Senior Customs Advisor

Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was established in 1975 with the purpose of promoting regional cooperation and economic integration in West Africa. Today, ECOWAS provides and important forum for cooperation among its member states with the ECOWAS Commission playing a driving role in West African regional integration.


As a German federal enterprise, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. The services delivered by GIZ draw on a wealth of regional and technical expertise and tried and tested management know-how. GIZ operates in more than 130 countries worldwide with more than 16 000 staff across the globe.


Since 2006, GIZ has been cooperating with the ECOWAS Commission through its “Support Programme to the ECOWAS Commission”. It has focused on the following three areas: 1. Strategic management and organizational development, 2. Trade and customs and 3. Peace and security. Work on trade and customs has dealt with core issues of regional economic integration in West Africa.In the current programme phase (2014 – 2019), activities on trade and customs will be carried out in cooperation with the European Union (EU). The EU contribution to the programme budget amounts to 10 mio EUR over about 50 months (starting around 01.10.2014).


In pursuance of the EU contribution to the current programme phase, GIZ is looking for a Senior Advisor in Customs.



The senior advisor is responsible for

managing GIZ support to the ECOWAS Commission in the area of regional economic integration and trade, including but not limited to the ECOWAS Common External Tariff and other customs-related topics

assisting programme initiatives to provide professional advisory services to and cooperate with a broad range of target groups

innovation and knowledge management



Advising the partner institution

The senior advisor

Advises the ECOWAS Customs Directorate and other relevant Directorates if needed on Customs issues, CET implementation, international customs practices, WTO and WCO standards and regulations etc.

supports the ECOWAS Customs Directorate in strategic planning, defining long-term projects and objectives, implementation of yearly activities

assists and monitors the development and implementation of programme plans and activities in close consultation with counterparts and in line with GIZ and EU rules and regulations

deals with the design, preparation and implementation of workshops, seminars, trainings and other events on issues connected with the programme’s area of activity

develops and organises quality assurance measures and suggests necessary changes, improvements and initiatives


Networking and cooperation 

The advisor

supports cooperation, regular contact and dialogue with partners, assists with PR work and cooperates with relevant organisations and individuals in the programme environment and with other projects to improve and maintain good working relationships

communicates local interests and efforts, forwards these and encourages sharing ideas and information for the benefit of the programme 

coordinates work with other development partners in the relevant areas


Knowledge management

The advisor

ensures knowledge transfer 

develops ready-to-use strategies and technical concepts, including guidelines, manuals and procedures

draws up reports, publications and presentation documents

prepares appropriate input for various programme reports including EU annual implementation reports, and contributes to other reports as requested

assists with research activities and studies 


Coordination and other tasks

The advisor

assists with general project planning and develops project concepts including preparation, organisation and moderation of planning exercises and their implementation, management, monitoring, quality management, evaluation, communication and documentation

assists in the preparation and follow-up the development of Terms of Reference for various consultants and contractors

compiles the relevant information for joint activities and assignments

handles day-to-day programme management on behalf of GIZ (e.g. offer preparation, impact monitoring, project progress review, reporting)

provides regular updates to the Head of Component on the progress of activities 

carries out other related tasks as assigned by the Head of Component


Required qualifications, competencies and experience

We expect the following from the advisor:


Academic background

An advanced degree in economics, business administration, law,trade policy  or a similar area


Professional experience

Sufficient background in international trade and regional integration with relevant knowledge in tariff issues and customs procedures.

Knowledge and experience on trade facilitation reforms.

at least Twelve (12) years of relevant professional experience

knowledge of the ECOWAS region and already established contacts to relevant actors are regarded as assets 


Other knowledge, additional competencies

excellent communication and interpersonal skills with ability to work in a multicultural and multilingual environment

very good working knowledge of ITC technologies (related software, phone, fax, email, the internet) and computer applications (e.g. MS Office)

Mastery of one of the three official working languages of ECOWAS (English, French, and Portuguese) is required. Proficiency (both written and oral) in a second official working language of the ECOWAS Commission is essential

willingness to upskill as required by the tasks to be performed 

willingness to undertake regular travels throughout the ECOWAS region


Assignment period and duty station

The assignment will end on the 24.11.2018. 

The assignment will be carried out in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, with travels within ECOWAS member States. The incumbent will be posted within ECOWAS Commission. 


Working for GIZ

We offer

  • a GIZ contract as advisor based in the ECOWAS Commission in Abuja
  • an attractive remuneration, possibly with allowances and other benefits
  • an international working environment (ECOWAS, GIZ, EU) as part of a dynamic and multicultural team
  • training and personal development opportunities


Duty station



GIZ Nigeria is an equal opportunity employer, both men and women are encouraged to apply. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.



Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Job Level

Experienced (Non-Manager)




Logistics / Transportation

Job Type


Minimum Qualification


Preferred Years of Experience

10 - 15 years