Principal Agricultural Economist, AHAI.1 at African Development Bank – AfDB

Job FieldAgriculture / Agro Allied
Job TypeFull-Time
Experience6 years

  • The Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department provides support for the delivery of Feed Africa: Strategy for Agricultural Transformation in Africa, 2016-2025. The strategy aims to end hunger and rural poverty in the next decade through self-sufficiency in 18 priority commodity value chains specific to the continent’s agro-ecological zones. Realizing the objectives set forth in the strategy requires increased productivity; value addition/processing; investment in infrastructure; an enabling agribusiness environment; capital flows; and inclusivity, sustainability and effective nutrition.
  • The Department Supports the effort to transform African agricultural systems for greater competitiveness, inclusivity and sustainability, and for enhanced job creation and poverty reduction.

The Position

  • The Principal Agricultural Economist will provide technical support to the development and implementation of projects within the flagship programs under the Feed Africa High Fives’ such as Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), ENABLE Youth, Agroprocessing Zones and Corridors program, Postharvest Loss and Agro-Processing (PHAP), etc. Incumbent will also work with the Flagship Coordinators in both AHAI and AHFR.
  • He/she will work across technical, geographic and institutional boundaries to support the delivery of development solutions for a diverse set of clients in the rural (and urban) space and in the public and private sectors in line with the Agricultural development, Agribusiness and Agro-Industry agenda of the AfDB Group.
  • Using a value-chain approach, the incumbent supports the implementation of this agenda in Regional Member Countries (RMCs), with specific focus on providing technical input for the design, and supervision of projects which (i) promote value chain development, value addition, primary and secondary processing of crops, fisheries and livestock; (ii) catalyze private sector entry and growth in African agribusiness; (iii) promotes agri-SME growth and the commercialization of agriculture, particularly addressing access to finance needs (iv) creates farm to fork market linkages; (v) facilitates the development of agro-poles and agro-processing hubs; (vi) supports the development of an agribusiness enabling environment, and; (vii) invests in hard infrastructure (including roads, markets and irrigation), soft infrastructure (human capital, i.e., trained potential employees, ICT, etc.), and enabling policies and reforms, for transformation of African agriculture into viable, profitable businesses.
  • The principal Agribusiness development Officer will need to work closely with private sector experts at the Bank to scale up investments in agribusiness and will design and coordinate the delivery of client solutions and all project management aspects of the deployment of such solutions.

Duties and Responsibilities
Under the direct supervision of the Manager, Agribusiness Development Division (AHAI.1) of the Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department and working closely with other Managers in the Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department, in the Agriculture Finance and Rural Development Department, with the Directors General and other Directors, Country Managers and with external stakeholders, the Principal Agricultural Economist’s roles include but is not limited to:

  • Develop coherent programmatic approaches in line with the Bank’s agenda, based on identified needs, priorities and requests of Regional Member Countries
  • Formulate public and private investment proposals in agriculture value chain development and promote an enabling environment by the public sector for private sector investment and involvement in agriculture (Agro-industrial parks).
  • Carry out technical, economic and sector analysis that will guide and support both public and private sector investments in agriculture (agricultural policy).
  • Design technical pathways, estimate funding requirements and propose governance models that will strengthen the performance of agricultural value chains from input supply, agricultural production, harvesting, transportation, storage, marketing and distribution (including export) for greater value addition, improved quality, reduced post-harvest losses and reliability of product supply to consumers (Agro-Industry/Value addition);
  • Design and recommend technical services to increase the quality and sustainability of agricultural infrastructure projects intended to scale up production, processing and postharvest handling of agricultural commodities (Agro-industrial parks and corridors development)
  • Assess the requirements for hard infrastructure (energy, water, transport, logistics, information, communication technology (ICT) and soft infrastructure (knowledge basis, quality management systems, organizational systems) in projects within the overall Bank infrastructure pipeline as well as with outside partners;
  • Carry out technical and economic feasibility studies on initiatives proposed for the strengthening and expansion of agricultural value chains, including market centers, warehouses, cold and dry storage facilities, feeder roads, etc. (agro industry and agribusiness);
  • Contribute to the establishment of an Africa-wide policy matrix detailing the five groups of key policy changes required to enable the transformation sought by the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA); key policy areas would be (i) land tenure, (ii) input subsidies, (iii) incentives for local production and processing, (iv) financial sector deepening, and (v) regional integration and trade (Enabling Policy Environment in Agriculture);
  • Participate in initiatives and programmes to increase women and youth employment and enhance skills in agribusiness and agripreneurship by providing appropriate technical content;
  • Provide technical expertise in agriculture and agro-industrial development programs in the area of vocational/agricultural training and farmer extension activities, including institutional capacity building for farmer organizations such as cooperatives (with Rural Development program);
  • Assist the agro-industry flagship coordinator in the development of off-grid rural energy investments for increased agricultural processing opportunities (rural development);
  • Assess financing needs and a technical assistance requirement of producers and retailers, and design postharvest loss prevention programs for agricultural cooperatives and SMEs (with agro-industry clusters);
  • Prepare and review reports and papers in agribusiness subject matter as requested by senior management;

Selection Criteria

  • A minimum of a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness / Agriculture, Agro-Industry or related field.  Possession of a Doctorate degree (Ph.D.) will be an added advantage;
  • A minimum of six (6) years of relevant and broad professional experience in agro-industry development, post-harvest losses reduction, linkage with the private sector, project formulation, preparation, appraisal and management, with broad interest in agriculture and water management issues; experience in the Bank/multi-lateral development institutions will be an added advantage;
  • Good knowledge of industrial good manufacturing practices (GMP) and key quality issues in an industrial set-up;
  • Demonstrable experience of working well in teams within professional and organizational matters;
  • Broad knowledge of agricultural commodity value chains, especially in target commodities/operations promoted in the Feed Africa Strategy;
  • Hands-on experience in transforming commodities from ‘farm to fork’;
  • Operational experience in most regional members countries across Africa, including states in transition;
  • Proficiency in the use of COSTABLE in financial analysis;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and/or French; with a working
  • knowledge of the other language.
  • Competence in the use of standard MS Office software (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project). Knowledge of SAP would be an advantage.

Method of Application

Important Information / Notice

This position is classified international status and attracts international terms and conditions of employment.

Should you encounter technical difficulties in submitting your application, please send an email with a precise description of the issue and/or a screenshot showing the problem to: HR Direct [email protected](link sends e-mail)

To apply for this position, you need to be national of one of AfDB member countries.

Applicants who fully meet the Bank’s requirements and are considered for interview will be contacted. Only online applications submitted with a comprehensive Curriculum Vitae (CV) and copies of the required degrees will be considered. The President, AfDB, reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level. The African Development Bank is an equal opportunities employer. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) does not ask for payments of any kind from applicants throughout the recruitment process (job application, CV review, interview meeting, and final processing of applications). In addition, the Bank does not request information on applicants’ bank accounts. The African Development Bank Group declines all responsibility for the fraudulent publications of job offers in its name or, in general, for the fraudulent use of its name in any way whatsoever.

Interested and qualified? Go to African Development Bank – AfDB on to apply


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