Associate Program Officer – AGRA

About AGRA
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.

AGRA is rolling out a new 5-year strategy to catalyze and sustain an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (11 focus countries) to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farmers. Under this strategy, AGRA will deliver through an approach that simultaneously catalyzes change at farmer level, strengthens input and output market systems and puts government at the center to enable and champion private-sector-led agricultural growth at national level.

To support this transformation from a technical assistance perspective, AGRA is seeking to recruit an experienced and exceptional individual to the position of Associate Program Officer (APO), Inclusive Finance with a focus on Technical Assistance that enhances Access to Finance for SMEs and Smallholder Farmers. The position is based in Nairobi with regular travel (50% of the time) primarily in Kenya and to other AGRA’s focus countries.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Program Manager of PROFIT and closely collaborating with the Head of Inclusive Finance, the Associate Program Officer will be responsible for the management of Technical Assistance funds linked to improving access to agricultural finance for SMEs and smallholder farmers active in staple crop value chains.

In the first year, the APO will mainly support the PROFIT program manager in successful delivery of the Business Support Services (BSS) component of the PROFIT Program. The BSS component supports SMEs, Farmer Based Organisations and Farmers in improving their access to agricultural finance. The component also support Financial Services providers in improving their offer of Agricultural financial products.

As AGRA sources more Technical Assistance funds to enhance access to finance for SMEs and smallholder farmers, the role will expand to other countries, financial services providers and value

chains. The APO will be successful if TA funds are efficiently and effectively deployed and leading to enhanced access to finance for the agricultural sector actors.

Key Duties and Responsibilities
Support PROFIT Program Manager
Support in actual implementation process for the BSS component through Technical Service Providers (TSPs), partners and/grantees, providing relevant technical backstopping as may be required;
Assist the Program in assessing and identifying capacity needs and gaps in partners and grantees ability to implement projects, and implement mitigating strategies;
Work closely with the TSPs and grantees to ensure that appropriate target groups are identified and technical assistance delivered as per plan;
In line with PROFIT’s design, support in collaborative efforts with other AGRA and IFAD programs and ensure program activities are implemented in alignment with AGRA’s new strategy;
Work with M&E on capacity building including training of partners and grantees in data capture, management and reporting based on overall Program outputs and outcomes;
Monitor program implementation to ensure partners and grantees are implementing project in accordance with the contractual agreement;
Support in technical review of partners and grantee quarterly reports and other deliverables as is required;
Assist the Program Officer in preparing reports to the AGRA board and donors;
Control costs associated with budget for the program;
Developing and/or reviewing the project implementation framework including implementation strategy with partners and grantees and providing detailed quarterly work plans and budgets;
Provide technical backstopping to partners on gender and youth mainstreaming;
Documenting and knowledge-sharing of the success stories, best practices and lessons learnt from program implementation and support in preparation of policy briefs;
Support Technical Assistance Facility management

Build a data base of Technical Services Providers in the area of access to finance for Agri SMEs and Agricultural finance for Financial services providers
Contribute as an active team member to the development and implementation of AGRA’s Inclusive Finance strategy
Where necessary, support other team members (FISFAP, PROFIT, Farm to market) in their duties of developing and managing activities linked to agricultural finance.
Perform other duties in the area of Inclusive Finance for Agriculture as they appear.
Key Qualifications and Experience required

Minimum of a Master’s degree in Business, Agricultural Economics or related discipline;
At least five (5) years’ experience working with partners and managing programs in agricultural value chain development and access to finance for SMEs and smallholder farmers and; capacity building for SMEs and smallholder farmers in developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa
Experience in conducting needs assessments, terms of reference development, procurement processes and management of consultants and trainers in the agricultural finance sector.
A sound knowledge of, and experience in, rural finance at national and regional levels;
Ability to travel up to 50% of time required.
An attractive remuneration package commensurate with the responsibilities of the position will be negotiated with the successful candidate.

HOW TO APPLY:
If you believe you are the right candidate for this position, kindly submit your application with a detailed CV in English (including your e-mail address and telephone contacts to recruit@agra.org noting to quote the job reference number in the subject line of the application e-mail.

To be considered, applications must be received on or before 7th December, 2017.

For more information on AGRA, please can visit www.agra.org

AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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