/Outcomes
- Gender and Youth Approach
- Project Beneficiaries
- Milestone Schedule (for Fixed Amount Awards)
- Liaise with monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) staff to incorporate the MEL into the Agreement, confirming that it syncs with the Program Description and planned indicators, outputs, and outcomes of the Project.
- Review and copyedit the final budget narrative, ensuring that it sufficiently justifies costs negotiated in the final budget. Furthermore, ensure all grant amounts in the grant agreement match the final negotiated grant budget, liaising with technical and grants staff to resolve any errors.
- Liaise with grants and technical staff to prepare the grant negotiation memo, which captures and explains each step in the pre-award process that led to the final selection of the applicant for award.
- Professionally format all sections of the grant agreement, including the various annexes (e.g., the Marking & Branding Plan, Certifications, and Provisions);
- Coordinate with the relevant team members in Grants Division to ensure the final versions are uploaded and routed through the online Grants Management System – SMART, and necessary work flow internal approvals are obtained prior to submission to the HQ Contracts department for further submission to the CO.**Qualifications**
Requirements & Qualifications
Each shortlisted candidate will be required to take a brief written test demonstrating her/his capacity in the following areas:
- Exceptional writing skills with a proven ability to synthesize and/or reorganize information from multiple sources
- High degree of comfort professionally formatting documents in Microsoft Word and Excel
- Fluency in written French and/or English. The Trade Hub plans to hire at least one Grant Writer fluent in written French and English; however, candidates fluent in both languages or English only are encouraged to apply
- High attention to detail as it relates to catching typos, mathematical errors, contradictory language, and/or incorrect verb tenses
- Strong demonstrable experience in grants writing (Grants under Contract) and the grants process for a USAID program is highly preferred
- Strong knowledge of USG donor regulations as they relate to grants and contracts, id highly preferred
- Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to effectively coordinate virtually (e.g., through Zoom or Microsoft Teams) with team members across multiple countries in a fast-paced environment.
- Prior grants experience under a USAID-funded grants program preferred.
- Ability to work well in a team environment as well as independently
- Ability to multi-task under tight deadlines