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Associate Director - Agribusiness (2 positions)

Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF)

Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF)

Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire
Posted on Monday, September 25, 2023

The Role 

We are seeking 2  Associate Directors – Agribusiness to steer the organization’s strategic and programmatic work in private sector development in the agribusiness sector, bringing on board the best-in-class agribusiness development mind with the ability to identify strategic opportunities, conceptualize and design new programs, products, approaches, processes and systems that increase AECF’s reach to the rural and marginalized communities in sub-Saharan Africa. 

The role will report to the Director of Programmes and drive the implementation of the refreshed strategy for the agribusiness sector, updating it with new insights and aligning the team for execution. In addition to their thorough understanding of the Africa Agribusiness sector (and major sub-sectors), the candidates should demonstrate an understanding of market-based approaches to development. 

The role will have access to a wide range of resources and a team that will look to you for leadership, coaching, mentoring, training, and support for career development. 

The roles will be based in Nairobi for East & Southern Africa region and Abidjan or Abuja for West Africa, with occasional travel in the region and globally. 

Key Responsibilities 

Lead Agribusiness Strategy and Implementation 

  • Be the go-to person for Agribusiness expertise for the institution, provide strategic direction for AECF’s Agribusiness sector, and develop an innovative and ambitious Agribusiness sector strategy with  a clear focus on sub-sector interventions across Sub-Saharan Africa to scale up Agribusinesses and increase access to finance. 
  • Champion new opportunities across the organization, working collaboratively to identify opportunities in the agribusinesses-energy nexus, remove key barriers and enable innovation to build sustainable agribusinesses. 
  • Oversee the implementation (time, budget and deliverables) of the agribusiness strategy, putting in place tools, processes and systems to ensure the realization of the strategic objectives. 
  • Closely collaborate with and support the Director of Programmes to amplify his efforts and function as a thought partner, switching between strategic and tactical priorities. 
  • Lead the integration of AECF’s thematic areas of focus – climate, gender, youth and fragility – into the agribusiness strategy and ensure delivery of impact in the said thematic areas.  

Program Implementation and Execution 

  • Oversee all Agribusiness programs, ensuring consistent and quality delivery. 
  • Ensure exceptional management of current agribusiness programs portfolio, and lead portfolio expansion – providing guidance and direction to the portfolio team on competitions, due diligence, structuring and execution of program activities.  
  • Provide technical expertise to assure alignment of the Agribusiness portfolio with evolving sector development policies, government development objectives, other donor programs, and foreign policy priorities.  
  • Provide oversight to planning and execution of portfolio activities to ensure that: implementation is on track; performance targets are being met; progress reporting is timely and accurate; and resources are utilized in an appropriate manner. 
  • Lead and manage cross-functional initiatives in the agribusiness and agribusiness-energy nexus, ensuring outstanding results and a high level of quality in our programs and ensuring coherence between the Agribusiness portfolio and cross-cutting themes and approaches. 
  • Lead regional and country operations, overseeing the composition and strengthening of the capabilities of the team. 

Partnership Development 

  • Maximize mobilization of funds (public and private sector donors including bilateral, multilateral, and foundation donors) and bring co-financier resources to support existing and new programs/products. 
  • Lead origination, concept note and proposal development towards ensuring the diversification of the AECF programs and product portfolio. 
  • Working with the partnerships team, identify and onboard partners that may accelerate investment, innovation and market access across regions, countries, and sub-sectors. 
  • Manage relationships with main donors and partners at a global and country-level for Agribusiness programs. 

The Candidate 

Suitable candidates should have the following: 

  • 12+ years of relevant experience in Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics, private sector Agribusiness management, international trade or another relevant field, with at least 5 years at a senior management level. 
  • Demonstrated rigorous understanding of the sub-Sahara Africa and global agribusiness context and ability to interact with key stakeholders from both public and private sectors.  
  • Working knowledge of agriculture value chains, agribusiness finance, agribusiness-energy nexus, and Climate Smart Agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. 
  • Experience in the social impact investment space or private sector development, working with Agri-SMEs in different Agri value chains. 
  • Excellent and visionary leader with great interpersonal skills to build a strong work ethic, impeccable integrity, and good judgment. 
  • Interest and aptitude in prospecting, cultivating, and managing new donors. 
  • Exceptional planning and analytical skills, ability to discern patterns and insights from research and internal/external data and focus on critical business issues. 
  • High degree of initiative and energy, “can-do” attitude, flexibility, teamwork, and attention to detail. 
  • Must be bi-lingual (English & French) for West Africa. 

How to Apply 

The AECF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The AECF considers all applicants based on merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.  

If you believe you can clearly demonstrate your abilities to meet the relevant criteria for the role, please submit your application and CV quoting in the subject line of the Job Title “Associate Director – Agribusiness East & Southern Africa” or “Associate Director – Agribusiness West Africa” to 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.