Opportunity

Programme Manager

Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) Harare, Zimbabwe

About SAPP Program

Inadequate electricity access in Southern Africa poses a major constraint to the region. Access cannot be realistically expanded without first increasing power supply in the region. The region is endowed with significant resources for generating power – but these resources are spread out – and those with resources within their countries are at a significant cost advantage. One of the major challenges for the region is that the development of most of these resources, and especially hydropower, requires investments of a scale that cannot be justified based on national demand alone. At a regional level, there are therefore large potential benefits from developing large generation and cross-border transmission projects to transfer the relatively cheaper power compared to other alternatives across the region.
Projects of this size will require significant resources, including the private sector financing. Investors and lenders have choices and would not invest into projects unless they have good quality information about them, including their technical/political feasibility and economic/financial viability. Supporting preparation of such projects therefore requires significant upfront funding and specialist skills to broker and finalize cross-border political, technical and commercial agreements that are of sufficient quality that they attract the financing required for the projects. The skills required to prepare such projects are scarce and would be difficult to replicate at national levels.  
Energy Ministers in the SADC recognized the need to support large projects. In that regard the SAPP setup the Project Advisory Unit (PAU) in 2015 to assist in that regard.  Which includes the following components:
  • Providing funds required for preparation of these projects including technical, economic and financial feasibility studies; environmental and social assessments; preparation of legal documentation and financial transaction advisory services and finalization of key agreements, etc. necessary for achieving financing close for the projects.
  • Financing analytical support to enhance decision making and regional planning capacity.
This program is acting as a major regional platform for regional efforts and has already attracted other international cooperating partners to join the program.
 

Summary description of the Projects Advisory Unit

 
With financing from the World Bank, SAPP set up a Projects Advisory Unit in 2015 located in Johannesburg, South Africa. The PAU is a part of the SAPP Coordination Centre (SAPP CC) and reports to the CC Executive Director and will consist of a Programmes Manager (who will report to the SAPP Coordination Centre Executive Director) and a number of key personnel covering all the key functions needed to prepare regional energy projects (including technical and financial analysis; legal and transaction advice; project managers, environmental and social management; procurement; financial management; etc.).
The PAU assesses and adjusts to the type of role it needs to play on a specific project, which may range from taking the lead on selected or all preparation activities to providing support to the concerned agencies and ensuring that preparation effectively serves the needs of project stakeholders. It is important to maintain flexibility regarding the preparation work carried out by PAU – as project structures are amenable to different allocation of preparation costs and activities between the public and private sectors. The PAU provides close guidance to government agencies and utilities on the appropriate contract packaging and allocation of responsibility for project preparation work as well as the information requirements for bidding projects or components of projects. Donor funding is being used for the project preparation activities.
The SADC Energy Ministers have made a decision to relocate the PAU from Johannesburg, South Africa to Harare, Zimbabwe where the SAPP Head Office is being hosted. The SAPP has also seen the need to restructure the PAU to ensure effectiveness, hence the need to advertise the positions.
The PAU is expected to have staff with strong track records of project development using public and private funding. The PAU is expected to be able to establish strong working relationships and interact effectively with the broad range of stakeholders and financiers concerned with any specific project, thereby becoming a focal point for project preparation in the region.

