Senior Advocacy & Communications Officer, AGRF – Job Reference No. SACO/AGRF/02/2020

Location:  Kigali, Rwanda.

About AGRF

The AGRF is considered the world’s most important and impactful forum for African agriculture, pulling together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward. Each year the Forum seeks to highlight the progress and challenges in African agriculture, drive knowledge sharing, secure additional political, policy, and financial commitments, and ensure that leaders are coming through on such commitments with real action and results on the ground that improve the lives of smallholder farmers.

The AGRF as a Forum is technically and financially supported by an AGRF Partnership Group that includes: Yara International, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the African Union Commission, the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency, the Rockefeller Foundation, OCP Africa, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the African Development Bank (AFDB), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Syngenta, the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP), Grow Africa, MasterCard Foundation, AGCO Corporation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

AGRA serves as the Secretariat for AGRF, striving to ensure that it consistently serves as the platform for advancing Africa’s agricultural transformation agenda. Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyze Agriculture Transformation in Africa. AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all of them small-scale farmers, AGRA recognizes that developing smallholder agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent.

To support this transformation, AGRA is seeking to recruit an experienced and exceptional individual to the position of Senior Advocacy & Communications Officer, AGRF.

The role will be based in Kigali, Rwanda.

Position Summary

The Senior Advocacy & Communications Officer is responsible for building the visibility of AGRF, 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 AGRF 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 AGRF’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 AGRF’s strategic work across its target countries and regions as well as direct support and strategic advice to the AGRF Lead, Office of the President, and Chair of the AGRF Partners’ Group.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

Strategic Advocacy and Communications

  • Lead the Advocacy and Communication function focusing on enhancing dissemination of AGRF’s value adding outputs, the visibility of its impact and branding. 
  • Support AGRF leadership to ensure the continued growth of AGRF as a knowledge and communications platform over time.
  • Develop and implement AGRF’s strategic advocacy and communications strategy and implementation plan through targeted activities and materials.
  • Lead a team of advocacy and communications professionals to effectively implement the department’s strategies and activities; establishing unit priorities; monitoring the unit budget; and managing outside consultants and communications firms.
  • Provide strategic advocacy, communications, and advisory support to the AGRF Partners Group and thematic platforms.
  • Work with AGRF’s Leadership and Management team to develop and implement an internal communications strategy that ensures transparency and a strong, aligned institution.
  • Work with AGRF’s team to 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.
  • Develop and facilitate internal AGRF advocacy and communication protocols, including development and review of AGRF’s program advocacy & communications, and staff media protocols.

Content Production

  • Lead the development and delivery of clear, consistent messages demonstrating the purpose and value of AGRF, 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 AGRF 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 AGRF messages, strategy and policy positions.
  • Write, distribute and disseminate press releases for both local and international media.
  • Oversee production of AGRF’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 documentation and sharing program of outputs and processes to enhance visibility of results and impact, enhance learning and innovation platforms. 
  • Manage internal and external access to AGRF’s records and knowledge products.

Online Platform Management

  • 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 AGRF website, including a content and aesthetics redesign reflective of AGRF’s strategy.
  • Build a conduit for targeted and general messaging respectively, aligning the AGRF mission with contemporary and emerging local, regional and global issues.
  • Oversee the development and execution of AGRF’s social media strategy through its platforms and take overall responsibility for content sharing.
  • Contribute to development and implementation of AGRF’s learning and sharing products and platforms.
  • Ensure AGRF affiliated events meet the highest standards, are well documented and receive broad coverage in target media.

Partnership Development and Management

  • Cultivate and manage an advocacy and communications working group of all AGRF 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.

Media Relations

  • Manage media relations with the global, regional and national news media to convey and support AGRF 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 level including media outlets and bloggers.
  • Act as spokesperson for the organization, as needed.

Key Qualifications & Experience

  • Minimum of 7 years’ experience in strategic communications/public relations, preferably functioning as either a key spokesperson for an international organization, or a senior staff for a local, national and international media.
  • Experience and a track record on engagement within Africa.
  • 3 years of experience in a senior management role.
  • A working knowledge of French will be an advantage.
  • Master’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Policy, International Development; International Relations.
  • Any additional professional qualifications – for example; Communications, Journalism, Public Policy, International Development, International Relations – that enhance proficiency in the functions key result areas.

An attractive remuneration package commensurate with this position’s responsibility will be negotiated with the successful candidate.

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 recruit@agra.org. Please quote the job reference number in the subject line of the application e-mail.

To be considered, applications must be received by 4th March, 2020.

For more information on AGRF, applicants can visit www.agrf.org

Note: Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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