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
Head of Advocacy and External Engagement


Role purpose

Leads in the identification, planning and execution of key strategic initiatives that strengthen the AGRA brand externally with academia, technical bodies and associations, donor communities, United Nations Agencies, Governments, farmers and non-Agriculture stakeholders in support of its overall strategy and goal of food-inspired Agriculture transformation agenda in Africa. This role requires a combination of strategic thinking, relationship-management skills, communication expertise, and an understanding of both the broader global development landscape and eco-systems from a food and agriculture perspective.

Role Summary

Head of Advocacy and External Engagement is responsible for driving external strategic engagements, collaborations, and donor relationships through developing, managing, and enhancing AGRAs relationships to identify and cultivate strategic opportunities for synergistic collaboration that position brand AGRA favorably as the go-to institution in Agriculture in Africa.

S/He influences the visibility of the AGRA narrative and positions its brand among key target audiences globally.  S/he should be capable of motivating and coordinating AGRA and partner colleagues to drive the cause of food systems transformation in Africa.

The role is key in identifying and cultivating opportunities for collaboration, participation, and engagements to amplify unique voices across the food systems landscape and ultimately position AGRA as the go-to institution.

  • Working closely with the communications, policy, resource mobilization, country, the center for excellence, and business line teams and partners, to identify strategic collaboration opportunities and advocacy issues to lead, leverage and invest in the food system transformation agenda.
  • Identify and cultivate strategic collaborations with academia, civil society groups, scientific groups, donors, farmers, women and youth and other new and emerging strategic stakeholders to support Africa’s food and agriculture agenda as aligned to AGRA’s
  • Rally the visibility of AGRA’s board, partners, leadership teams to showcase and participate in high level events and engagement opportunities globally.
  • Identifies strategic agencies and or media platforms that would be most strategic to engage with in North America, Europe and Asia to elevate Africa’s food systems agenda,
  • Work closely with partners to identify collaboration opportunities, events, and speaking engagements to position experts in participating in the food systems agenda and support the resource mobilization efforts for AGRA
  • Reviews and/or unpacks strategic partner priorities and develops an engagement and implementation strategy for different stakeholders for attribution or contribution.
  • Develop measurable key performance indicators to measure the performance of AGRA’s external engagement efforts.
  • Amplify the voices of Youth, Women and Farmers in the advocacy discourse

Key Measures of Performance
The performance of this role holder will be assessed on the basis of the achievements made on:

  • Develop and execute an approved External Engagement Strategy.
  • Build a robust stakeholder engagement plan across business lines and country delivery teams.
  • Identify and partner with strategic institutional partnerships that favourably position AGRA in the food systems agenda.
  • Build an alliances of partners focused on a shared voice of advocacy issues and contribute to the right policies and investments for Africa’s food system transformation Lead and develop the External & advocacy Engagements annual action plans and budget utilisation

Major Duties and Responsibilities
Purpose – Transform

  • Leads in the design of the external engagement and Advocacy business plan in alignment with Divisions overall strategy.
  • Leads external engagement and advocacy  efforts in AGRA’s across business lines and platforms.
  • Develop an External Relations plan, which focuses on establishing a comprehensive external relations framework for engagement and defines how the Division will collaborate with to execute the plan and measure its adequacy and impact to key stakeholders.
  • Develop an External Relations & advocacy implementation and communication plan: which will define activities, outputs and outcomes to achieve the AGRA goals and aspirations.
  • Initiate and build high-level continental and global events to position AGRA alongside its peers and influence investments and commitment to a food and nutrition secure Africa.
  • Track the implementation and impact of AGRA-supported external relations and advocacy work to the overall unit and share insights for learning and effective implementation.
  • Identify, cultivate, and sustain strategic collaborations with academia, civil society, scientific groups, donors, international NGOs, farmers and non-agricultural stakeholders including various United Nations agencies to support AGRA’s overall strategy and goals in agriculture transformation.
  • Build the visibility and influence of AGRA by building synergistic communities of practice among target audiences globally.
  • Coordinate with AGRA and funding / implementing partners to drive inclusive agriculture transformation in Africa.

Engagement – Compel

  • Work closely with resource mobilization and partners to identify collaboration opportunities, events, and speaking engagements that showcase AGRA’s expertise and position the organization as a go-to institution.
  • Builds and manages media relations with global media partners to convey and support AGRA positions on issues of significance.
  • Build the visibility and influence of AGRA by promoting its brands and platforms among target audiences globally. Coordinate with AGRA and partners and colleagues to drive food systems transformation in Africa.
  • Build an engagement and advocacy activation plan and content calendar that showcases AGRA and partners’ work in the communities of interest.
  • Build and coach direct and in-direct teams to acquire right skills to support the external engagement and advocacy efforts
  • Work within teams to ensure high-performance and positive employee experience and culture.
  • Communicate insights and results through presentations, written and verbal communication.

Delivery – Define Project Cycle

  • Develop measurable indicators that can allow for monitoring, assessing, and tracking the contribution of AGRA’s external engagement and advocacy effort, and the contribution and impact of these efforts in achieving strategic institutional goals.
  • Create the operating budget for the department and optimum manage the resources delivering quality, efficiency, and optimal implementation.
  • Identify and follow up on emerging opportunities to leverage external engagements and advocacy efforts for AGRA’s mission.
  • Review program and partner engagement programs and extract key insights and reports to different stakeholders, contributing to AGRA’s communication efforts.
  • Drive major thought partnership and advocacy-focused campaigns to advance the AGRA agenda.

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

Masters Degree in International Development, International Relations, Marketing, Public Policy or other relevant discipline.

Required Skills/Abilities

  • Results-oriented, accountable, proactive and able to work on behalf of AGRA with a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Ability to work effectively within multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Excellent written communication skills
  • Results-oriented and accountable
  • Optimistic and persuasive that African farmers and consumers will benefit from improved, well-adapted agricultural technologies and reforms across the input and output value chains.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and to individuals and groups of people
  • Ability to translate program-based concepts into practical realities

Relevant Experience

  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in developing and fostering strategic partnerships, external engagements, advocacy and public-private-partnerships.
  • At least five years’ experience leading external engagements and advocacy at high Level and multi-national agencies.
  • Fluency in English; Knowledge of French will be an advantage.

 Key Competencies

  • Strategic Orientation: Focus on the big picture and overall Strategic Framework. Ability to identify and pursue strategic initiatives which provide the greatest value and sustainable impact; balances long and short-term trade-offs; communicates clearly and precisely the strategic goals and the strategies for achieving them.
  • Leadership:  Demonstrates ability to mobilize, focus, align, and build effective groups to enable them to conceptualize and achieve collective objectives. Inspires Trust and Passion in the AGRA Mission: Ability to show great drive and commitment to AGRA mission; help others understand how their daily work contributes to the AGRA’s mission and inspire others to proactively meet the AGRA’s strategic objectives in partnership with clients. Maintains high standards of personal integrity and provides support for professional development efforts linked to business objectives.
  • Customer and market Orientation: Demonstrates knowledge of the diverse stakeholders in the agricultural development landscape. Provides a balanced responsive and proactive approach to meeting AGRA’s needs; encourages staff to understand external stakeholder concerns; ensures the provision of customized interventions and approaches as appropriate; Responds promptly and effectively to evolving needs of the institution, and those of the broader development landscape. Sharpen AGRA’s value proposition and effectively conveying it to external stakeholders in based on own understanding and service of the customers and the market in which they work.
  • Driving Results: Demonstrates drive for improvement of business results, based on a well-rounded understanding of general business principles and own activities’ commercial and financial implications.
  • Planning and Organising:  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: 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 the 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 Job Requirements
Key contacts: Internal and External

  • Office of the President
  • Chief of staff
  • Divisional & Directorate Leads
  • County and Regional Leads
  • Communications and Innovation Units
  • Partnerships Unit
  • Board Liaison
  • External stakeholders

Terms of Appointment

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


Based in Nairobi, Kenya with frequent travel at approximately 40% per month/year.

How to Apply

To apply for this position, please ensure you complete the Application Form provided below by 24 February 2024 (23:59 hrs, GMT +3). It is essential that you submit your CV in English, specifically in Microsoft Word format (.doc/.docx).

Applications in other languages or formats will not be considered.

Rest assured, all information will be handled with the utmost confidentiality.

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