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Aug 25, 2017

AGRA Head of Innovative Finance Job in Nairobi, Kenya


Head of Innovative Finance

Job Reference: BDSS – IF 06/2017
About AGRA: Founded in 2006, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), is an African-led African-based organization that seeks to catalyze Agriculture Transformation in Africa. 

AGRA is focused on putting smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming agriculture from a solitary struggle to survive into farming as a business that thrives. 

As the sector that employs the majority of Africa’s people, nearly all of them small-scale farmers, AGRA recognizes that developing smallholder agriculture into a productive, efficient, and sustainable system is essential to ensuring food security, lifting millions out of poverty, and driving equitable growth across the continent.
AGRA is rolling out a new 5-year strategy to catalyze and sustain an Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa to increase incomes and improve food security for 30 million farmers. 

Under this strategy, AGRA will deliver through an approach that simultaneously catalyzes change at farmer level, strengthens input and output market systems and puts government at the center to enable and champion private-sector-led agricultural growth at national level.
To support this transformation from a country perspective, AGRA is seeking to recruit an experienced and exceptional individual to the position of Head of Innovative Finance.
Position Summary: Reporting to the Vice President Business Development & Strategic Partnerships, the Head of Innovative Finance will be responsible for implementing and driving a strategy to improve the availability of inclusive and affordable financial services at scale by facilitating and supporting the development of a range of dynamic programmes that support capacity building for borrowers and financial services providers. 

S/he will catalyze and promote de-risking mechanisms such as value chain and blended finance instruments including guarantee mechanisms and impact investments by promoting the use of digital alternative data and delivery mechanisms. 

S/he will for oversee the delivery of suitable innovative finance solutions that ultimately benefit Africa’s smallholder farmers. 

The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
  • Lead and manage AGRA’s Innovative Finance Unit to draw on AGRA’s expertise to develop and contribute to the transformation of agriculture in Africa.
  • Identify, develop and maintain strong relationships with other partners working to improve access to finance for agriculture in Africa to understand the landscape of current efforts
  • Refine AGRA’s role in ensuring appropriate access to credit for agriculture, and improve collaboration in investments that further this work and in sharing the lessons that inform future solutions
  • Lead the development of the Innovative Finance Strategy for AGRA, including the hypothesis, the theory of change and action and the implementation plan
  • Provide high-level intellectual leadership for the team to develop innovative solutions to catalyse private sector investment in support of increasing access to credit and other financial services for Agriculture in Africa
  • Ensure the current Innovative Finance investments are being executed as effectively as possible while reviewing consistently to capture any required adjustments
  • In partnership with the Resource Mobilization team, raise sufficient resources to execute the strategy ultimately approved by the Board, including both direct investments into AGRA for the operations of the Innovative Finance team, as well as investments directly into the schemes that AGRA helps to develop
  • Along with the team and other AGRA teams, ensure that the appropriate documentation for these investment instruments is developed and that effective processes and procedures are put in place for the governance and monitoring of these investments
  • In partnership with the M&E team, ensure that measurement plans for these investments is well-defined in the strategy and effectively established and implemented in each investment.
  • Maintain a wide network of stakeholders and contributors to drive innovative finance strategies in the short, medium to long term.
Key Qualifications and Experience required
  • Master’s degree in Economics, Business Administration, International Development, Finance, Public Administration or any related discipline, from a reputable institution
  • Bachelor’s degree in Finance, Economics or any other related area.
  • 15 years’ experience spanning operational, strategic managerial and leadership positions in the financial services sector, preferably in Africa, specifically in the areas of rural and agriculture finance, strategic planning and analysis, channel management and product development
  • Strong knowledge and experience on how to structure commercial and social partnerships with leading financial service providers, mobile network operators, other technology companies, NGOs and consulting companies to reach rural lower segment markets through technology and branchless banking approaches
  • Strong grasp of recent advances in managing risk on Agricultural financing in a rural environment in the context of both direct to farmer and value chain financing projects
  • Familiar with key developments, research and industry trends centered around innovative products for financial inclusion such as credit, savings and insurance
  • Diverse financial sector experience (banking/management consultancy/ development/ research)
  • Strong understanding of the technical aspects of the African financial systems
  • Demonstrated experience working in a complex or pioneering environment and in managing, and creating opportunities for change
  • Strong relationship management experience with the ability to effectively engage with a diverse range of stakeholders at the highest levels
  • Experience in formulating, developing and implementing new strategies
  • Fluency in English required; ability to communicate in French will be considered an asset.
How to Apply

An attractive remuneration package commensurate with the responsibilities of the position will be negotiated with the successful candidate.
If you believe you are the right candidate for this position, kindly submit your application with a detailed CV (including your e-mail address and telephone contacts to [email protected] noting to quote the job reference number.
To be considered, applications must be received on or before 1st September, 2017.
For more information on AGRA, please can visit
AGRA is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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