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?
The Vice-President – Programs Delivery
As a key member of the Executive Committee and reporting to the President, the Vice President of Programs Delivery assumes responsibility for leading in-country and regional delivery and implementation of AGRA projects and activities, through coordination with key partners, grantees, and Governments. The role involves strategic planning, execution, and management of country business plans, and working as a liaison between the Regions, Countries, and the Center to ensure coordination and alignment with organizational strategy.
S/he is responsible for driving the execution and management of all aspects of the AGRA country focused strategies. This role will work closely with other members of the Executive Committee and Regional Heads to ensure alignment of AGRA’s overall strategy with in-country plans and transformation ambitions.
Key Measures of Performance
The performance of this role holder will be assessed on the basis of the achievements made on:
- Leadership engagement and stakeholder convening with donors, governments, and partners.
- Design and delivery of AGRA business plans across all countries that result in tangible benefits to smallholder farmers.
- Resource Mobilization across the Countries.
- Program Management, grant making efficiency and grantee performance across all countries. Strong people management and ability to build a strong institution as part of AGRA’s Executive Committee.
- Delivery and best practice sharing across a range of continental, regional and national contexts.
- Successful implementation of the pan-African AGRA strategy by enabling team collaboration in county, on-the-ground resourcing of this country teams and being the face of AGRA at country.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
- Leads and directs the country and regional teams of the organization as an Executive Committee member and manages these teams in activities around grant making, capacity building, government relations and in-country resource mobilization.
- Leads in the successful and timely development and implementation of the strategy and business plans for all Countries to achieve measurable results and result in tangible benefits to smallholder farmers.
- Leads integration between central technical teams and regional and in-country programme delivery teams to ensure effective implementation and delivery of AGRA projects and activities. Influences AGRA’s engagement with governments and donors for the design and implementation of programs and policies with the aim of increasing country level investments and creating an enabling environment to drive agricultural transformation in Africa.
- Builds relationships with potential donors and private sector companies for effective partnerships to drive the agricultural transformation agenda.
- Informing the President and other internal stakeholders on key challenges and opportunities for delivery and execution of the AGRA strategy.
- Mentors, manages, and supervises the Regional Managers and Country Directors to ensure optimal execution and delivery of specific objectives.
- Provides technical leadership and directs and provides coaching to relevant technical and operational staff.
- Influences and proactively identifies new stakeholders on opportunities for impact generation. Represent AGRA at conferences, events, and other public forums to promote the organization’s mission and impact.
- Enables talent management and development of existing staff, acquiring of new staff as necessary and manages team dynamics to ensure high-performance and positive employee experience.
- Communicates results through presentations and written and verbal communication.
- Ensure compliance with all legal, regulatory, and reporting requirements in the countries where AGRA operates.
- Oversee use of financial resources for country programs, including TIMELY planning, budgeting and forecasting.
- Annually oversee the setting of project standards and goals, directs execution of projects and evaluates progress through regular and time bound performance reviews.
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.
Education, Qualification & Experience
- Ph.D./ Masters or equivalent qualification in agriculture/technical relevant field: agricultural development, additional qualifications in program management, and organization management are added advantages.
- Any additional professional qualification that enhances proficiency in program design, analytical research, communication, leadership, and strategic planning or execution is beneficial.
- Minimum 10 years’ experience in implementing and managing multi country strategies and delivery in agriculture or economic development space.
- At least 5 years of experience in a senior leadership role and deep experience in management. Experience with, knowledge of, and/or enthusiasm for environmental program themes of renewable energy, and climate change is an additional benefit.
- Experience in a government delivery role and/or effectively leading a government agency; or in a private sector equivalent role would be a strong plus. Hands-on experience working with African governments and or the African private sector and awareness/appreciation of the role of politics and political economy in agricultural development.
- A good understanding of the climate segment which is mostly about water management, drought-resistant seeds, and renewable energy for agric & agro-processing.
- Demonstrated knowledge of agricultural development principles and procedures.
- Experience writing proposals, grants, and reports.
- Outstanding interpersonal/relationship skills – active listening, relationship, and team building, team player
- Excellent oral and written communications.
- Evidence of vision, leadership, and ability to secure strategic partnerships and grants.
- Experience managing programs and leading major fundraising initiatives.
- A working knowledge of French is an additional benefit.
- 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 key partners, grantees, and Country Governments. Maintains high standards of personal integrity and provides support for professional development efforts linked to business objectives.
- Grantees and market Orientation: Demonstrates knowledge of the grantees they serve and the regulatory environment. Provides a balanced responsive and proactive approach to meeting grantee and partner needs; encourages staff to understand grantee and partner needs and concerns; Adds business value based on own understanding and support of the grantees and the market in which they operate.
- 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 Organizing: 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: Demonstrates 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 of MIS, MEL, 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 providing effective coaching and encouraging 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, gender 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 Nairobi, Kenya with frequent travel at approximately 50% per month.
How to Apply
If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 11 September 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.