Senior Communications Officer

Location: Kigali, Rwanda

Job Reference: SCO/AFSF/04/2024

AGRA and its Work

About the Africa Systems Forum:

Established in 2006, the Africa Food Systems Forum – formerly known as AGRF is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward. The Forum is a multi-sector platform comprising of 28 partners leading in African agriculture and food systems all focused on putting farmers and investments at the centre of the continent’s growing economies.

AGRF’s mission is to inform influence and catalyze has focused on six strategic objectives:

Agenda Setting – AGRF serves as a platform for identifying, defining, and driving national-, regional, and continental-level priorities to accelerate progress by a broad cross-section of stakeholders through a shared vision and coordination.

Evidence-based Policy Reform – AGRF advocates and promotes evidence-based policy reforms to unlock the growth potential across the continent through agricultural transformation.

Investment Facilitation & Finance – AGRF builds and advances the pipeline of agri-investment opportunities across the continent to unlock new private sector investments at all levels – small, medium, and large.

Knowledge Sharing & Learning – AGRF shares strategies, approaches, tools, and insights about what works and what does not work to inform prioritization, replication, and scaling where appropriate.

Partnership Development & Coordination – AGRF facilitates efforts to forge and advance working relationships across an array of AGRF stakeholders to best achieve all other objectives and ensure that the community is best driving a coherent vision with effective and efficient use of resources.

Leadership cultivation – AGRF works with partners to identify, support, and cultivate the next generation of leaders for agricultural transformation at various levels.

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.

AGRA hosts the secretariat of the Africa Food systems Forum, the world premier forum for African agriculture and food systems.

Accountability – AGRF works with partners to track and share progress and results of political, policy, and financing commitments made by partners over the years.

The Position

Senior Communications Officer Job Reference: SCO/AFSF/04/2024

The Senior Communications Officer is overall responsible for positioning the Africa Food Systems (AFS) Forum as the premier platform for advancing Africa’s agricultural agenda, leading the development and implementation of the communication unit and partnerships within the Secretariat, and strengthening internal and external communications and knowledge sharing platforms in support of its overall strategy and goal of agriculture and food systems transformation in Africa.

The ideal candidate will be responsible for building the visibility of the AFS Forum, managing the platform’s reputation, developing, and driving advocacy and communications coalitions toward its objectives, and promoting its brand among target audiences both in Africa and globally.  S/he is responsible for amplifying the thought leadership of the AFS Forum in ways that help define and advance the continental agenda, continuously promoting actions, policies, programs, and investments that are essential for achieving the Malabo Declaration and SDGs. S/he is responsible for designing and implementing AFS Forum’s communications outreach in electronic, print, and broadcast media, in social media, and audio-visual media.  He/she is responsible for close coordination with other senior management to ensure effective advocacy and communications efforts aligned with AFS Forum’s.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead the Advocacy and Communication function focusing on enhancing dissemination of AFS Forum’s value-adding outputs, the visibility of its impact, and branding.
  • Develop and implement AFS Forum’s strategic advocacy and communications strategy and implementation plan through targeted activities and materials.
  • Provide strategic advocacy, communications, and advisory support to the AFS Forum Partners Group and thematic platforms.
  • Lead in the continued growth of AFS Forum as a knowledge and communications platform over time.
  • Develop and facilitate internal AFS Forum advocacy and communication protocols, including the development and review of AFS Forum’s program advocacy & communications, and staff media protocols.
  • Lead the development and delivery of clear, consistent messages demonstrating the purpose and value of AFS Forum, and anticipate possible controversies with a proactive approach to issues management. Help build the AGRF brand by ensuring consistent use of messages across the organization with all partners.
  • Lead development of all AFS Forum advocacy and communications materials, including press releases, talking points, reports, speeches, web materials, and videos. Ensure all advocacy and communications materials are in concert with AFS Forum messages, strategy, and policy positions.
  • Build a conduit for targeted and general messaging respectively, aligning the AGRF mission with contemporary and emerging local, regional, and global issues.
  • Led a team of advocacy and communications professionals to effectively implement the department’s strategies and activities; establish unit priorities; monitor the unit budget; and manage outside consultants and communications firms’ consultants and communications.
  • Work with AFS Forum’s Leadership and Management team to develop and implement an internal communications strategy that ensures transparency and a strong, aligned institution.
  • Cultivate and manage an advocacy and communications working group of all AFS Forum partners to amplify the communications priorities of the forum.
  • Develop and manage a few long-term strategic partnerships with advocacy and communications partners to carry out strategic priorities.
  • Manage media relations with the global, regional, and national news media to convey and support AFS Forum views on issues of significance. Support senior staff on the planning of media briefs, interviews, offsite visits, and special events.
  • Maintain relationships with journalists and create partnerships with apex media associations at national and regional levels including media outlets and bloggers.
  • Oversee development and tracking of metrics and success criteria for communications programs and activities and support the unit in packaging and presentation of reports and success stories.
  • Write, distribute, and disseminate press releases for both local and international media.
  • Oversee production of AFS Forum’s corporate publications and marketing tools including the corporate brochure, Annual Summit Report, monthly newsletters, and beyond, in both English and French.
  • Coordinate digital photography and videography, and ensure that photographic images and videos are appropriately stored and catalogued.
  • Support programs in the documentation and sharing program of outputs and processes to enhance the visibility of results and impact, enhance learning and innovation platforms.
  • Manage internal and external access to AFS Forum’s records and knowledge products.
  • Act as spokesperson for the organization, as needed.
  • Consolidate knowledge resources, impact stories, and other content for the AGRF website as a knowledge, advocacy, and communications platform.
  • Oversee the design and maintenance of the AFS Forum website, including a content and aesthetics redesign reflective of  AFS Forum’s strategy.
  • Oversee the development and execution of AFS Forum’s social media strategy through its platforms and take overall responsibility for content sharing.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of AFS Forum’s learning and sharing products and platforms.
  • AFS Forum-affiliated events meet the highest standards, are well documented, and receive broad coverage in target media.

Key Qualifications and Experience Required:

  • Master’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Policy, International Development; International Relations
  • Additional professional qualifications in Communications, Journalism, Public Policy, International Development, and International Relations – that enhance proficiency in the function’s key result areas.
  • Minimum of 7 years experience in strategic communications/public relations, preferably functioning as either a key spokesperson for an international or a senior staff for a local, national and international media
  • Demonstrated experience in a senior management role.
  • A working knowledge of French will be an advantage
  • Demonstrate Stakeholder Relationship Management skills
  • Possess strategy planning and implementation capabilities
  • Be excellent at content creation
  • Must be a good Project manager.
  • Communication and Interpersonal skills
  • Experience and a track record in engagement within Africa
  • Community engagement and Management skills.

If you believe you are the right candidate for this position, kindly submit your application with a detailed CV (including your e-mail and telephone contacts) to Please quote the job reference number in the subject line of the application e-mail.

Applications must be received on or before May 1, 2024. Due to the large volumes of applications we usually receive, we will only be able to contact those candidates who are shortlisted.

 For more information on the AGRA, visit

AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer