Portfolio Officer at AECF March, 2024

ABOUT US

The AECF (Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund) is a development institution that finances early and growth-stage businesses to innovate, create jobs, and leverage investments and markets to create resilience and sustainable incomes in rural and marginalized communities in Africa.

Since 2008, we have invested over US$ 220 million in over 420 businesses across sub-Sahara Africa focusing on Agribusiness, Renewable Energy, and Climate-smart Technologies. We have impacted more than 28 million lives, created over 25,000 jobs, and leveraged over US$ 757 million in matching funds to our portfolio companies.

AECF is headquartered in Kenya, with offices in Côte d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Nigeria, South Sudan and Somalia.

The Programme

The Tanzania-specific window under the Seed for Impact Programme (SIP 2.0) funded by the Government of Sweden, seeks to address the challenges faced by smallholder farmers (SHFs) in accessing seeds of improved and high-yielding climate-resilient crop varieties. By providing catalytic funds to private seed enterprises through a grant coupled with technical assistance, this initiative aims to empower SHFs to increase agricultural production, mitigate the effects of adverse climate conditions, and promote the consumption of nutrient-dense foods.

This assistance will focus on enhancing their capacities in seed production, quality control, and distribution systems. By strengthening the operational and technical aspects of these enterprises, the initiative aims to ensure a sustainable supply of quality seeds to SHFs across Tanzania.

The Portfolio Officer will be responsible for the overall comprehensive planning and execution of assigned programme activities to ensure that: implementation is on track, performance targets are met, progress reporting is timely and accurate, and resources are utilized appropriately. The role holder must have excellent technical skills and the ability to offer expert support to the portfolio of seed companies, as well as a deep understanding of business management processes and the challenges SMEs face in the seed business.

This role will report to the Head of Programmes, Agribusiness.

Key Responsibilities

  • Work with the Head of programmes-Agribusiness to design the marketing strategy and conduct new funding competitions/challenges in Tanzania.
  • Contribute to establishing appropriate linkages with the relevant state/ government departments, donors, private sector bodies, potential project partners, and civil society.
  • Effectively onboard and manage the portfolio of approved investees to ensure delivery of set programme objectives and development impact targets as well as Technical Assistance.
  • Support in developing a sustainable seed system in Tanzania that will deliver seeds of improved and climate-resilient crop varieties to rural smallholder farmers to mitigate against the challenges posed by climate change.
  • Lead in continuous learning and design of initiatives related to seed marketing, market intelligence, and seed business to address seed production and marketing challenges.
  • Design, execute, and oversee project outcome assessment frameworks to ensure compliance with AECF guidelines and donor requirements. Facilitate the monitoring and evaluation of investee performance, conducting data cleaning, analysis, and reporting through AECF Airtable system.
  • In close collaboration with the Impact and Knowledge team, generate monthly insight products on portfolio impact, contribute to storytelling and dissemination of analytical findings emerging from portfolio companies and ecosystem strengthening activities.
  • Maintain a database of pipeline investees, while analyzing emerging financing opportunities to feed into funding proposals.
  • Regularly apply learning, emerging innovations, and best practices from project evaluations, field visit reports, and project reports across the program, and from other development organizations and donors to new proposals.
  • Ensure compliance with internal controls and risk management of the portfolio by the wider AECF LLC Risk and Compliance Management Framework.

Suitable candidates should possess:

  • A university degree in Agricultural Economics, Agribusiness, Business Management with Information Technology (BBIT), or a related field.
  • A minimum of 5 years of relevant experience in the agricultural sector, experience in managing donor programmes preferably in the seed sector, working with SMEs and financial intermediaries working with micro and small businesses.
  • Experience in relevant AECF sectors is preferred either in portfolio or investment management, including experience with financial and operational due diligence of early or growth-stage businesses.
  • Project management skills and demonstrate the ability to manage complex and competing resource allocation requirements and the ability to work with a diverse group of clients.
  • A good understanding of rural markets in Africa especially Tanzania and an understanding of the operations of donors and international development organizations will be an added advantage.
  • Have good analytical and communication skills with the ability to prepare proposals, reports, investment memos, and concept papers to a high level of proficiency.

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