AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) is a leading non-profit development organization that supports innovative enterprises in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors with the aim of reducing rural poverty, promoting resilient communities, and creating jobs.
We catalyze the private sector by surfacing and commercializing new ideas, business models and technologies designed to increase agricultural productivity, improve farmer incomes, expand clean energy access, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resilience to the effects of climate change.
We finance high-risk businesses that struggle to access commercial funding; we are committed to working in frontier markets, fragile contexts, and high-risk economies where few mainstream financing institutions dare to go. We have supported over 375 businesses in 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, impacted more than 30 million lives, and created over 27,000 direct jobs.
Since 2010, AECF has made significant progress toward Gender Lens Investing (GLI). In 2017, AECF reviewed her agribusiness portfolio impact which inspired deeper insights and lessons and resulted in the development of a GLI strategy for rural prosperity.
The strategy seeks to identify, nurture, and accelerate solutions that result in the full and equal participation of men/boys and women/girls in the value chains in which we invest. It also aspires to ensure consideration of gender norms and work around gender barriers to improve gender outcomes across the investment cycle.
The implementation of this strategy has seen an increased focus on mobilizing funding towards women-owned/led companies and expansion of pathways for income generation and improved livelihoods among women, youth, and people living with disabilities in fragile contexts. We have strengthened our capacity on gender and sex-disaggregated data reporting enabling us to visualize specific impacts, needs, and gaps for investing in men and women.
At the end of 2021, we recorded great wins in our journey to realizing gender lens investing strategy, impacted the lives of 30 million lives, 49% women, created and sustained 26,912 jobs approximately 30% to women, invested in over 410 companies across 26 countries in Africa, with 20% being women-owned/led.
Currently, AECF implements 5 programmes focused on women’s entrepreneurial leadership and investing in women-owned and led businesses totaling $39 Million.Our ambition is to grow this portfolio and curate investment vehicles that attract investments into women-led SMEs in climate-resilient sectors across the continent.
AECF is headquartered in Kenya with offices in Cote d’Ivoire and Tanzania.
As the Gender Officer, the incumbent will be part of the Gender Team leading AECF’s work in social finance, women’s economic empowerment (WEE), and gender lens investing.
The role holder will deliver gender activities across our portfolio of WEE and GLI programmes and funds, including technical assistance to portfolio companies, and work in close collaboration with the AECF Impact, Knowledge and Partnership team to contribute to the overall learning, through leadership, dissemination and business development of AECF’s GLI work.
Gender activities design, tools development, activities implementation
- Lead the implementation of the gender work under AECF’s portfolio of programmes and funds Investing in Women, and WEE, bringing together AECF’s expertise and resources to support companies to reduce gender gaps across leadership, employment, and entrepreneurship.
- Oversee the seamless implementation of the gender work of all programs in your portfolio, developing and maintaining detailed annual gender activities program management plans for piloting, scaling up gender offerings to selected companies.
- Set up and preparation of materials for gender activities implementation meetings and keep a track of reports on implementation progress across the AECF teams.
- Identify and proactively build relationships and liaise with local partners throughout implementation.
- Oversee gender program budget, monitor, manage and report on financial performance according to projects plan, liaise with donors or investors to deepen collaboration.
- Track performance indicators against the monitoring and evaluation plan, and defined theory of change.
- Deliver gender-specific advisory services to clients focused on women’s employment entrepreneurship, and other topics to drive inclusion in the private sector.
Partnership, knowledge and impact
- Work with the Manager – Gender and Partnerships to mobilize project resources, including funding by developing fundraising proposals, and identifying potential funding sources and linkages with donors.
- Contribute to thought leadership, representing AECF in GLI and WEE-focused forums and disseminating learnings and insights from your portfolio.
- Oversee and manage sectoral and topic-specific research (including financial services sector, blue economy, processing, insurance, agribusiness and transport, renewable energy, respectful workplaces).
- Draft company case studies that highlight innovative approaches to closing gender gaps in the private sector.
- Work with the communications team to develop innovative communications tactics including use of digital media, documentaries etc.
Internal gender mainstreaming
- Support gender mainstreaming across the institution.
- Work with the Manager-Partnerships & Gender to support portfolio teams with gender flagging against set targets.
- Promote gender knowledge among AECF colleagues through themed events, communications, and timely reporting.
Suitable candidates should:
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Development Finance, Gender Economics, Finance, Business, or any other related field of study.
- Have a minimum of five (5) years of experience in one or more of the following areas: social entrepreneurship, impact investing, management consulting, private sector development, agriculture, agribusiness, SME finance, rural financial services, and/or renewable energy and adaptation to combat climate change.
- Be a seasoned gender lens investing professional with in-depth experience working with the private sector on gender-smart solutions in emerging markets.
- Have experience in establishing the business case for women’s economic empowerment and know how to provide gender-specific advisory services to private sector companies.
- Be able to routinely lead operations and research projects and integrate the work of other (often multi-disciplinary) professional staff.
- Be able to proficiently interact with companies’ senior management, development partners and communicate at the policy level with senior government counterparts and other organizations with confidence on the topic.
- Have technical-operational gender and private sector experience in particular on women’s employment and entrepreneurship.
- Demonstrate an ability to conceptualize, design, and implement multi-sector, multi-stakeholder partnerships, and client engagements and to produce analytical reports for clients and donors.
- Have a track record in managing consultants in a project, monitoring project issues, and tasks, meeting deadlines and setting priorities.
- Have a strong ability to communicate ideas clearly and confidently (including to media), articulate issues, and recommend solutions.
- Have a thorough understanding of the international development agenda, and key stakeholders such as the UN, G-20, private sector partnerships such as the Global Banking Alliance for Women, the Global Compact, etc.
- Be fluent in English. Knowledge of French is an added advantage.
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, register & apply on:
To be considered, your application must be received by: 26th January 2023
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) is a leading non-profit development organisation that supports innovative enterprises in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors with the aim of reducing rural poverty, promoting resilient communities and creating jobs.
We catalyze the private sector by surfacing and commercializing new ideas, business models and technologies designed to increase agricultural productivity, improve farmer incomes, expand clean energy access, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resilience to the effects of climate change. We finance high risk businesses that struggle to access commercial funding; we are committed to working in frontier markets, fragile contexts, and high-risk economies where few mainstream financing institutions dare to go.
Over the course of 13 years, we have supported over 375 businesses in 26 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, impacted more than 30 million lives, created over 27,000 direct jobs, and leveraged US $771 million in matching funds.