Activities of the Projects Advisory Unit

The staff of the SAPP Projects Advisory Unit undertakes the following core responsibilities. Consultants will be hired for tasks and to supplement the core PAU staff as appropriate for carrying out the tasks assigned to the PAU.
  • Partnership Coordination and Funds Management — The PAU is responsible for coordinating relations with the donors, managing the resources of the PAU (initial grant funding of US$20m has been made available to the SAPP by the World Bank); planning, implementing and reporting on uses of funds; developing and adjusting the business plans and operating procedures according to the evolving needs of the SAPP/SADC; and responding to the audit and information requests. 
  • Project Preparation and Pipeline Development— The team works with the SAPP Coordination Center, SADC Secretariat, SAPP members, and in response to country requests, to identify a pipeline of qualifying energy programs and projects. For the identified pipeline it will evaluate the resource needed for project preparation, transaction support, financial structuring and assessing market-readiness, government commitments and project feasibility.  Funding for preparation of specific projects is allocated after the process set out in the PAU Implementation Manual has been followed (which includes consultation with the SADC Secretariat regarding political buy-in and no objection from relevant donors for use of funds). For specific projects, PAU staff with skills in PPP design, technical and financial feasibility, and regulation of infrastructure will be supported by consultants to be hired by the PAU to augment specific specialized areas.
  • Financial Structuring and Risk Management—The PAU is responsible for support in the development of appropriate project structures with a view to maximizing private sector investment, and optimizing the mix of financial instruments to ensure that country/utility objectives are met without undue burden to governmental balance sheets (in line with government priorities) while providing appropriate support to make the selected projects financially feasible. This work will be led by specialists with experience in financial structuring of similar PPPs, as well as use of credit enhancement and combination of financial instruments required to bring such PPPs to financial close.
  • PPP Knowledge and Quality Assurance—The PAU is also responsible for assuring that best practices and latest approaches on PPP design are applied to each supported project. The PAU also ensures that the lessons learnt from approaches in the region as well as from outside the region (especially cross-border projects) are fully comprehended and assimilated by the PAU and thereafter made widely available to practitioners in the region.  The staff works closely as a key interlocutor with counterparts from development banks, commercial banks and wider private sector partners as projects are assessed for their needs and activities of support are defined.  Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) will be included in this function to complete the quality assurance cycle. On the knowledge side, the PAU develops its future activities taking full advantage of learnings from financing of energy, efforts related to the development of PPP pipelines and analytical work related to the development of infrastructure as an asset class.
SAPP intends to use grant financing from the World Bank to hire a Programmes Manager who will act as an administrative head of the SAPP-PAU, including fiduciary (financial, procurement, HR functions) and ensuring the AREP Program achieves its objectives as agreed with the World Bank, and other development partners.
The PAU Programmes Manager achieves the vision of SAPP by specifically:
  • Providing overall coordination and general management of the activities of the PAU and its staff and manage the day to day operations of the unit. Specifically, lead the administrative workstream of the PAU activities.
  • Coordinating with the Chief Transaction Advisor to ensure smooth implementation of and coordination and support of the administrative and advisory/transaction work streams;
  • Leading the contributions and collaboration with partners, client governments, SADC institutions, SAPP members, and sub-committees in the identification of a pipeline of qualifying infrastructure programs and projects. As part of this:
    • Develop strong working relationships with key stakeholders in utilities, ministries, developers, and banks in the region. Through sharing of expertise, work with regional counterparts to advance the overall understanding of preparation requirements for projects to be able to advance to the financing stage.
    • Ensure coordination among project stakeholders, including relevant ministries, utilities, regional agencies, etc., in the various countries involved in each project.
    • Ensure coordination between the PAU and the relevant agencies at the country level, to establish effective collaboration on project activities.
    • Provide the SAPP Coordination Centre with inputs to the discussions with the SAPP Executive Committee, the SADC Secretariat and other bodies and national government authorities.
  • Playing a key role in hiring and building up the capability of the PAU.
    • Manage and monitor the PAU work program, including tracking progress.
    • Compile reports for the PAU in line with the World Bank Guidelines
    • Take primary responsibility for the timely delivery of outputs and quality assurance.
    • Identify issues that affect project implementation and identify solutions in agreement with the SAPP Coordination Centre, the World Bank project team, and other relevant counterparts.
  • Oversee the evaluation of resource needs in project preparation, transaction support, and financial structuring and assessing market-readiness, government commitments, and project feasibility. 
    • Ensure that procurement activities using PAU funds are carried out in a timely and effective manner and that the Project Procurement Plan is regularly updated.
    • Ensure that project activities are carried out cost-effectively within the available resources.
    • Monitor closely actual costs and disbursement and ensure that corrective actions in case of variations from estimates and/or disbursement delays are timely and effectively undertaken.
    • Ensure that Financial Management Reports, as well as Applications for Withdrawal of project funds and Requests for Replenishment of project accounts are submitted to the World Bank (and other donors as appropriate) promptly.
    • Ensure timely preparation and submission to the World Bank of project audit reports, as agreed under the Project financial management arrangements.
  • Providing information and updates on project activities and/or implementation issues as requested by the SADC, the SAPP, government agencies and other project stakeholders, and the World Bank. Provide Project Progress Reports according to the requirements of the World Bank (and other donors) as well as briefs and reports on an ad-hoc basis, as needed.
  • Reviewing the working environment and make recommendations for improvement or acquiring operating systems that will enhance project coordination, implementation and reporting.
  • Providing information and updates on project activities and/or implementation issues as requested by the SADC, the SAPP, government agencies and other project stakeholders, and the World Bank. Provide Project Progress Reports according to the requirements of the World Bank (and other donors) as well as briefs and reports on an ad-hoc basis, as needed.
  • Reviewing and advise on the preparation of the quarterly progress reports
  • Ensure effective administration and financial management arrangements in accordance with the Loan Agreement with the World Bank and ensure smooth flow and proper utilization of programme funds
  • Ensure the effective and efficient implementation including operations of the Unit
  • Directly supervise and guide the PAU staff and evaluate their performance.
  • Ensure compliance with all reporting requirements under the Programme (e.g., progress reports, monthly reports, financial statements, audit reports, etc.)

