Opportunity

Executive Director

African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) Nairobi, Kenya

About the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF)

 
The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF or the Foundation) 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 SSA.  AATF works with African governments, private and public technology owners and developers, NGOs, seed companies, other value chain players 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, founded in 2003, with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, is a registered charity under the laws of England and Wales and has host country status with the Government of Kenya as well as an office in Nigeria.
 
Following a challenging but demonstrably successful first decade and half, AATF now looks forward with pride and confidence to an even more promising and prosperous future for the African farmer. The Foundation is looking for its next Executive Director, scheduled to take over in October 2021, to help drive its reach and impact in the next 5-10 years. The successful candidate, working with a broad range of stakeholders, will be an inspirational and innovative leader, possessing the drive, integrity, credibility and strategic mindset to be successful in a complex and dynamic environment, and will help to enhance AATF’s position as a leader, convener and agenda setting organization.  The candidate must have substantive, relevant and direct hands-on experience working in Africa.

She/he will  pay particular attention to addressing the following two critical issues:

1. There is a real void in the current science and technology environment in Africa in terms of a serious engagement around biotechnology. This is due primarily to the absence of a strong agenda setting organization, capable of mobilizing expertise and resources to advance our understanding of challenges and opportunities in the biotechnology space and help promote a vigorous and innovative ecosystem.  The new Executive Director will be someone who has demonstrated the ability to engage and lead at the continental level to mobilize a constituency for real advances in mastering tomorrow’s technologies to fuel growth and wealth creation in Africa’s rapidly transforming agricultural value chains.

2. This vision of the future of the Foundation requires substantial and sustainable financial resources from African sources. Over the last 10-15 years, the Foundation has generated a number of products and services that African countries and organizations will be willing to invest in supporting and expanding. The new Executive Director will possess the ability to deepen existing partnerships while building new ones, and leverage AATF’s products and services to generate resources to sustain future growth.
 
You can find further details on their website https://www.aatf-africa.org/
 

Executive Director Role Profile
 

The Executive Director, in her/his role as the top management position reporting to the Board of Trustees, will seek to ensure the effective linkage between the Foundation’s strategic directions and its operations.
Specific areas of accountability  are listed as follows, and detailed in subsequent sections:
 
  • Strategic direction and external relations
  • Institutional leadership
  • Programmatic implementation and operational leadership
  • Institutional capacity strengthening
  • Supporting Board of Trustees for enhanced governance
1. Strategic Direction and External Relations:
  • Work closely with the Board, provide leadership in developing the Vision, Mission and strategic direction for the Foundation
  • Articulate and secure buy in of the Foundation’s vision, mission and strategic directions across a wide range of internal and external stakeholders
  • Lead the development of innovative approaches to leveraging the AATF brand within the African stakeholder landscape to generate resources
  • Engender credibility and legitimacy as the chief spokesperson for the Foundation on all issues.
2. Institutional Leadership:
  • Lead the implementation of the Foundation’s strategy
  • As chief executive, direct and provide guidance on the Foundation’s  day to day operations
  • Oversee implementation of AATF’s risk management strategy, ensuring that institutional,  programmatic and operational risks, including business continuity risk, are identified, managed and mitigated
  • Set the Foundation’s ethical tone and institutional commitment to zero tolerance for corruption, financial mismanagement and other forms of misconduct
  • Lead and demonstrate the Foundation’s commitment to inclusiveness and tolerance in its vision, program implementation and institutional operations
3. Programmatic  Implementation and Operational Leadership:
  • Lead the effective translation of the Foundation’s strategic priorities into annual work programs that are appropriately aligned with the resource envelope, and developing strategies for any needed adjustments
  • Promote and actively facilitate  a conducive working environment for staff and AATF stake holders
  • Lead the development and implementation of the Foundation’s resource mobilization strategy
  • Develop operational plans and provide guidance for the successful implementation of  AATFs social enterprise initiatives as well as any other for-profit subsidiaries
4. Institutional Capacity Strengthening:
  • Ensure that the Foundation’s institutional capacities are adequately designed, resourced and effectively performing to deliver both corporate and program outcomes
  • Provide leadership in the management of the Foundation’s financial resources to ensure a sustainable institutional financial position
  • Ensures that the Foundation has efficient systems for implementing and monitoring  its project portfolio
  • Lead the  mainstreaming of gender in both programs and operations
  • Provide guidance in implementing compensation of staff within the Board-approved framework of policies and programs.
  • Ensures that the Foundation has the right talent in terms of competence and other attributes both for current and emerging needs.
  • Champion organisational culture that is aligned with AATF’s Values and strategic direction.
5. Support  the Board of Trustees for Enhanced Governance
  • Ensure appropriate management support to the  Board for  effective discharge its oversight responsibilities
  • Provide leadership in the  implementation of Board decisions
  • Regularly apprise the Board of the Foundation’s risk management efforts, including strategic and operational risks.

Required Competencies

  • Excellent  understanding of the development issues in Africa south of the Sahara  especially with respect to agriculture and food security
  • Demonstrated leadership of organizations with multidisciplinary and multicultural teams and stakeholders
  • Over ten years leading in  planning and implementing development programs 
  • Proven ability to mobilise long-term financial support for organisations and skills in the cultivation and stewardship of partnerships for resource mobilization
  • Proven leadership and peer recognition in successful strategy development, senior-level negotiations, consensus-building, and promotion of effective partnerships
  • Ability to facilitate and engage across diverse sectors and stakeholders  with a record of working effectively with researchers, scientific managers, industry/private sector and government stakeholders
  • Record of leadership in generating, managing and disseminating knowledge critical to agricultural technology for development
  • Proven track record in innovative thinking and entrepreneurship

Qualifications and Experience

Education           

  • The candidate will possess an advanced degree (PhD or Masters) in agricultural sciences, economics, business management or a related field.
  • Possess a strong record of publication in the relevant field

Experience        

  • At least ten years in senior management with a reputable organisation.
  • Demonstrated in depth understanding of issues around African agriculture.
  • Demonstrated experience working on topical development issues across Africa, and an active network of partnerships and collaboration with the African agricultural research and development, and agribusiness commercialization sectors.
  • Strong track record in resource mobilization for development, and excellent understanding of the typology of the RM landscape (development partners, philanthropy, the private sector, and the various stakeholders in Africa).
  • High-level advocacy and strong negotiation skills,
  • Excellent political and diplomatic skills and judgement.
  • Superior communications skills to persuade, inspire and mobilize all stakeholders around AATF’s vision and mission.
  • Demonstrated leadership in identifying organizational challenges and ability to act as change agent to address them.

Language requirements

  • Fluency in English – both written and spoken.
  • Knowledge of French would be an advantage.
Terms of Appointment
This is a full-time position. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience

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 [email protected] on or before 28 August 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.

Application form