Aceli Africa is a market-enabling facility to mobilize over $600M in private sector lending for agricultural SMEs in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania by 2025. To achieve this goal, Aceli Africa will provide financial incentives to increase the risk appetite of 25+ financial institutions (both global and local) to make loans ranging from USD $25K-$1.5M to inclusive agricultural SMEs while also facilitating technical assistance to expand the ability of high-potential SMEs to qualify for and manage financing.
Financial incentives have been designed based on a dataset that Aceli Africa gathered and analyzed in collaboration with Dalberg Advisors. This data incorporates loan-level and portfolio-level profitability for agricultural SME lending from 35 financial institutions, including commercial banks, local non-bank financial institutions, and global social lenders, and covers 13,000+ transactions totaling $4B+.
With $32M in funding from leading bilateral and philanthropic donors, including IKEA Foundation, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and USAID, Aceli Africa launched in September 2020. 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.
The role holder will be a core member of Aceli Africa’s dynamic and growing team and will be responsible for representing Aceli in Uganda. The incumbent must possess a deep understanding of the agricultural finance market in Uganda and be adept at engaging a range of stakeholders from commercial banks and other lenders serving agricultural SMEs, to technical assistance providers, data and learning partners, government officials, and donors. The role will be a contractor position with GDI, Inc., based in the U.S. Subject to meeting performance targets and on-going alignment with Aceli’s mission and values, it is envisioned that this is a long-term role with funding fully secured through 2025.
• Serve as Aceli Africa’s representative in Uganda to position the initiative as a catalyst for increased private sector lending to advance development impact in the agri-food sector;
• Engage Aceli Africa’s existing partner lending institutions and cultivate prospective new lending partners in Uganda to facilitate their adoption of Aceli’s financial incentives and increased lending to inclusive agricultural SMEs;
• Ensure that lenders understand the financial incentives criteria and reporting requirements and that key stakeholders within the partner lending institutions are bought into the program;
• Identify capacity building needs and liaise with Aceli’s partner advisory firm to support lenders in tailoring their product offering to agricultural SMEs and/or conducting appropriate due diligence on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices;
• Cultivate and manage relationships with technical assistance providers specializing in services for agricultural SMEs as part of Aceli’s approach to expanding addressable demand for credit;
• Manage relationships with key ecosystem actors such as aBi Finance, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, Financial Sector Deepening Uganda, Uganda Agribusiness Alliance, relevant government agencies (e.g., Agricultural Credit Facility, Uganda Development Bank), and donors supporting Aceli or otherwise involved in the agriculture sector;
• Liaise with Aceli’s data and learning partners (Dalberg Advisors, International Growth Centre, 60 Decibels) to support data collection and evaluation studies;
• Contribute to the design of the Aceli Innovation Facility and, once it is active, build pipeline and manage relationships with enterprises and programs that receive Innovation Facility investments;
• Practice the highest degree of professionalism and integrity to build Aceli Africa’s excellent reputation in Uganda;
• Collaborate with the Aceli team at the regional and global levels to ensure that all of the above responsibilities are well-coordinated with Aceli’s strategic priorities and operating processes.
Required qualifications and experience
• Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Business Administration, Economics, Agricultural Economics, or related field;
• Minimum of 10 years professional experience in East Africa with at least 5 years in Uganda;
• Keen understanding of the agricultural finance market in Uganda, including leading lenders, value chains, and industry dynamics;
• Strategic thinker who is adept at connecting big picture objectives with an action orientation;
• Go-getter who takes initiative and is able to work independently and collaborate with a multi-country team in a rapidly evolving environment;
• Excellent communication, interpersonal and relationship management skills;
• Professional with a demonstrated record of the highest integrity and ethical conduct; and
• Passion for applying financial and business acumen to have a positive impact on farmer livelihoods, food security, and economic 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. Ugandan 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 “Country Representative, Uganda”, and attach your detailed CV, cover letter stating your interest in and qualifications for the position, e-mail address and telephone contacts. Applications that do not include a cover letter tailored to this position will not be considered. The application deadline is 5pm East Africa time Thursday, August 12 2021.