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 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?
Specialist – Women Entrepreneurship in Agriculture
The Specialist – Women Entrepreneurship in Agriculture is the technical lead for AGRA’s flagship initiative- Value4Her. Value4Her aims to strengthen women’s agribusinesses enterprises through access to high-value markets and trade opportunities, access to finance, business leadership and management capabilities, digital networking, voice, and advocacy. VALUE4HER initiative is powered by Value4HerConnect, Africa’s first Women in Agribusiness digital marketplace, which leverages the power of digital technology to bridge systemic, structural, and gender gaps in access to business resources, assets, and services. This market-shaping platform is designed to facilitate the delivery of integrated business solutions and services to women-owned/led agribusiness, to enable them to grow their businesses towards viable and profitable enterprises.
Reporting to the Lead – Gender Integration, the Specialist – Women Entrepreneurship in Agriculture will lead the analysis, conceptualization, planning, coordination and delivery, monitoring, learning, and evaluation of the women entrepreneurship activities across AGRAs countries and across the continent. He/ she will be responsible for developmental activities planned under Value4Her business plan in the coming years.
Key Measures of Performance
The performance of this role holder will be assessed based on the achievements made on:
- Effective implementation of the Value4Her program, including its business case for sustainability, quality, impact, and reach.
- Effective private and public sector partnerships to deliver the value4Her offerings.
- Effective functioning of the online community and digital services, in terms of community engagements, refined service offerings, business growth pathways, and measurement metrics
- Be a focal point for the teams at Centre on women entrepreneurship expertise and advisory support to other related work
- Provide insights and support to resource mobilization activities in this area.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
Purpose – Adapt
Promote Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture
- Contributes to the thought process on gender and women’s inclusion in agriculture and agrifood sector transformation in Africa, bringing an understanding of concepts, tools and approaches for enhancing women’s inclusion in the sector.
- Supports the implementation of AGRA’s women in agribusiness development initiative -the Value4Her, overseeing the initiatives’ implementation of the business plan business and collaborate with the different units in AGRA to enhance collective achievements and mutual learning.
- Mainstreams women’s entrepreneurship thinking into AGRA’s continental and country operational plans and support Country teams and grantees in implementation.
Engagement – Advocate
- Leads the formulation and approval of grants within the unit and bolster the quality of programs on women’s entrepreneurship.
- Devise strategies for scaling women’s agribusiness women growth, incomes, and empowerment and work with M &E to bolster measurements and learning on this agenda.
- Drive partnerships that bring value and additionality to the women entrepreneurship agenda, particularly in gender lens financing, access to markets and trade, and women’s empowerment.
- Promotes the functionality of the Value4Her platform, including the operationalization of the digital offerings and services as per business plan.
Delivery – Adapt Project Cycle
- Promote country level deep dive plans for Value4Her, including supporting country teams to understand and operationalize their programs.
- Delivers capacity building for AGRA staff and grantees to adhere to the women empowerment principles and guidelines to ensure high quality programs.
- Drive for results as per Value4Her results framework, ensure robust measurement framework and accountability for results, develop reports and knowledge products as per plan.
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
- A master’s degree in Gender, Economics, Agricultural Economics, Business Management, Finance, Entrepreneurship or related disciplines.
- Fluency in English is required; the ability to communicate in French will be an advantage
- Strong ability to influence positively both upwards and downwards across cultures and countries.
- Proven leadership ability to influence, develop, and empower employees to achieve their best with a team approach.
- Deep understanding of both the government and private sector policies around women entrepreneurship and agribusiness development.
- Results and detail orientated with a hands-on approach.
- Excellent leadership, organizational, and problem-solving/decision-making skills.
- Intelligent, motivated self-starter with strong interpersonal skills and work ethic
- Experience managing continental initiatives with a proven ability to rally actions, and develop high-impact partnerships.
- Strong analytical capacity, excellent data mining ability
- Experience working with women entrepreneurship in agriculture/agrifood sector.
- Strong understanding of and the ability to interpret and action gender and women entrepreneurs needs
- 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.
- 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 Nairobi, Kenya with frequent travel, approximately 30% per month/year.
How to Apply
If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 4th 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.