Job Reference: POIF/WA/09/2023.
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.
To contribute to a food system-inspired inclusive agricultural transformation across Africa, to reduce hunger, improve nutrition, and adapt to climate.
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.
- 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 optimizing 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?
Program Officer- Inclusive Finance, West Africa. Job Reference: POIF/WA/09/2023
Directly reporting to the Regional Manager – West Africa with matrix responsibility to the Head – Inclusive Finance, the Program Officer – Inclusive Finance, West Africa will oversee market development, strategic advisory and technical assistance for AGRAs Agricultural and Inclusive Finance portfolio and partnerships in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, and Togo) with a focus on creating work opportunities for young people in the agricultural sector.
S/He will work closely with AGRA’s in country and regional partners including all type of financial institutions (microfinance institutions, cooperatives, banks, etc.), guarantee funds and blended finance instruments, private investors, mobile network operators, agent aggregators, fintechs, business development services providers, food system stakeholders (farmers organizations, agribusinesses, input suppliers, off-takers, processors, etc.), insurance service providers, regulators, and policy makers. Through these partners, S/He will be responsible for developing, implementing, and monitoring initiatives that will enhance access to finance for agricultural SMEs and farmers with a special focus on youth and young women.
Key Measures of Performance
- Number and quality (leverage and catalytic nature) of inclusive and innovative finance initiatives supported through country teams that have enhanced access to finance for (young and female) actors in the food system.
- Number of relevant Agri SMEs activities rolled out and financed that have led to creation of work opportunities for youth and young women.
- Impact (work opportunities for youth, enhanced food security and income for farmers and improved performance of Agri SMEs) of initiatives designed and implemented in unlocking finance for the agricultural sector.
- Success of initiatives undertaken for and within seed, inclusive markets and trade and sustainable farming business lines.
- Accurate reporting and knowledge sharing on relevant indicators and lessons learned.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
Purpose – Adapt
- Identify and assess available agricultural finance solutions and actors that enhance financing of agricultural value chain actors with a special focus on youth and young women that want to engage in the food system.
- Analyze cost benefit of existing financial and non-financial services delivery mechanisms including leveraging of technology that could reduce cost and risks of agricultural finance delivery (to youth and young women).
- Support country teams in designing and scaling innovative financial and non- financial solutions for (young and female) Agri SMEs and farmers (such as climate finance, leveraging technologies, regulatory/policy framework changes, non-bank led finance, trade finance, supplier finance, etc.).
- Promote ecosystem players and solutions that enhance access to finance and non-financial services for (young and female) Agri SMEs and farmers (BDS platform to enhance bankability of food system actors, mobile based index insurance, capacity building programs of financial institutions, blended finance, regulatory/policy innovations in Ag. Finance, etc.)
- Identify and adapt innovations (including but not limited to technology driven) that can significantly reduce cost and risk of agricultural finance, especially for youth and young women.
- Support the development of a simple but robust Agri SME performance monitoring system in consultation with the M&E unit, business unit leads and country staff.
Engagement – Persuade
- Share knowledge on proven agricultural finance solutions and models with country teams and relevant partners for adaptation, adoption, and scaling.
- Develop knowledge sharing products and events to position AGRA as a thought leader and catalyst in reducing cost and risk of agricultural finance (for young people).
- Proactively support country teams and Centre of expertise staff in their strategy delivery and pipeline development to ensure quality of programs.
- Represent AGRA’s inclusive finance team in events, networks, and relevant fora in West Africa.
- Contributes to resource mobilization efforts in Agri SME development and financing.
Delivery – Adapt the Project Cycle
- Provide oversight, technical support, and advice to implementing partners on issues related to Agri SME development, youth enterprise finance, agricultural and value chain finance, and any other related topics.
- Develop relevant partnerships to connect AGRA program beneficiaries, especially youth and young women, to financial and non-financial services providers.
- Ensure implementing partners and country staff collect the correct IM&T&F data for AGRA’s monitoring system and provide data quality assurance.
- Contribute to periodic reports as required by the regional and unit heads.
- Contribute to activity and budget planning at country level to ensure IM&T&F strategies are being implemented through country implementation plans.
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
- An advanced degree (bachelor’s or master’s) in Finance, Economics, Business, or related Field
- Fluency in English required; ability to communicate in French, Portuguese, Swahili, or another language is an advantage.
- Deep understanding of emergent opportunities in inclusive finance, agriculture finance, digital finance, and related ecosystem actors. Familiarity with existent industry challenges and constraints for accessing financial services especially for youth and young women.
- Solid experience in advisory role, engagement of financial ecosystem stakeholders, and knowledge product development.
- A good understanding of food crop value chains, access to markets and trade for small scale food crop producers and Agri SMEs and youth engagement in the agricultural sector.
- A solid network of relevant agricultural finance and Agri SME actors at national, regional and/or international levels in West African countries is essential.
- Excellent writing (ToRs, grant proposals and knowledge documents) and communication (conducting webinars, chairing meetings, panel, and moderation roles) skills.
- Extensive professional experience in agricultural finance.
- Relevant experience in development and design of rural or agricultural finance solutions and programs, preferably in both private and public sector (financial services providers, development programs, public institutions, DFIs/IFIs, digital finance, agricultural companies).
- Candidate should have worked in an advisory capacity in one of these types of entities with a strong focus on financial services delivery and knowledge development and dissemination.
- Relevant experience in different countries in West Africa is desirable.
- 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 inspires 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 customers they serve, competitors, suppliers, and the regulatory environment. Provides a balanced a responsive and proactive approach to meeting client needs; encourages staff to understand client needs and concerns; ensures provision of customized services and products as appropriate; Responds promptly and effectively to client and market needs. Adds business value 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 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 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 workflow.
- 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 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.
- Teamwork: Demonstrates productive drive in working with peers, partners, consultants, and others to achieve pre-targeted and measurable business results.
Terms of Appointment
3 Years Fixed Term (Consideration for renewal will be made subject to AGRA’s needs, available funding and performance).
Based in Accra, Ghana
How to Apply
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 email@example.com noting to quote the job reference number in the subject of your email)
To be considered, applications must be received on or before Monday 25th September 2023.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer