About AGRA

AGRA and its Work

AGRA is an African-led institution that actively supports the drive towards inclusive agricultural transformation and sustainable food systems. We do this by empowering the continent’s 33 million smallholder farming households to transform their agriculture from a struggle to survive to profitable businesses. The continent’s farmers regularly face challenges, and we aspire to provide uniquely African solutions that respond to their agricultural and environmental challenges, leading to increased harvests for reduced hunger and more income.

Working in alignment with the development priorities of our focus countries, we enable farmers to access improved and high-yielding seeds, gain knowledge on sustainable farming, and linkages to profitable markets.

In our work, we aspire to build the alliances, partnerships, and networks required to drive an inclusive agricultural transformation. We work with our partners to create an equitable youth-friendly environment that harnesses the youth dividend on the continent to drive growth and facilitate open employment opportunities for young women and men. We achieve our key objectives through a focus on the following four areas of intervention:

  • Policy and state capability – We support governments in creating an enabling environment for private sector involvement in agricultural transformation.
  • Seed systems – We trigger higher productivity by increasing the availability and access to improved seeds by farmers allowing them to increase their harvests for food security and better incomes.
  • Sustainable farming – We support farmers in building resilient farming systems for sustained high yields through interventions such as mechanization and irrigation.
  • Inclusive markets and trade – We work to increase the linkages between farmers, and other market actors for a positive, sustained cycle of commercialization and reinvestment.

AGRA’s 2030 Strategy

The continent has, in recent years, taken steps towards inclusive agricultural transformation resulting in notable improvements in food security, with clear progress across all AGRA’s focus countries. However, with over 20% of Africans still suffering from hunger, we need to accelerate our progress and mitigate against the growing external pressures of conflict and climate on our food systems.

AGRA 2022-2030 Strategic Framework (SF2030) demonstrates our long-term vision for how we intend to contribute to, and align with, global and continental priorities, applying a food systems lens towards the goals of zero hunger, improved nutrition, an end to poverty, and climate adaptation. We have split our Strategic Framework 2030 into two 5-year strategies so that we have a clear mid-way point to evaluate progress and re-route our strategic focus if necessary. Our 2023-2027 Strategic Plan sets out to catalyze the growth of sustainable food systems across Africa by influencing and leveraging partners to build a robust enabling environment where the private sector thrives, and smallholders are empowered to produce sufficient, healthy food.

AGRA’s Vision

To contribute to a food system-inspired inclusive agricultural transformation across Africa, to reduce hunger, improve nutrition, and adapt to climate.

AGRA’s Mission

To catalyze the growth of sustainable food systems across Africa by influencing and leveraging partners to build a robust enabling environment where private sector thrives, and smallholder farmers are empowered to produce sufficient, healthy food.

AGRA’s Strategy

  • Empowering and building the resilience of small holder farmers
  • Supporting the development of inclusive markets and finance to strengthen agricultural systems.
  • Strengthening state capability to sustain agricultural transformation.

Implementing Our New Strategy Through People

AGRA is at the threshold of a new chapter where we begin implementing our new strategy of catalyzing inclusive, resilient and sustainable agricultural transformation. At AGRA we believe Agriculture is the single greatest opportunity to deliver inclusive economic growth, jobs, and health to the African continent.

People are the heart of our organisation and remain the true drivers of our delivery and our impact.

We are excited about a new fit-for-purpose organizational structure that is largely driven by an ambition to enhance collaboration across teams and drive sustainable growth. We have therefore purposed more focus on delivery of country programs within the new strategy giving even greater attention to optimising existing talent in addition to upscaling technical and operational resources.

We work with incredible people and partners who have roots in farming communities across the continent combined with an inclusive and diverse workforce from over 24 nationalities. Our values of (I-RISE; Integrity, Respect, Innovation, Stewardship and Equity) espouse our commitment to a call to action to go beyond ourselves as we arise and transform Africa’s Agriculture.

We are looking for people who are passionate about Africa, curious and collaborative to join our innovative, growing, and multidisciplinary team. Together, we can grow Africa’s food systems improving the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. Want to join us?

