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.
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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
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?
Country Director – Mali
Country Director – Burkina Faso
Country Director – Nigeria
Country Director – Ghana
Country Director – Ethiopia
Country Director – Kenya
Country Director – Uganda
Country Director – Tanzania
Country Director – Rwanda
Country Director – Mozambique
Country Director – Malawi
A Country Director is responsible for (i) Providing Strategic Leadership in defining and achieving AGRA’s Strategic Plans in-county, whilst acting as the (ii) Public Face of AGRA in country by establishing, maintaining and enhancing relationships with government, private sector, donors and other key stakeholders; (iii) Oversees and drives the program technical team and operational support roles in-country to effective day-to-day operational and in-country program delivery; (iv) Lead the process of identifying and exploring potential options for funding.
The Country Director represents AGRA in the country and will act as the catalyst for AGRA’s integrated interventions, under the guidance of the VP Program Delivery, and Regional Manager for their specific region. S/he will mainly be responsible for coordinating activities and building necessary relationships with the government, private sector, donors, and other key stakeholders. S/He will lead the country to actively manage the country strategies, while maintaining close linkages with Centre of Technical Expertise Division. S/He will lead the country team in liaising with the government and donors in the country and be seen as the expert on needs in the country, to provide feedback to the technology and delivery teams, and lead in identifying grantees and the right avenues for making AGRA’s investments effective.
Key Measures of Performance
The performance of this role holder will be assessed on the basis of the achievements made on:
- Quantifiable impact targets as defined in the strategy and plan for the country.
- Successful relationship building with the government, private sector, donors, and other key stakeholders.
- Mobilization of in-country resources.
- Targeted and successful partnership with the Ministry and other key stakeholders.
- Lead a team with a strong delivery impetus underpinned by a cordial and collaborative culture.
- Overall portfolio management in the country.
- Grantee performance in country.
- Successful Implementation of Strategic Implementation Plans.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
- As needed develops the country level strategies and annual plan in collaboration with country stakeholders, and with support from AGRA regional and central technical teams.
- Identifies and pursues opportunities to mobilize resources in support of AGRA’s priorities and/or advocating for public and private sector stakeholders to scale AGRA’s demonstrated intervention models in country.
- Directs program officers to research and develop grantee portfolios dealing with constraints, resources, and opportunities for increasing and improving business line delivery at farmer levels.
- Support country teams to strengthen collaboration, accountability, and stinger decentralization with support from regional and central technical / operational teams.
- Execute on programs that not only contribute to SDGs but also build AGRAs goals and aligned with the vision and reputation the institution aspires to.
- Convenes and builds relationships with national government, private sector, donors, civil society organizations and other stakeholders, with the aim to build and nurture country-level partnerships deemed essential to AGRA’s mission in the country.
- Leads in representing AGRA in relevant forums of the government and its development partners including sector working groups, and donor coordination forums that contribute to the advancement of AGRA’s investments in the country.
- Leads in supporting and advancing national agricultural sector development plans in order to identify and pursue opportunities to (i) mobilize resources to support AGRA’s priorities and/or (ii) advocate for public and private sector stakeholders to scale AGRA’s demonstrated intervention models in country.
- Advises and relays feedback from AGRA’s partners, especially the government and development partners to the rest of the organization.
- Engages national government and in-country donors furnishing them with required reports, regular communications, and timely insights on program challenges and breakthroughs in a manner which maintains their positive engagement with the program.
- Documents and communicates results and impact of AGRA’s work through publication of impact stories and other forms of knowledge products.
- Brands AGRA’s work continuously and addresses timely reputational risks in professional manner, as well as enhancing AGRA’s reputation among stakeholders.
- Inspires and grows teamwork, communication, and collaboration among the team to raise overall team contributions and performance.
- 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.
- Provides strategic leadership and directs and provides coaching to relevant technical and operational teams.
- Together with the Country Programs Lead, support relevant staff in drafting concept papers, project proposals and budgets in line with the approved country strategy.
Delivery, Define Project Cycle
- Oversees country-level interventions set out in the country plan, working with program teams to deliver innovative intervention models across the agricultural systems.
- Plans, facilitates, and oversees implementation of AGRA-supported investments in-country and fosters the integration of AGRA’s investments and alignment with those of other partners.
- Oversees country level research required to complete the country operational plan on a periodic basis, to align with government’s sector vision and priorities.
- Guides, oversees, and professionally manages the Country Team, and the work of AGRA consultants in the country as needed.
- Builds on the expertise of AGRA program officers in the areas of soil fertility, policy, farmer organizations and other key areas of intervention to enhance the operations of country strategies and link program investments and activities to other AGRA initiatives.
