Team Leader AgriFI Challenge Fund at Self Help Africa

Self Help Africa works at grassroots level in rural Africa, tackling poverty, supporting food production, enterprise development, and improving the lives of local communities. In Ireland the organisation trades as ‘Gorta-Self Help Africa.’

Job Purpose:

Self Help Africa (SHA) is an international NGO, dedicated to the vision of an economically thriving and resilient rural Africa. Working in ten countries throughout Africa, SHA focuses on agriculture and agribusiness as the engine of growth in Africa.

We believe in market-based solutions to the alleviation of longterm poverty and our primary clients are smallholder farmers in Africa. We work with all participants in the agricultural value chain and believe that you can only achieve longterm sustainable growth by creating profitable businesses (whatever the size) and farmer organisations that can operate at scale.

Our approach is collaborative and market-based: although we see our primary clients as smallholder farmers in Africa, we work with all participants in agricultural value chains. SHA currently runs programmes on behalf of a range of organisations including two Challenge Funds for the European Union, Irish Aid, the World Food Programme and the UK Department for International Development. SHA has an ambitious growth strategy to increase its global footprint and expand into new areas.

The organisation also has a number of social enterprise subsidiaries – TruTrade, which supports market access for small-holder farmers in agricultural value-chains and Partner Africa, an ethical auditing and consultancy firm that operates across more than 40 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.

Self Help Africa is currently managing the AgriFi Challenge Fund on behalf of the EU, an €18M fund to support agricultural businesses to increase their sourcing capacity through working with smallholder farmers.

We are looking for a dynamic, proactive and results-oriented Challenge Fund Team Leader to be the strategic head of the AgriFI-Value Chain Implementation Team. The TL will be responsible for ensuring successful implementation of the remaining two years of this 5.5-year, European Union-funded programme through providing strategic leadership, technical oversight and direct management of the programme – in particular the EUR 18M challenge fund. A key function of this role will be managing effective partnerships with the Lead Firms/implementing organisations and broadening the impact of the fund to attract additional investment into the AgriFi firms and other agribusinesses.

Key Responsibilities:

Programme Management

Provide strategic, technical and managerial oversight and leadership for the challenge fund including financial analysis, business plan generation and revision, market analysis, building market and distribution channels. Specific tasks include:

  • Day to day management of the challenge fund: Lead and manage all aspects of the programme: planning, implementation, quality and accountability, monitoring and evaluation
  • Lead and manage the relationship with the co-implementer of the programme – Imani Development
  • In liaison with the Country Team and Head Office Technical Advisors, ensure effective integration of core technical areas – Nutrition, Gender & Social Inclusion, Agriculture and Natural Resource Management
  • Represent SHA at government, donor, NGO and other relevant events and ensure that the AgriFI Value Chain Programme collaborates and networks with key stakeholders
  • Support contracting of external consultants where required to address grantee capacity needs
  • Work in close liaison and ensure effective communication with the Lead firms and other stakeholders including EIB partner banks and the donor to coordinate coherent and consistent delivery of the programme objectives
  • Lead activities that build capacity of SMEs/Lead Firms to address relevant technical and management constraints
  • Review of business plans and supporting documentation to ensure completeness, consistency and adherence to the grant terms and focus
  • Provide technical input for the implementation of the programme including in the preparation of work plans, strategies, training materials, guides and manuals and value chain integration.

Raise additional capital for the Challenge Fund

Identify key financial partners, particularly Kenyan banks working with the European Investment Bank, to enable agribusinesses and other value chain actors to access agricultural finance. Broaden the impact of the programme by supporting agribusinesses that were unsuccessful in securing Challenge Fund funding or who aren’t suitable for grant funding, to access commercial lending. Specific tasks include:

  • Lead the team in marketing the AgriFi Kenya brand and building relevant networks with institutional donors, investment funds and philanthropists
  • Undertake feasibility or viability studies on targeted programmes and targeted grantees
  • Lead in preparation of proposals and budgets to potential partners for follow on funding of the AgriFi Kenya Programme
  • Ensure data on SROI on extra-financial value is developed and reported.

Review of AgriFi learnings

  • Consolidate key learnings and apply these learnings to the AgriFi programme and future Self Help Africa agribusiness work. Specific tasks include:**
  • Appraise the level of impact the AgriFi programme has achieved to date and methodology that can be utilised through to programme end
  • Analysis of AgriFi outcomes, conducted in collaboration with AgriFi staff and recipient companies, focused on evaluating what learnings from the programme can be applied to future challenge funds / blended finance facilities
  • Assess key successes, risks and challenges of AgriFi programme to date
  • Draw out key learnings from the programme that can be shared across the sector and with national and international stakeholders on how best to stimulate value chain development through private sector engagement and financing small businesses
  • Seek out opportunities for the Group to promote its learnings and successes e.g. conferences, media, trade publications, donor engagement etc.

Operational and Financial Management

  • Ensure that the programme in implemented using value for money principles for effective and efficient delivery. Specific tasks include:**
  • Supervise the Grants team, other staff and consultants and facilitate effective team work and coordination;
  • Manage the programme budget in collaboration with the Head of Programmes and Head of Finance;
  • Compile periodic programme reports as required by the donor and SHA;
  • Ensure compliance by SHA and partners with contract requirements in planning, financial management, procurement, branding, monitoring and reporting, and facilitate further training where necessary;
  • Act as a focal point within the SHA country office to ensure all programming, financial and administrative matters related to the programme comply with donor and SHA policies and procedures and are transparently, expediently and effectively managed in line with established processes, rules and regulations;
  • Monitor external context and carry out adjustments to project plans, where necessary;
  • Conduct periodic reviews of staff performance in keeping with SHA’s performance management system and mentor staff to ensure high levels of motivation, commitment, capacity and teamwork
  • Ensure all SHA safety and security guidelines are followed and that all safety or security incidents (fires, accidents, theft, etc.) are recorded and reported;
  • Ensure efficient use and management of project resources;

Monitoring, Reporting and Results

  • Monitor and report on the progress of the fund technically and financially on a quarterly and half-yearly basis to reduce and manage risks. Specific tasks include:
  • In conjunction with the M&E Manager, facilitate monitoring and documentation of learning by ensuring that effective mechanisms are in place to monitor activities and outputs and assessments for programme quality and impact and ensure programme implementation is on time, target and budget;
  • Ensure a monitoring plan is in place and undertake project monitoring visits from time to time
  • Ensure that the Portfolio Managers and Risk and Compliance Manager have processes to check grantee reports and ensure that they are compliant with set policies and operatonal procedures
  • Work with the M&E officers to ensure the measures necessary are in place to reduce and manage risk in the portfolio
  • Review, analyse and assess grantee performance against KPIs

Other

  • Any other tasks as assigned by SHA’s Head of Region or Country Director

Key Relationships:

Internal

  • Country Director
  • Programme Management Board
  • Imani Development Team
  • East Africa Regional Director
  • Head of Finance and Administration
  • Head of Programmes
  • Technical Advisors
  • Desk Officer
  • Head of Africa Operations
  • Programmes Director
  • ENTERPRISE Zambia Team Leader

External

  • Lead Firms/SMEs
  • European Union
  • Slovak Aid
  • Irish Aid
  • Stakeholders including government, impact investors, research institutions, financial institutions, external auditors, donors, and private companies.

Knowledge & Experience:

Essential

  • In depth knowledge of agricultural finance, banking and investment/project appraisal
  • At least 10 years’ experience in the implementation of agri-business development projects, 5 of which working with Lead Firms/MSMEs within value chains or related projects, at a similar level
  • Strong project management skills and understanding of project cycle management approaches and tools – including planning, project appraisal, monitoring and evaluation and partners’ capacity building
  • Experience of working with donors in development programmes
  • Experience of multi-year donor-funded Challenge fund programmes
  • A thorough understanding of Value Chain Development and designing strategies and approaches for enhancing Value Chain Integration
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and team building skills
  • Experience in networking among development partners and government departments
  • Ability to apply functional marketing, business planning, enterprise finance and investment, business growth advisory service or related areas.

Desirable

  • Familiarity and experience with EU regulations preferred
  • Access to networks with funds to invest in social impact

Qualifications / Other Experience:

Essential:

  • MBA or Master’s degree in Agribusiness, Management, Finance, Economics or related field required;
  • Strong computer skills especially with MS Word and Excel and other related packages
  • Valid Driving Licence
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