Performance Criteria

The following criteria will form part of the assessment of the performance of the Programmes Manager at regular intervals and based upon which the contract may be continued or terminated:
  • Effective and timely implementation of project activities in accordance with agreed results, schedules and plans;
  • Quality and timeliness of delivering all project progress reports.

Reporting and Location

The Programmes Manager will report to the SAPP Coordination Centre Executive Director and will be based at the SAPP Coordination Centre Offices located in Harare, Zimbabwe. The job involves a lot of travel and candidates should be willing to travel extensively within the SADC region and abroad.

Selection Criteria

The Programmes Manager must show good leadership skills, excellent report writing and communication skills.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in engineering, business administration, law  or economics;
  • A minimum of 15 years of relevant energy sector experience of which 5 years should be at a senior, managerial level in utilities, energy companies, funders or government agencies (preferably in Africa and/or SADC countries);
  • Proven Leadership and Management skills;
  • Proven ability to engage at a senior level with a variety of counterparts, including SADC Secretariat, government representatives, senior management of public agencies, private sector, civil society, donors and other development partners;
  • Practical experience of leading and/or managing the implementation of large energy infrastructure projects;  
  • Ability to work under pressure and manage responsibilities within tight deadlines;
  • Recognized by peers and/or managers for providing high quality, pragmatic advice to senior officials and practitioners on PPPs;
  • Experience building partnerships, including negotiations with donors and executing agencies;
  • Excellent team playing skills;
  • Strong ‘people’ skills – able to develop strong working relationships and ability to develop high levels of trust across public and private sectors by demonstrating high levels of competence, professionalism, political awareness, tact, and diplomacy;
  • Excellent English proficiency, both spoken and written; knowledge of French or Portuguese is a plus;
  • High level written and oral presentation skills.

Terms of Appointment

The duration of the assignment is for 24 months, with an initial probation period of 3 months. Subject to the Consultant's satisfactory performance of the assignment, the contract may be extended.

How to Apply

  1. If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward a copy of your CV in Microsoft Word format, along with any relevant documentation to Shenaaz Bhima, at [email protected] on or before 24th of July 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.
  2. During the recruitment process, should you demonstrate sufficient relevant experience, SRI Executive will require your cooperation in completing a Competency Profile. You will also be required to participate in several telephone or Skype screening discussions with the SRI Executive team to ensure there is a clear understanding of the Terms of Reference and to ascertain if there is the appropriate “fit” (technical and behavioural) for you and SAPP.
  3. Based on the screening discussions, SRI Executive will provide a shortlist of recommended candidates to the SAPP for further review. Suitable candidates to take forward for the first-round interview will then be selected by the Search Committee. SRI Executive will contact suitable candidates and arrange interviews. First-round interviews will be conducted by video-conference.
  4. Based on the outcome of the first-round interview, successful candidates will be invited to participate in a virtual interview with SAPP. Please note a meeting with SRI Executive representatives may be required prior to this. You may be asked the terms and conditions that you would require for an offer to be acceptable to you.
  5. The interviews of the shortlisted candidates will be held by the Search Committee.
  6. Please be aware that this appointment will require numerous references on a professional and character level. These will only be at a suitable juncture (agreeable to both parties as suitability for the role is established) and other reviews to ensure all parties are protected and represented accurately.
  7. Please note that the successful candidate will be required to furnish us with original copies of their qualifications.
  8. After you meet with SAPP, we will advise you of their decision and provide feedback. At the selection stage should you be the preferred final candidate, our client will likely extend to you a letter of intent to offer and that the offer will be subject to a reference from your current employer.
* Please note that this process may be subject to some change.

Application form