The Opportunity

Country Manager – Zambia

Role purpose

Reporting to the Regional Manager – East & Southern Africa, the Country Manager – Zambia will represent AGRA in the country and will act as the catalyst for AGRA’s integrated interventions by coordinating activities and building necessary relationships with the government, private sector, donors, and other key stakeholders.

Role Summary

The Country Manager will lead the country to actively manage the country strategies, while maintaining close linkages with the Center of Technical Expertise division. S/He will liaise with the government, donors and the private sector in the country and be seen as the expert on needs in the country, to feed back into the technical and program delivery teams and lead in identifying grantees and the right avenues for marketing AGRA’s investments effectively.

Key Measures of Performance

The performance of this role holder will be assessed based on the achievements made on:

  • Translation of the corporate strategy and targets into investments at national level based on available funding sources.
  • Successful relationship management with Government and other key stakeholders involved in program delivery resulting into tangible impact.
  • Successful implementation of the Country Strategy and Implementation Plan measured by its contribution to corporate targets and national agricultural development priorities.
  • Resource mobilization for country programs.
  • Leadership and learning across country focus areas measured by the number of strategic investments developed and implemented based on available funding.
  • Quantifiable leveraging (catalytic) of government, other donor, and private sector resources in the delivery of AGRA’s country priority programs.
  • Grantee performance in the country (where applicable)

Major Duties and Responsibilities

Purpose – Innovate

  • Develops and implements country workplans on an annual basis in collaboration with business line leads.
  • Identifies and pursues opportunities to mobilize resources in support of AGRA’s priorities and/or advocating for public and private sector stakeholders to scale AGRA’s demonstrated intervention models in country.
  • Leads in scoping exercises for new investments including gap and opportunities analysis highlighting potential investment areas around key country entry points i.e., market and trade analysis, sustainable farming practices, policy and state capability, input systems and innovative finance.
  • Research and develop grantee, consultant and partner portfolios addressing systemic constraints, resources, and opportunities for an inclusive agriculture transformation and food systems.
  • Advice and relays feedback from AGRA’s partners, especially the government and development partners to Regional Manager – East & Southern Africa and Vice President, Programs Delivery, and other technical experts in the organization.

Engagement – Advocate

  • Convenes and builds relationships with government, private sector, donors, civil society organizations and others with a presence in country, to build and nurture country-level partnerships deemed essential to AGRA’s mission in the country.
  • Leads in representing AGRA in key meetings and forums of the government and its development partners including donor coordination meetings that contribute to the advancement of AGRA’s investments in the country.
  • Leads in possessing a working knowledge of national agricultural sector development plans in order to identify and pursue opportunities to (i) mobilize resources to support AGRA’s priorities and/or (ii) advocate for public and private sector stakeholders to scale AGRA’s demonstrated intervention models in country.
  • Enables talent management and development of existing staff, acquiring new staff as necessary, and manages team dynamics to ensure high-performance and positive employee experience.
  • Communicates results through presentations, written and verbal communication.

Delivery – Define Project Cycle

  • Oversees country-level interventions set out in the country implementation plan, working with program teams to deliver innovative intervention models across the value chain.
  • Plans, facilitates, and oversees implementation of AGRA-supported investments in country and foster the integration of AGRA’s investments in the country.
  • Oversees country level research required to complete the country strategy on a periodic basis, to safeguard that country and program objectives are aligned to the national/government goals and priorities.
  • Guides, oversees, manages, and professionally develops the Country Team, and oversees the work of AGRA consultants in the country as needed.
  • Builds on the expertise of AGRA Center of Technical Expertise in the areas of seeds, soil fertility and fertilizers, extension, market and trade, finance, policy and state capability, inclusion, nutrition and climate adaptation to enhance the operations of country strategies and link program investments and activities to other AGRA initiatives.

Model the IRISE Values & Be a Culture Carrier

  • Integrity: Uphold moral convictions and always doing the right thing.
  • Respect: Value differences and embrace diversity and inclusion.
  • Innovation: Strive for excellence and embracing continuous improvement, bold creativity, and change.
  • Stewardship: Be responsible for actions undertaken and resources entrusted.
  • Equity: Be governed by fairness in all undertakings.


