The World Cocoa Foundation (WCF) seeks a project coordinator to design and implement a mobile money learning platform and e-payment system targeting cocoa farmers. This project is funded by the African Cocoa Initiative Phase II (ACI II), which is a five-year USAID funded Global Development Alliance (GDA) Program implemented by the WCF through CocoaAction with chocolate companies. The goal of ACI II is to sustainably increase cocoa productivity among smallholder cocoa farmers in West Africa.
ACI II is also intended to increase provision of financial services in support of the cocoa value chain. Access to financial services remains a constraint for the estimated two million smallholder cocoa farmers in West Africa. It is a barrier to adoption of new productive technologies and good agricultural practices, especially when it comes to farm renovation but also in terms of farmspecific plans to increase productivity and off-farm income generating livelihoods activities. The need for capital and access to financial services in cocoa growing communities however is not limited to the cocoa value chain but extends to the individual income diversification strategies of cocoa growing households. These often include food crop production and the number of small businesses that support the sector, such as spray service providers and transporters. Financial access initiatives in the cocoa sector are dominated by outmoded, often paper-based payment systems generally limited to trade financing and working capital provided by supply chain actors rather than longer term farm or livelihood improvements and service delivery provided by third parties. Similarly, many financial institutions do not offer products specifically structured for rural areas and the cocoa growing season. Women are doubly burdened by the lack of access to finance due to their unequal position within the cocoa value chain.
Digital Financial Services (DFS):
Digital and mobile technology have been proven to deliver significant economic and social benefits in a variety of development settings. They have improved businesses’ access to markets and consumers, increased financial inclusion for the poor, and assisted governments’ ability to deliver services. One significant promise of digital and mobile technology lies in DFS, which facilitates more efficient and secure financial transactions through electronic means. The cocoa and chocolate industry, which has so far engaged in DFS within their own supply chains in an ad hoc manner, has expressed the desire for a concentrated effort to address the full ecosystem of DFS needs in cocoa communities. The long-term vision is to expand the digital money platform to include other nonfinancial services such as information on farm planning, weather, inputs, production and e-protection, post-harvest activities and market prices for cocoa and non-cocoa products.
This position is based at WCF’s Accra office and will report to the Director of Agricultural Productivity and Chief of Party of ACI Phase II. Applicants must be authorized to work in Ghana. The duration of the position will be one year, renewable annually until June 2021. The projected start date is July 1 st , 2018.
The successful candidate will work in collaboration with the Director of Agricultural Productivity and Chief of Party of ACI Phase II, the DFS Technical Expert jointly supported by WCF and Better Than Cash Alliance, and other WCF Ghana staff to:
Diagnose the existing financial landscape, financial services and products in Ghana targeting cocoa farmers;
Leverage existing diagnostics stakeholder financial landscaping of products and services including moving to digital payments with the Ghanaian cocoa context;
Define a value proposition, and realist and time-bound approach to scaling the most appropriate digital payments in the cocoa supply chain, including exploring what could be improved through a collaborative platform and working alongside CocoaAction companies for specific technical assistance;
Establish the basis of a learning and collaborative platform for the development and scaling of digital payment solutions across CocoaAction companies, WCF, and other stakeholders in Ghana if needed; and,
Any other duties as assigned by the supervisor.
The successful candidate will have a Master’s or PhD degree in agricultural finance, agribusiness, rural finance, agricultural investment and/or related fields.
Knowledge of the agricultural financial landscape in Ghana will be an added advantage;
At least 5 years of working experience in digital payments in agricultural value chains or related fields with recognized technical expertise, preferably in West Africa;
Strong management skills including ability to provide strategic guidance and technical oversight, develop workplans, and manage budgets and project expenditures;
Good interpersonal skills with experience in networking with partners at all levels (ministry, donors, private sector, NGOs and local community based organizations);
Experience working with or in international and donor organizations with implementation of participatory projects;
Demonstrated written, analytical, presentation, reporting and computing skills and familiarity with modern communication systems (internet, worldwide web, email etc.);
Fluency in spoken and written English, facility with local languages of Ghana a plus; and
Experience in the West African cocoa sector preferred.
How to Apply:
Candidates are requested to upload their cover letter describing their interest in this role and WCF, with their CV/résumé to: https://worldcocoa.egnyte.com/ul/iiar97mMO3. Please address the letter to “Human Resources” and name your files using the following convention: ‘J.Doe Cover Letter, ‘J.Doe Resume and ‘J. Doe References’. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling bases until position is filled. No phone calls please. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.