Chief Operations Officer

About AGRA

Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyse Agriculture Transformation in Africa. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the centre of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all of them small-scale farmers, AGRA recognizes that developing smallholder agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent.

AGRA is rolling out a new 5-year strategy to catalyze and sustain an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farmers. Under this strategy, AGRA will deliver through an approach that simultaneously catalyzes change at farmer level, strengthens input and output market systems and puts government at the center to enable and champion private-sector-led agricultural growth at national level.

AGRA have developed a new strategy and 11 country business plans in line with this ambition. They are now executing a new business model and processes to achieve our ambition over the next five years. This reorganization has been themed ‘Tuned to Transform’ and provides for new integrated and automated operational plans and revamped organizational capabilities, AGRA corporate culture and change management for success. Firstly, they will continue to be focused on catalyzing the agricultural transformation of Africa. That is its lifeblood; it is the reason they exist. Secondly, they aim to be the partner of choice, the go-to-partner for our technical and innovative approaches to transformation by governments, private sector and influencers on the continent and beyond. This means that they are living the “alliance” component of the Alliance for the Green Revolution of Africa. They are building strong and reliable partnerships with a diverse constituency of donors, governments, regional & continental institutions and grantees.

To support this transformation, AGRA is seeking to recruit an experienced and exceptional individual to the position of Chief Operations Officer.

Position Overview

The Chief Operations Officer provides the leadership, management and vision necessary to ensure that the AGRA has proper operational controls, administrative and reporting procedures, and people systems in place to effectively grow the organization and to ensure financial strength and operating efficiency. S/he accomplishes this through a respectful, constructive and energetic style, guided by the objectives of the AGRA. As a key member of the senior management team, the COO reports directly to the President of AGRA. S/he establishes policies that promote company culture and vision through its operations. By setting comprehensive goals for performance and growth, the Chief Operating Officer leads employees and encourages maximum performance and dedication.

Candidate Profile

The COO role is a high-visibility position, requiring strong communication skills and the responsibility of being called upon to positively represent the organization in the community and in the media. The COO maintains the highest level of integrity and leads by example in all areas.

The ideal candidate will have most or all of the following skills, knowledge, experience, and personal characteristics:

Planning and Organizing

• Devises plans of action with explicit paths and measures of accomplishment for self-and/or others and allocates suitable resources so that objectives are achieved. Strong administration skills.

Technical Competencies for the position

• Demonstrates knowledge of all own work role specific issues. This encompasses the technical skills or knowledge required to perform the essential duties as described in this Job Description. Specific technical competencies: quantitative analytical skills including use of appropriate software, results-based management systems, designing tools and strategies for data collection, analysis and production of reports; In-depth knowledge on MIS, M&E and development issues

Accuracy and attention to detail

• High level of accuracy, attention to detail and thoroughness. Ability to maintain a timely and efficient work flow.

Managing Resources

• Demonstrates the ability to plan and use resources (people and/or finance and/or physical assets) in accordance with AGRA guidelines and delegated accountability so that objectives are achieved in the most effective manner possible.

Coaching and Developing Staff

• A demonstrated capacity for working effectively within multi-disciplinary teams for collective success and provide effective coaching and encourage appropriate development activities in order to support staff in identifying and meeting their training and development needs.

Communication and Interpersonal relations

• Exceptional communication skills and ability to represent AGRA externally at high levels. Demonstrates ability to maintain lasting, healthy, and effective one-to-one working relationships with colleagues, suppliers, customers, professional peers, etc.

Intercultural Sensitivity and Effectiveness

• Demonstrates ability to cross and bridge different racial, cultural, or business cultures. This requires and is exhibited by personal experience of international or cross-cultural business with improved achievements.

Team Work

• Demonstrates productive drive in working with peers, partners, consultants and others to achieve pre-targeted and measurable business results

Other Position Parameters

• Minimum of 15 plus years’ experience in operations management

• At least 10 plus years of progressive leadership experience in operations, Administration or any other similar leadership roles • Advanced organizational leadership experience

• Demonstrable competency in strategic planning and business development

• Demonstrated experience in financial planning and analysis with previous experience overseeing human resources, information technology, Finance.

• Skilled in organizational development, personnel management, budget and resource development, and strategic planning.

• Excellent people skills, with an ability to partner with a dynamic leadership team.

• Possess personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and commitment to corporate mission.

• Flexible and able to multitask; can work within an ambiguous, fast-moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions; demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investment in people and systems.

• Understanding of data analysis and performance/operation metrics

• Excellent interpersonal, presentation and public speaking skills, both practiced and impromptu

• Dedication to building and growing a strong and stable workforce

• Ability to comfortably and energetically present the company and its products publicly

• Outstanding organizational and leadership abilities, including the ability to recognize and cultivate rising talent

• Aptitude in sound decision-making and problem-solving in pressure situations

• Results and detail orientated with a very hands on approach

• Excellent leadership, organizational, and problem solving/decision making skills

• Experience of working in Kenya and understanding of the Kenyan labor and cultural environment will be an added advantage

• Fluent in English and a working knowledge of French and other languages will be an advantage.

• The role is located in Nairobi, Kenya.

If you believe you are the right candidate for this position, kindly submit your application with a detailed CV (including your e-mail address and telephone contacts to recruit@agra.org)