Academic and Professional Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in agriculture, Agriculture Economics, or related disciplines.
  • A relevant Master’s or Doctorate degree will be an added advantage.
  • Professional development programs in leadership and management including financial and staff supervision/performance management.
  • Proficient in program design and Monitoring and evaluation.

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Strong ability to influence positively both upwards and downwards.
  • Results and detail orientated with a very hands-on approach.
  • Excellent organizational, and problem-solving/decision-making skills.
  • Intelligent, motivated self-starter with strong interpersonal skills and work ethic
  • Experience working with a large multinational development agency in a management and coordination role.

Relevant Experience

  • Experience in agriculture-related international development work.
  • Management experience, particularly over diverse teams working across diverse geographies.

Core Competencies

  • Achieving Results Effectively: Anticipates constraints, identifies solutions and takes responsibility for addressing critical situations; Sets self and others stretching goals, over and above those required to meet organizational standards and targets; Takes the necessary actions to meet these goals; identifies and applies measures to track and quantify achievement; Aligns projects with organization’s mission and objectives and demonstrates a good understanding of the impact of team’s and own work on external and internal counterparts.
  • Managing & Sharing Knowledge: Disseminates and shares knowledge openly and actively contributes to knowledge/network communities for topics relevant to area of expertise; Builds networks for the effective communication and exchange of knowledge and ideas and puts others into contact with various sources of knowledge; Contributes to an environment that is conducive to innovation and learning.
  • Accountability: Maintains ethical behavior, admits mistakes and exhibits responsible behavior in the meeting of performance expectations; Actively seeks out solutions to achieve results; Holds self-accountable for achieving results as an individual as well as team members; Identifies and assists in addressing areas of weakness that may impact the department’s performance.
  • Diversity & Inclusion: Takes a conscious effort to learn about different styles of conflict resolution; Has insight into and monitors own preferred conflict management style and its impact on others; Is proactive in managing conflict over differences when it arises rather than avoiding it; Actively creates the space for people to use different forms of conflict resolution; Listens actively for the frames of reference and does not prejudge; Seeks to understand and adapt to different styles when working with those who are different; Treats others as they wish to be treated; Shows readiness to change the way he/she does things to meet the needs of those from diverse backgrounds.
  • Adaptability: Adapts personal approach to meet the needs of different or new situations; Seeks guidance in adapting behavior to the needs of a new or different situation.
  • Technical Competencies for the position: Demonstrate 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.
  • Stakeholder Focus/Partnerships: Contacts stakeholders to follow up on services, solutions or products to ensure that their needs have been correctly and effectively met; Understands issues from the stakeholder’s perspective; Keeps stakeholders upto-date with information and decisions that affect them; Monitors services provided to stakeholders and makes timely adjustments as required; Maintains ongoing communication with stakeholders; Regularly and systematically contacts stakeholders or prospective stakeholders to determine their needs; Uses understanding of stakeholder’s perspective to identify constraints and advocate on their behalf; Works with stakeholders to adapt services, products or solutions to meet their needs; Encourages co-workers and teams to achieve a high standard of service excellence; Anticipates areas where support or influence will be required and discusses situation/concerns with appropriate individuals; Proposes new, creative and sound alternatives to improve stakeholder service delivery; Engages effectively with all stakeholders.
  • Teamwork: Establishes strong relationships with colleagues and partners; relates well to people at all levels; Is fully aware of the team purposes, respects and understands individual and collective responsibilities; Willingly puts in extra effort without being asked and adopts a ‘hands-on’ approach whenever necessary to achieve team objectives; Coordinates own work with that of the team to meet agreed priorities and deadlines.

Terms of Appointment

3 Years Fixed Term (Consideration for renewal will be made subject to AGRA’s needs, available funding and performance)


Based in Lusaka, Zambia with frequent travel, approximately 40% per month/year.

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 10th October 2023. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent English version of your CV.

All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by AGRA to undertake this assignment.