Associate Director – Agribusiness at AECF

Full Time


Associate Director – Agribusiness at AECF

Location: Kenya
Organization: The Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund- HQ
Sectors: Programme & Resource Management, Agriculture
Job type: Contract, 12 months +
Languages: English
Work experience: Min 12 years
Date posted: Aug 24, 2023

About AECF

The AECF is a dynamic development institution dedicated to fostering innovation, job creation, and leveraging investments to empower rural and marginalized communities across Africa. We provide vital concessional capital, expert technical assistance, and support for creating an enabling environment that empowers emerging and scaling SMEs.

To date, AECF has empowered over 400 businesses spanning 40+ value chains in 26 countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa. We’ve made impactful strides in renewable energy and adaptive climate change sectors, supporting ventures across solar home systems, mini and micro-grids, biogas, financial services, and adaptive climate change technologies. Our core focus encompasses agribusiness, renewable energy, and adaptive climate technology sectors, while addressing key themes such as gender, youth, and fragile contexts to alleviate rural poverty, promote resilient communities, and spur job creation.

AECF’s headquarters is situated in Kenya, with offices in Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania.

The Role

Position: Associate Director – Agribusiness

We are on the hunt for an exceptional Associate Director – Agribusiness to spearhead our strategic and programmatic initiatives in private sector development within the agribusiness sector. We are in search of an innovative mind, a visionary in agribusiness development, capable of identifying strategic opportunities, conceiving and designing groundbreaking programs, products, approaches, processes, and systems that will expand AECF’s footprint into rural and marginalized communities across sub-Saharan Africa.

Reporting to the Director of Programmes, you will play a pivotal role in executing the revitalized strategy for the agribusiness sector, infusing it with fresh insights and aligning the team for effective implementation. In addition to your comprehensive knowledge of the African Agribusiness landscape (including major sub-sectors), you should showcase a profound understanding of market-driven approaches to development.

In this role, you will have access to a wealth of resources and a dedicated team that will look up to you for leadership, coaching, mentoring, training, and support for their career development.

Location: Nairobi (East & Southern Africa region) or Abidjan/Abuja (West Africa), with occasional regional and global travel.

Key Responsibilities

Lead Agribusiness Strategy and Implementation

Strategic Visionary

  • Be the go-to person for Agribusiness expertise within the institution.
  • Provide strategic direction for AECF’s Agribusiness sector.
  • Develop an innovative and ambitious Agribusiness sector strategy.
  • Focus on sub-sector interventions across Sub-Saharan Africa to scale up Agribusinesses and increase access to finance.

Innovation Advocate

  • Champion new opportunities across the organization.
  • Collaboratively identify opportunities in the agribusiness-energy nexus.
  • Remove key barriers and promote innovation to build sustainable agribusinesses.

Effective Execution

  • Oversee the implementation of the agribusiness strategy (time, budget, and deliverables).
  • Implement tools, processes, and systems to realize strategic objectives.

Thought Leadership

  • Collaborate closely with the Director of Programmes.
  • Switch between strategic and tactical priorities.

Thematic Integration

  • Integrate AECF’s thematic areas (climate, gender, youth, and fragility) into the agribusiness strategy.
  • Ensure delivery of impact in these thematic areas.

Program Implementation and Execution

Portfolio Management

  • Oversee all Agribusiness programs, ensuring consistent, high-quality delivery.
  • Exceptionally manage the current agribusiness programs portfolio.
  • Lead portfolio expansion by guiding the portfolio team on competitions, due diligence, structuring, and execution.

Technical Expertise

  • Provide technical expertise to align the Agribusiness portfolio with sector development policies.
  • Ensure alignment with government development objectives, donor programs, and foreign policy priorities.

Operational Oversight

  • Oversee planning and execution of portfolio activities.
  • Ensure implementation stays on track.
  • Ensure performance targets are met.
  • Ensure timely and accurate progress reporting.
  • Manage resource allocation effectively.

Cross-functional Leadership

  • Lead and manage cross-functional initiatives in the agribusiness and agribusiness-energy nexus.
  • Ensure outstanding results and high program quality.
  • Ensure coherence between the Agribusiness portfolio and cross-cutting themes and approaches.

Partnership Development

Resource Mobilization

  • Maximize funds from public and private sector donors.
  • Bring co-financier resources to support existing and new programs/products.

Origination and Expansion

  • Lead origination, concept note, and proposal development.
  • Diversify AECF programs and product portfolio.

Strategic Partnerships

  • Identify and onboard partners to accelerate investment, innovation, and market access.
  • Collaborate with the partnerships team.
  • Cultivate relationships with main donors and partners globally and at the country level for Agribusiness programs.

The Candidate


  • 12+ years of relevant experience in Agribusiness, Agricultural Economics, private sector Agribusiness management, international trade, or a related field.
  • At least 5 years at a senior management level.

Skills and Attributes:

  • Profound understanding of sub-Sahara Africa and global agribusiness context.
  • 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 social impact investment or private sector development.
  • Excellent leadership, interpersonal, and ethical skills.
  • Strong visionary, with a commitment to fostering a strong work ethic and impeccable integrity.
  • Outstanding planning and analytical skills.
  • High degree of initiative, energy, flexibility, teamwork, and attention to detail.

Application Instructions:

Please submit your application in English language.

Expert Tips To Be A Successful Applicant

Applying for the Associate Director – Agribusiness position at AECF? Here are some expert tips to help you stand out:

  1. Highlight Relevant Experience: Emphasize your extensive experience in Agribusiness, especially if you’ve held senior management roles. Use concrete examples to showcase your achievements.

  2. Demonstrate Regional Expertise: Show your deep understanding of the sub-Saharan African agribusiness context. Discuss your interactions with key stakeholders and your knowledge of regional challenges and opportunities.

  3. Link Your Skills: Connect your skills to the job requirements. If you have experience in agribusiness finance or climate-smart agriculture, make it clear in your application.

  4. Leadership and Ethics: Discuss your leadership skills and commitment to ethical practices. Provide examples of how you’ve cultivated a strong work ethic and maintained impeccable integrity.

  5. Analytical Prowess: Highlight your analytical skills and ability to discern patterns and insights. Use past experiences to demonstrate your focus on critical business issues.

  6. Initiative and Flexibility: Showcase your initiative, energy, and “can-do” attitude. Share instances where you’ve displayed flexibility and worked effectively in a team.

Good luck with your application! Your expertise could be the key to driving positive change in African agribusiness.

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