Head of Policy and Partnerships

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Countries: Kenya, Uganda
Organization: Global Development Incubator
Closing date: 15 Dec 2020

Company Description

Aceli Africa is a market incentive facility to mobilize over $700M in private sector lending for agricultural SMEs in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda by 2025. To achieve this goal, Aceli Africa will provide financial incentives to increase the risk appetite of 20+ global and local financial institutions to make loans ranging from USD $25K-$1.5M to inclusive agricultural SMEs. Financial incentives have been designed based on an original dataset that Aceli Africa gathered and analyzed in collaboration with Dalberg Advisors. Aceli will also facilitate technical assistance to expand the ability of high-potential SMEs to qualify for and manage financing as well as capacity building for lenders to serve this market. Over the next five years, Aceli aims to catalyze a more competitive lending market for agri-SMEs and demonstrate a model that can be scaled up in East Africa and beyond.

Aceli launched in September 2020 and is now seeking a Head of Policy & Partnerships to join our senior leadership team. Aceli Africa is an initiative of the Global Development Incubator (GDI), a nonprofit incubator of social impact initiatives based in the United States with an affiliated entity based in Kenya; this position is being contracted by GDI.

Job Description

Start Date: January, 2021

Reporting to the CEO, the Head of Policy & Partnerships will be a member of Aceli Africa’s senior leadership team that is responsible for setting strategy, mobilizing the Aceli team, and partnering with stakeholders to achieve Aceli’s vision for a more inclusive financial market for agricultural SMEs. Specific responsibilities include:


  • Play a lead role in developing and articulating Aceli’s strategy for systemic change
  • Advance Aceli’s thinking and practice related to impact and building a robust evidence base for “smart subsidy” approaches to stimulate inclusive agricultural SME finance
  • Contribute to sector dialogue as a visible thought leader at the cross-section of inclusive and environmentally sustainable agricultural growth, agri-SME finance, and blended finance.

Engaging Policymakers & Ecosystem Partners. Aceli aims to be a demonstration model that builds partnerships and attracts funding over time from African governments. We envision collaboration that bridges historic gaps between Ministries of Finance and Agriculture, Central Bank policies, and enabling policies linked to commerce and trade. The role holder will be responsible for:

  • Developing country-specific strategies in collaboration with Aceli Country Representatives
  • Identifying and cultivating relationships with key policymakers and ecosystem actors to raise awareness about Aceli’s model and lay the groundwork for enabling policies. In addition to government actors, these include actors working in agricultural development and access to finance at a country-level (e.g., aBi Finance in UG, Business Development Fund in RW, Kenya Bankers Association, PASS in TZ, Uganda Agribusiness Alliance), regional level (e.g., AfDB, AFRACA, AGRA, FSD), and global level (e.g., FAO, IFAD, IFC, WFP, World Bank)
  • Supporting policymakers and ecosystem actors to enact policy changes that strengthen the enabling environment for agricultural SME finance

Fundraising. To date, $32M of a $75M budget has been secured for the four initial focus countries for 2020-25 from IKEA Foundation, Swiss Development Corporation, USAID, and other leading funders. The role holder will work closely with the CEO in all facets of fundraising including:

  • Stewarding relationships through the funding life cycle from prospecting to cultivation, proposal development, negotiating agreements, grants management, and reporting
  • Managing the Steering Committee consisting of anchor funders committing $10M+ to Aceli
  • Identifying opportunities for strategic growth and securing resources to support expansion to other countries / regions


  • Develop and manage Aceli’s Advisory Board composed of leaders in the agriculture and finance sectors in East Africa
  • Practice the highest degree of professionalism and integrity as an ambassador for Aceli Africa
  • Collaborate with Aceli staff, board, and external partners to ensure that all of the above responsibilities are well-coordinated with Aceli’s strategy, values, and operating processes


  • Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in business administration, finance, agriculture, or related field;
  • Minimum of 15 years relevant professional experience in East Africa;
  • Keen understanding of the agricultural finance market in East Africa, including the relevant financial institutions, ecosystem actors, and policy environment;
  • Demonstrated experience as the lead fundraiser managing several multi-million dollar relationships with philanthropic, bilateral, and multilateral funders;
  • Demonstrated experience engaging senior government officials and policymakers in East Africa to shape policies related to agriculture, finance, and inclusive economic development;
  • Strategic thinker who is adept at connecting big picture objectives with an action orientation;
  • Excellent communication and relationship management skills;
  • Strong writing ability and commitment to producing high-quality project proposals and reports;
  • Ability to work independently and collaborate with a multi-country team in a rapidly evolving environment;
  • Professional with a record of the highest integrity and ethical conduct; and
  • Passion for applying financial and business acumen to have a positive impact on inclusive and environmentally sustainable agricultural development in East Africa.

How to apply:

Global Development Incubator is an Equal Opportunity Employer and considers all applicants based on merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law. East African nationals are strongly encouraged to apply. If you believe you can clearly demonstrate your abilities to meet the relevant criteria for the role, please submit your application quoting in the subject line the Job Title “Head of Policy & Partnerships”, and attach your detailed CV, cover letter stating your interest in and qualifications for the position, e-mail address and telephone contacts to info@aceliafrica.org. To be considered, your application must be received by December 15, 2020.

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