Global Business Growth and Africa Project background
The Africa Regional Manager will sit within the Global Business Growth Team, a dynamic group of international people passionate about urban innovation and opening new routes to market for the UK ecosystem. The Team generates new international opportunities (business development) for the Catapult and is also delivering projects in collaboration with other relevant teams.
These opportunities can be collaborative research and development (CR&D) projects or commercial projects. In Africa, we have already had four projects covering Kenya, South Africa, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Your remit will be specifically about African markets and two-fold:
- Leading on the content delivery for the Urban Links Africa project
In October 2019 CPC kickstarted an ambitious £2.5 million programme in Kenya and South Africa called Urban Links Africa (ULA). Funded by the UK government through the Global Challenges Research Fund, the programme will run for 20 months and focus on 6 cities: 3 in Kenya and 3 in South Africa, and three ‘observer’ cities in Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia. The project will work closely with the African cities to identify the most urgent urban challenges. We will articulate the challenges to a broad ecosystem of UK start-ups and tech companies in the form of an Open Call. They will be paired with SMEs/start-ups across Kenya and South Africa to propose joint tech solutions (equitable partnerships). The best consortia will get a grant to full develop their technology products/services to be deployment ready across these six cities while the Catapult will ensure their economic, social and environmental impact is closely monitored. In parallel, the programme will also run city capacity building workshops for partner cities and actively engage with local innovation hubs through an innovation champions programme and targeted activities to bring together UK, Kenyan and South African hubs for a long-term partnership around urban challenges beyond the project life.
- Sustainability of the Catapult presence in Africa
In parallel of Urban Links Africa, the Africa Regional Manager will be scoping new commercial opportunities building on the success of the project and engage with current partners and local ecosystem to build more projects. The objective is to ensure the sustainability of our relationships with countries in the region and become a major urban innovation partner for cities and businesses in Africa.
This may include attending Africa-based innovation events and representing the Catapult in front of International donors such as World Bank, UN-Habitat, GSMA and charities/foundations.
This role has the primary responsibility of delivering key components of this project whilst having broader objectives of supporting the Global Team Lead in generating other opportunities and enabling sustainable relationships with key partners in the region.
- Be based full time in London and willing to travel within the Sub-Saharan region, comfortable working in shared offices and remotely
- Alongside the Project Manager, co-lead the project team, chair the weekly team meetings and be responsible for the daily project quality, timely delivery and results
- Manage relationships and working closely with in-country project stakeholders and partners such as local government, UK government, Tech Hubs, UN-Habitat etc.
- Navigate the complex African political, legal and social landscape to ensure the project is delivered successfully
- Can think on your feet, be flexible, find solutions to problems and use your network to ensure the project runs smoothly
- Be comfortable providing internal project updates, and producing and sharing project materials for communications purposes
- Design and deliver new strategic partnerships that lead to international business growth and facilitate the programmes objectives
- Relationship development with a variety of stakeholders in business, local and national government, international development and aid agencies, and academia
- ULA: Co-chair team meetings and update the project sponsor regularly
- ULA: Deliver the bilateral business forum work package with the Team Lead
- ULA: Actively contribute to the Hublinks programme and the organisation of a city symposium
- General BD: Generate at least 2-3 new leads out of the project with the support of the Team Lead
- Guide the implementation of the ULA digital platform
Skills and Experience
- A charismatic, proactive “people person” able to engage at all levels of an organisation
- Extensive professional contacts and relationships with the business community, local and national government officials, international aid and development organisations and academia
- Proven track record of delivering projects with multiple partners
- Knowledge and experience of project management practices and processes
- Experience in, or knowledge of, the start-up sector and “smart cities” technology
- Be able to explain technical concepts to non-technical people
- Have practical experience in deploying technology in an urban setting
- A proven track record of strategic leadership at senior management level
- A track record of forming strategic partnerships across developed and developing nations
- Ability to work independently with direction from the London based project team
- Ability to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing, in English and a local language
About the Organization
The Connected Places Catapult accelerates smarter living and travelling in and between the places of tomorrow.
We focus on growing businesses with innovations in mobility services and the built environment that enable new levels of physical, digital and social connectedness. The Connected Places Catapult operates at the intersection between public and private sectors and between local government and transport authorities. We convene the disparate parts of the market to help innovators navigate the complexity of doing business, creating new commercial opportunities and improving productivity, socio-economic and environmental benefits for places.