Opportunity

Project Manager - Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB)

Nairobi, Kenya

About African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) 

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is an international not-for-profit organisation that facilitates and promotes public/private partnerships to promote food security and enhance livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The foundation is driven by the vision of prosperous and food secure Africa, where the livelihoods of smallholder farmers are transformed through innovative and practical agricultural technologies capable of addressing their farm productivity constraints and delivering results. 

Founded in 2003, AATF works with African governments, private and public technology owners and developers, NGOs, seed companies and African farmers to identify and access technologies that address farmers’ key problems and empower them through availability of a choice of agricultural innovations that generate wealth and health for their families and communities. 

AATF believes that the agricultural sector is a key foundational pillar as Africa consolidates its economic growth and carves out its new position as a major global economic powerhouse and the next growth market in the world. The foundation is active in 13 countries of east, southern and west Africa, currently addressing challenges bedevilling key staples in SSA that include maize, rice, cassava, cowpeas, bananas and potatoes.

The main programmes of AATF include:

• Productivity and Stress Management

• Mechanisation and Digital Agriculture

• Market Systems for Commercialisation

• Policy Environment and Public Participation

• Nutrition, Food Quality and Post-harvest Management

 

AATF is a registered charity under the laws of England and Wales and has host country status with the Government of Kenya. The Foundation depends on the ongoing support and collaboration of different partners and investors to meet its objectives. The investors include the Rockefeller Foundation, United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) through UK aid, the USAID and the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation and etc.

You can find further details on AATF from their website: https://www.aatf-africa.org/. 

 

Project Manager- Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) Role Profile 

The Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa (OFAB) is an advocacy initiative aimed at facilitating the flow of information from the scientific community to policy makers and the general public. Launched in 2006, OFAB provides a community platform that works to enhance knowledge-sharing and awareness on biotechnology to raise understanding and appreciation of agricultural biotechnology and contribute to building an enabling environment for sound decision making. 

Through a monthly lunch meeting, OFAB facilitates constructive conversations among key stakeholders and decision makers on ag-biotechnology with the aim of building support for biotechnology as a contributor to food security and wealth creation in SSA. OFAB works with policymakers, farmers, civil society, regulators, coalitions, and other influential stakeholders to drive change at the national, sub-regional and regional levels. The Project is currently operational in seven countries in SSA with plans to expand to more countries in the future. 

AATF is expanding the OFAB programme and is seeking to recruit an experienced manager to lead it. Under supervision of the Head of Communications and Partnerships and overall guidance of the Executive Director, the OFAB Project Manager will work closely with AATF and OFAB partners, government officials, donors, biotechnology stakeholders, media and civil society in the accomplishment of OFAB goals that are critical to attainment of the larger AATF goals. 

The OFAB Project works with partners and collaborator in the seven countries to design and deliver its campaigns and influencing work on the continent. As head of the Project Secretariat, the OFAB Project Manager will provide strategic leadership of OFAB’s advocacy, campaigns and influencing, ensuring attainment of maximum impact. The incumbent will be expected to develop innovative advocacy, campaigns and influencing strategies and oversee their effective and efficient implementation at country level. H/She will represent AATF at high-level decision-maker discussions, media and other collaborators. The Manager will have direct supervision of four staff and will also have responsibility for the performance of partner countries and Project contractors.

 

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategy & Leadership

• Responsible for the development and shaping of OFAB’s long-term high profile  strategy on influencing and providing AATF with advise on campaigns, advocacy and influencing 

• Plans and oversees implementation of advocacy, campaigns, and influencing work plans including research and policy analysis by Country Chapters, partners and collaborators through regular interactions with country host partners and other partners;

• Contributes to the strategy, management and leadership of AATF as a member of the Management Team

• Leads and manages the OFAB Project Secretariat, including teams in seven countries and a multi-million budget 

• Supports resource mobilisation efforts to support the Project, advocacy and AATF work  

• Ensures a high level of collaboration between AATF and its partners at the national, regional and global levels on advocacy, campaigning and influencing work to maximise impact and manage risk, while ensuring the quality and accountability

• Assesses the overall effectiveness of the advocacy and campaigns and makes needed changes in approach and technique.

Advocacy and representation

• Provides support to the AATF Leadership to maximise the impact of high-level external engagements on advocacy with international public officials, politicians, organisations and the private sector.

• Identifies and ensures utilisation of visibility opportunities at regional and global levels that will contribute to the delivery of OFAB milestones

• Engages with public officials, politicians, organisations and the private Sector in and outside Africa and gives interviews as needed to communicate OFAB’s campaign and advocacy messages.

Public Engagement and Programme

• Ensures synergy between OFAB’s influencing, advocacy and campaigns with AATF’s corporate strategy

• Understands and applies Public Engagement strategies for campaigning, advocacy and public mobilisation.

• Builds campaigns and advocacy strategies that are informed by and integrated in programming work, country and regional advocacy strategies and national campaigning

• Oversees implementation and monitoring of OFAB Project grassroots and high-level communication and advocacy campaigns in line with the project’s primary outcomes

• Oversees documentation, information management and sharing that include effective management of OFAB websites and social media.

• Develops and implements media outreach strategy to guide productive media relations and use to improve public perceptions towards biotechnology in Africa

• Oversees implementation of internet and other digital platforms and communication strategies to support OFAB grassroots advocacy and communication campaigns 

• Creates and or maintains efficient issue tracking and managing systems for effective monitoring and management of biotech issues

• Guides development and implementation of OFAB issues management strategy for coherent, efficient and effective monitoring, tracking and management.

 

Required Competencies

Essential 

• Demonstrated advocacy and communication skills including excellent public relations and communication abilities – written, editorial and spoken

• Demonstrated strong advocacy, campaigns and influencing experience in a range of contexts.

• Excellent research and public speaking skills

• Proven experience leading effective policy influencing and understanding of policy development processes

• Experience in writing, publishing and disseminating advocacy briefs

• Knowledge of main players in agricultural biotechnology; A good understanding of the SSA agricultural policy environment

• Demonstrated strategic and creative leadership, especially for sensitive situations/environments 

• Strong skills in diplomacy, networking, influencing, negotiation and conflict mediation

• Ability to use information technology effectively as a tool and resource

• Ability to plan and prioritise work activities to meet organisational goals and supervise virtual teams 

• Outstanding management and coordination skills in a complex network setting, with experience in effectively assessing and managing risk.

• Demonstrated networking skills and ability to build and sustain relationships with key partners

• Demonstrated initiative and ability to work effectively under pressure and independently and within a team

• Strong team dynamics with sound organisational and people management skills

• Strong financial and budget management experience

• Good knowledge of the politics of agriculture and especially biotechnology in Africa

• Demonstrated experience and understanding of knowledge management

• Fluency in written and spoken English

• Ability to travel on very short notice for up to 12 weeks per year.

 

Desirable

• Experience of fundraising for advocacy, campaigns and influencing

• Knowledge of French and/or Portuguese

 

Qualifications and Experience

• Master’s degree in Communications, International Relations, Political Science, International Development, Public policy or related field

• At least 10 years of successful and progressive experience in advocacy, campaigning and communications, with at least 5 years active advocacy experience

 

Terms of Appointment

This is an internationally recruited position and will be based in Nairobi, Kenya. The position is on a 3-year full-time contract, renewable based on performance and availability of funds. 

How to Apply 

If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward a copy of your English CV in Microsoft Word format, along with any relevant documentation to Ms. Shijia Huang, at [email protected] on or before 21 February, 2020. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service. We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by AATF to undertake this assignment.

Application form