The Regional Director (RD) is the Director in charge of all the operations in the Africa Region and a part of a broader management team that includes the organization’s Executive Management (EM), the Deputy Regional Director (DRD), the Theme Directors (TD) and the Country Directors (CDs). RD is in charge of the management of the Regional Office in Addis Ababa where he/she is based, as well as overseeing the management of Country Offices in Africa (at present in Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda), as well as the program of Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE) in 9 countries (Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Mali, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Malawi).
The role drives the execution and management of all elements of the SAA strategy. This includes (but is not limited to) working with Deputy Regional Director (DRD), Country Directors (CDs) and Theme Directors (TDs) to achieve shared goals and objectives in crop extension, post-harvest extension, public-private partnership & market access, extension human resource development, and monitoring, evaluation and learning.
Academic and Professional Qualifications and Experience
- Possess a recognized Masters’ degree in a relevant field, with a preference for a PhD
- Minimum of 15 years’ experience with at least 5-7 years’ experience in implementing and managing multi country programs in agriculture or economic development space.
- Strategic Orientation: focus on the big picture and overall Strategic Framework. Ability to identify and pursue strategic initiatives which provide the greatest value and sustainable impact; balances long and short-term trade-offs; communicates clearly and precisely the strategic goals and the strategies for achieving them.
- Leadership: Demonstrates ability to mobilize, focus, align, and build effective groups to enable them to conceptualize and achieve collective objectives. Inspires Trust and Passion in the SAA Mission: Ability to show great drive and commitment to SAA mission; help others understand how their daily work contributes to the SAA’s mission and inspires others to proactively meet the SAA’s strategic objectives in partnership with clients. Maintains high standards of personal integrity and provides support for professional development efforts linked to business objectives.
- Technical Competencies: Demonstrates knowledge of all own work role specific issues. This encompasses the technical skills or knowledge required to perform the essential duties as described in this Job Description. Specific technical competencies include the demonstrated ability to achieve results and drive complex work to conclusion, strategic thinker with demonstrated ability to use qualitative and quantitative data to present options for decision making, highlight trade-offs and propose recommendations.
- Driving for Results and Managing Performance: Demonstrates drive for improvement of business results, based on well-rounded understanding of general business principles and own activities’ operational and financial implications. Demonstrates the ability to agree objectives and competencies with staff which will support achievement of the operational plans, and to provide them with feedback on their performance.
- Coaching and Developing Staff: A demonstrated capacity for working effectively within multi-disciplinary teams for collective success. Provides effective coaching and encourages appropriate development activities to support staff in identifying and meeting their training and development needs.
- Managing Resources: Demonstrates the ability to plan and use resources (people and/or finance and/or physical assets) in accordance with SAA guidelines and delegated accountability so that objectives are achieved in the most effective manner possible.
- Communication: Exceptional communication skills and ability to represent SAA externally at high levels.
- Intercultural Sensitivity and Effectiveness: Demonstrates ability to cross and bridge different racial, cultural, or business cultures. This requires and is exhibited by personal experience of international or cross-cultural business with improved achievements.
Other Position Parameters
- Works closely with Executive Director (ED), based in Tokyo Headquarters, and all staff to implement the organization’s Board-approved agenda. He/she is responsible for the day-to-day monitoring, coordination and supervision of SAA field programs and associated administrative and financial activities.
- Works with DRD, TDs and CDs to achieve shared goals and objectives in crop extension, post-harvest extension, public-private partnership & market access, human resource development including SAFE program, and monitoring, evaluation and learning. This includes:
o Ensure effective and timely program and financial planning, implementation, evaluation and reporting of results and impacts;
o Identify new organizational opportunities that are consistent with established strategic directions, and bring them to the attention of EM;
o Identify and attract prospective new talent as the organization expands its scope and/or undertakes new initiatives; and
o Motivate staff, encourage creative thought and problem solving, and ensure responsible and responsive action at the country level, and conduct periodic evaluations of field staff reporting directly to him/her.
- Provides support, as needed, to EM in resource mobilization and improvement of corporate services delivery.
- RD works for the post-merger integration that is the smooth integration on both administrative and operational levels to increase synergy effects of SAA and SAFE activities.
- Supports the efforts of EM to monitor and resolve country-specific legal and institutional issues.
- Represents SAA in day-to-day dealings with a range of government, universities, private sector and NGO partners, with a focus on ensuring effective communications among these various organizations and the principal representatives for SAA EM.
- Shares responsibility with other directors for the quality of SAA communications. This includes timely reporting on the work and progress of SAA, assessing impact of SAA investments, and being an active participant in policy dialogs about African smallholder agricultural development.
- Undertakes additional management and coordination responsibilities as deemed appropriate by EM.
- In his/her capacity as the manager of SAA Regional office in Addis Ababa, RD liaises with the relevant Government offices in Ethiopia. He/she can delegate to members of SAA staff this responsibility to liaise.
- Embrace the Organization’s written and established culture and philosophies.
Due to the high volume of applications received, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.
About the Organization
Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) is an international NGO, whose Headquarter is located in Tokyo, Japan and its main donor is the Nippon Foundation. SAA and its Sasakawa Global 2000 (SG2000) country programs work in close collaboration with national agricultural extension services in Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda to support smallholder farmers along agricultural value chain in terms of food security enhancement and livelihood improvement. The Sasakawa Africa Fund for Extension Education (SAFE), former SAA’s sister organization merged into SAA in this year, specializes in building the talents and skills of national extension staff in collaboration with agricultural departments of 24 different universities in Africa,
Since 1986, SAA program has changed the lives of millions of smallholder farmers. SAA believes that strengthening capacity of extension service delivery along the value chain can help Smallholder Farmers (SHFs) acquire knowledge for increased and sustained production and productivity towards improving their lives and livelihoods. Women, youth and people with special needs are mostly marginalized but have lots of potential which could be harnessed to build their confidence and self-reliance through the use of targeted agricultural interventions. Creation and/or strengthening viable Farmer-Based Organizations is crucial to enhance SHFs’ and youths’ collective action in market oriented agricultural value chains to generate income and improve food security.
The culture and spirit of SAA is perhaps best encapsulated by the last words of late Dr. Borlaug, a Nobel Peace prize laureate and was one of the founders of SAA. Even on his deathbed, Dr. Borlaug remained vitally interested in what science can do to improve the lives of resource-poor farmers, and when one of his last visitors was describing to him a promising new technology, Dr. Borlaug’s only comment was “TAKE IT TO THE FARMER!”