Head of Communications, Nairobi, Kenya – Job Reference: HOC/11/2018

Head of Communications, Nairobi, Kenya – Job Reference: HOC/11/2018

Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyze Agriculture Transformation in Africa. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center 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 5-year strategy to catalyze and sustain an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farmers in 11 countries (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda). Under this strategy, AGRA will deliver through an approach that simultaneously catalyzes change at farmer level, strengthens input and output market systems and while putting government at the center to enable and champion private-sector-led agricultural growth at national level.

To support this transformation, AGRA is seeking to recruit an experienced and exceptional individual to the position of Head of Communications.

The Position:

The Head of Communications is responsible for building the visibility of AGRA and telling its story, managing the organization’s reputation, and promoting the brand among target audiences both in Africa and globally. S/he will be responsible for designing and implementing AGRA’s communications outreach in electronic, print and broadcast media, social media, and audio-visual media.  S/he will be responsible for close coordination with other senior managers to ensure effective communications and advocacy efforts aligned with AGRA’s strategy as well as direct support and strategic advice to the Office of the President and Board of AGRA.

Key Measures of Performance:

The performance of this role holder will be assessed on the basis of the achievements made in the following areas:

  • Ability to ensure AGRA’s corporate positioning, visibility, reputation, brand and impact are aligned to its vision, mission and strategic direction.
  • Support to programmatic impact in AGRA’s focus countries and across the continent by raising awareness of needed actions, investments, and policy changes for agricultural transformation.
  • Create and implement a vibrant communications strategy and stakeholder engagement plan, including traditional, digital and social media.
  • Ability to roll-out a strong media relations agenda.
  • Implement strong learning and sharing of products and platforms that drive awareness and uptake of AGRA’s knowledge and models across the continent.

Key Responsibilities:

Corporate Communications

  • Leading the Communication function with a focus on enhancing dissemination of AGRA’s value adding outputs, raising the visibility of its impact and driving the organization’s branding initiatives.  
  • Guiding the development of regional communications plans in accordance with AGRA’s overall organizational strategy.
  • Leading a team of communications professionals to effectively implement the department’s strategies and activities by; establishing unit priorities, monitoring the unit budget and managing external consultants and communications firms.
  • Spearheading activities that build the AGRA brand by ensuring consistent use of messages across the organization and anticipating possible controversies with a proactive approach to issues management.  
  • Overseeing development of all AGRA communications materials, including press releases, talking points, reports, speeches, web materials, and videos.  Ensuring all communications materials are in concert with AGRA’s messages, strategy and policy positions.
  • Providing strategic communications and advisory support to the AGRA Board and management teams.
  • Managing media relations with the global, regional and national news media to convey and support AGRA views on issues of significance. Supporting senior staff in the planning of media briefs, interviews, offsite visits and special events.
  • Ensuring AGRA events meet global standards, are well documented and receive broad coverage in target media.
  • Overseeing the design and maintenance of the AGRA website, including content and aesthetics re-design reflective of AGRA’s strategy.
  • Working with AGRA’s Chief of Staff & Strategy and Management team to develop and review AGRA’s internal communication protocols, program communications and staff media protocols to ensure transparency and a strong aligned institution.
  • Working with AGRA’s Results Management Unit to oversee development and tracking of metrics and success criteria for communications programs.
  • Maintaining relationships with journalists and creating partnerships with apex media associations, media outlets and bloggers at national and regional level.
  • Overseeing production of AGRA’s corporate publications and marketing tools including the corporate brochure, annual report, AGRA News etc.
  • Overseeing AGRA’s social media platforms and taking overall responsibility for content sharing.
  • Advising on requirements for market research and overseeing implementation of commissioned surveys.
  • Acting as the spokesperson for the organization, as needed.

Program Communications and Knowledge Management

    • In partnership with Program teams, identifying and packaging stories and knowledge products that demonstrate what AGRA is learning, achieving, and doing to drive impact under its strategy with key audiences.
    • Working with Program teams to deliver products to key audiences in government, development partners, private sector, and influentials to advance AGRA’s programmatic strategy for inclusive agricultural transformation.
    • Providing support to the Results Management Unit in packaging and presentation of reports and success stories.
    • Supporting AGRA’s Results Management team and programs in documentation and sharing key knowledge products to enhance visibility of results and further develop learning and innovation platforms.  
    • Managing internal and external access to AGRA’s results ‘stories.’
  • Contributing to development and implementation of AGRA’s learning and sharing products and platforms.

African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF)

    • Contributing to the development and implementation of AGRF’s strategy, and further establishing AGRF as the leading forum in the African agriculture development.
    • Strategic identification and engagement of key AGRF stakeholders for the purposes of convening actors for partnership, scaling models, and mobilizing resources.
  • Contributing to the organization of AGRF fora for actors to engage in dialogue around agriculture transformation, promote learning and exchange of ideas, and promote publishing as part of documentation of lessons learnt.

Academic, Professional Qualifications and Relevant experience:

AGRA is an equal opportunity employer, and a diverse set of candidates is being sought for formal consideration. The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications, experience and background:

Academic and Professional Qualifications

    • Master’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Policy, International Development, International Relations, or other relevant field.
  • Any additional professional qualifications in Communications, Journalism, Public Policy, International Development; International Relations that enhance proficiency in the functions key result areas.

Relevant Experience

  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in strategic communications/public relations, preferably functioning as either a key spokesperson for an international organization, or a senior staff for a local, national and international media.
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in a senior management role.
  • Strong networking and interpersonal skills with proven people, leadership, communication and negotiation skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrate excellent organizational skills.
  • A working knowledge of French will be an advantage.

An attractive remuneration package commensurate with this position’s responsibility will be negotiated with the successful candidate.

If you believe you can clearly demonstrate your abilities to meet the relevant criteria for this role, please submit your application with a detailed CV, stating your current position, email, and telephone contacts and quoting the reference number for the position you are applying for on the application letter to recruit@agra.org

Please quote the job reference number in the subject line of the application e-mail. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

For more information on AGRA, applicants can visit www.agra.org

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer