Associate Director – Agribusiness (2 positions)

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. 


Re – advertisement: Programme Manager – Investing In Women in Benin – Bukina Faso

The Programme

Investing in Women in Benin – Burkina Faso (IIW-Benin- Burkina Faso) is a six-year integrated investment initiative intended to support female entrepreneurship and in value chains where women predominate principally in climate-smart agriculture by increasing investment in innovative and climate-smart solutions, thereby increasing their economic resilience in a changing climate. It will address systemic challenges facing women around access to finance, technical and business competence, inequality, impacts of climate change, and discriminatory gender norms whilst leading to sustained increased incomes for resource-constrained women farmers by providing- grant financing through direct investment grants to women-owned or led SMEs and women’s co-operatives and grants to stimulate loans to women from financial institutions.

The provision of matched grant funding will enable women to expand their business operations in ways they could not otherwise do because of the lack of access to the formal financing system. Technical assistance to women-owned or led SMEs and women’s co-operatives is an essential complementary component to finance, addressing low levels of business knowledge and capacity as well as the introduction of innovative concepts such as climate-smart agriculture. IIW-Benin – Burkina Faso will offer demand-driven market system-based and climate-smart solutions and will be managed by a team operating in both Benin – Burkina Faso with a range of partners.

The Role

The Programme Manager will be responsible for the day-to-day management and implementation of the IIW-Benin – Burkina Faso programme work plan, including direct supervision of up to six programme staff based in offices to be established in both Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso or in Cotonou, Benin. The Programme Manager will coordinate between AECF teams, relevant regional and national government institutions, partner organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure the goals and milestones of the programme are realized. The position holder will lead on the technical delivery of the project and field operations support – as well as be the principal contact for all stakeholders. The position holder will be based either in Benin or in Burkina Faso and will be expected to travel to the other country regularly to visit staff and the various programme stakeholders.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Take the lead in setting up programme offices, team management and prudent execution of the programme activities in line with the approved proposal and budget, including all aspects of programme reporting to the donor.
  • Oversee the contracting of investee companies, micro finance institutions and associations, carry out ongoing management of selected companies to achieve programme goals.
  • Lead the planning and execution – together with external consultants – of the detailed market assessment and gender-focused value chain analysis that will underpin the design of the programme including assessing the potential for synergies and partnership strategies with other programmes and agencies, i.e., women’s rights organizations, Community Based Organisations, training providers, etc.
  • Lead planning and execution of the IIW-Benin – Burkina Faso programme including overseeing the competition/challenge process, identifying, and shortlisting potential investible businesses and associations; conducting and coordinating operational, financial, and strategic due diligence reviews, and preparing investment memos.
  • Identify and liaise with women’s rights organisations and drive the fulfillment of the policy and advocacy agenda of the programme, including engaging with decision makers, male champions and other political and cultural stakeholders for women’s engagement in markets.
  • Plan and use resources (people and/or finance and/or physical assets) in accordance with AECF guidelines and delegated accountability so that objectives are achieved in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
  • Coordinate capacity needs assessments for the design of technical assistance and business development service products and monitor delivery of the same.
  • Undertake the capacity needs assessment (technical, financial, equipment, knowledge, etc.) of the investees and work with the Enterprise Development Team on appropriate interventions.
  • Maintain productive working relationships and linkages with donors, and other development partner organizations, international organizations, government departments, private sector partners, sector leaders, etc.
  • Lead business development and fundraising activities to increase AECF presence and impact in Benin, Burkina and in the region. Collaborate with the AECF Partnerships team to build visibility in the region for the IIW programme and develop strategic partnerships with funders and implementing partners.
  • Working with the AECF Impact team, develop and maintain results measurement plans ensuring they align with the programme objectives and theory of change.
  • Ensure compliance with internal controls and integration of AECF’s enterprise-wide risk framework into the IIW-Benin – Burkina Faso programme.
  • Represent AECF in relevant activities with key stakeholders in Benin and Burkina Faso.

The Candidate

Suitable candidates should:

  • Hold a Master’s degree or equivalent in business, finance, economics, agriculture, sustainable development, or a related field.
  • Have at least seven (7) years of experience in private sector development, sustainable finance, strengthening value chains or economic diversification industries.
  • Be a recognized thought leader in gender equality and/or gender lens investing in the region and have a proven track record working with SMEs. Experience working with women-owned and managed enterprises will be essential.
  • Have the ability and demonstrate experience in designing and appraising inclusive business cases.
  • Have a demonstrated track record in project management, specifically in project planning, monitoring, evaluation, reporting and financial management for large-scale donor-funded projects.
  • Have experience managing gender-responsive programmes/investments and an extensive regional network with institutions and advocates working to promote women.
  • Be fluent in English and French.
  • Have excellent analytical and communication skills with the ability to prepare reports to a high level of proficiency.
  • Have excellent interpersonal skills including a strong work ethic, impeccable integrity, and judgment.

How to Apply

The AECF is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All applicants will be considered based on merit without regard to race, sex, colour, national origin, religion, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

AECF does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process (application, interview, meeting, processing, training, or any other fees).

If you believe, you can clearly demonstrate your abilities to meet the relevant criteria for the role register and apply on:

For more information, please visit our careers page on

Female applicants are highly encouraged to apply.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.