- Strengthen the financial sustainability of programs and operations through vibrant resource development effort, striking healthy financial ratios, and effective budget administration.
- Lead and oversee the grants management effort in the country ensuring long-term health of the country portfolio and achievement of annual targets.
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, Experience and Technical Competencies
- Master’s degree in Agriculture, Economics or related disciplines.
- A relevant Doctorate degree will be an added advantage.
- Professional development programs in leadership and management including financial and staff supervision/performance management.
- Demonstrated experience in agriculture related development work.
- Demonstrated management experience, particularly over diverse teams working across diverse areas and geographies.
- Experience working with a large multinational development agency in a management and coordination role is an advantage.
- Demonstrated capacity to advance sector coordination as a deliverable, a good understanding of continental frameworks and how they apply at country level with AGRA’s support.
- Demonstrated capacity mobilize partners and be a good partner to the relevant respective in-country Ministry, and experience engaging with various senior Government players.
- Experience engaging with various senior government officials, ag-related private and development players in-country.
- Demonstrated capacity to lead a strong team as well as working on teams with a purview over both domestic-wide and regional activities.
- Proficient in program design, management, MEL, and finance and procurement support.
- Strong ability to influence positively both upwards and downwards.
- Results and detail orientated with a very hands-on approach.
- Excellent organizational, and problem solving/decision making skills.
- Intelligent, motivated self-starter with strong interpersonal skills and work ethic.
- Good command of the English language besides other official country languages.
- 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.
- Culture-carrier: Models the AGRA IRISE values by remaining responsible for actions undertaken and resources deployed; valuing people’s differences and embracing diversity and inclusion; striving for excellence and embracing continuous improvement, bold creativity, and change; following moral conviction and always doing the right thing and operating under the principle of fairness in all undertakings.
- 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.
- Achieving Results Effectively: Shows determination to achieve goals over time; resists any pressure to be deflected from this attainment; Prepares to challenge others and address poor performance where this is impacting on effective service delivery; Takes calculated risks, based on learning and experience, to achieve longer-term service improvements.
- Managing & Sharing Knowledge: Encourages knowledge-sharing across units/departments and ensures that knowledge is captured, recorded and disseminated appropriately; Demonstrates individual responsibility for defining and delivering on the organization’s priorities; Takes others’ perspectives into account when communicating, negotiating or presenting arguments; Keeps teams informed of decisions and directives of senior management and communicates them in a manner that ensures understanding and acceptance.
- Adaptability: Publicly supports and adapts to major/fundamental changes that show promise of improving established ways of operating; Seeks opportunities for change in order to achieve improvement in work processes, systems, etc.; Maintains composure and shows self-control in the face of challenges and change; Adapts to new ideas and initiatives across a wide variety of issues or situations; Shifts priorities, changes style and responds with new approaches as needed to deal with new or changing demands.
- Stakeholder Focus/Partnerships: Tracks trends and developments that will affect own organization’s ability to meet current and future stakeholder needs; Identifies benefits for stakeholders; looks for ways to add value; Seeks out and involves clients or prospective stakeholders in assessing services, solutions or products to identify ways to improve; Establishes service standards and develops strategies to ensure staff meets them; Creates stakeholder-centric processes for others to use; that is relevant and efficient; Networking – Ability to establish mutually beneficial relationships with both internal and external stakeholders.
- Effective Leadership: Fosters a sense of team spirit by developing a shared understanding, accountability, and enthusiasm for the team’s work; Displays a high level of cultural awareness, and sensitivity to different ways of working and leverages individual’s strengths in order to build a better team; Shares credit for team accomplishments and ensures that the contribution of others is recognized; Helps created a positive team spirit, putting aside personal considerations to help the team achieve its goals.M
- Diversity & Inclusion: Takes every opportunity to ensure that project teams and work groups are diverse; Encourages and capitalizes on the diverse contributions and strengths of team members; Practices inclusive behaviors in groups and intervenes with sensitivity when exclusionary behaviors occur; Encourages innovation and creativity in the workplace; Embraces diversity as a resource to benefit the organization and its members; Supports systems, procedures and practices which promote diversity in the workplace and programmatic activity; Leverages the benefits differences can add.
Terms of Appointment
3 Years Fixed Term (Consideration for renewal will be made subject to AGRA’s needs, available funding and performance).
Based in either Mali, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Mozambique or Malawi with frequent travel at international level, approximately 40% per month/year.
How to Apply
If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below on or before 9 August 2023. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent English version of your CV and in your Cover Letter include which country you are applying for.
All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.
SRI Executive is exclusively retained by AGRA to undertake this assignment.