Job Listings

Agriculture Innovation Associate

Location:
Rwanda
Careers Site Advertising End Date:
17 Feb 2019
About Tony Blair Institute for Global Change:
Contract length - 6 months (possibility of extension)
 
 
At the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change (TBI) we are dedicated to making globalisation work for the many, not the few. We do this by helping countries, their people and their governments, address some of the most difficult challenges in the world today – beginning with those where we think we can break new ground, offering leaders new thinking and new approaches. Our staff – over 200 of them, based all over the world – are working on some of the most intractable problems around issues of co-existence, governance, the peace process in the Middle East and renewing the centre.

Our Governance work supports the governments and leaders of fragile, developing, and emerging states to enhance their effectiveness. We are focused on helping governments and leaders make their vision for the development of their country a reality. We work in the centre of government and key line ministries and our work is shaped by national priorities.

Focus of the Role:
Rwanda has been experiencing rapid economic development over the past fifteen years. In Rwandan agriculture in general, and in the ag-export sector in particular, there is an urgent need for more start-ups and accelerated growth of existing export SME companies. At the same time international agriculture and food technology providers have developed solutions and best practice that can help Rwanda’s producers to become more globally competitive, but do not have a way to deliver it, nor have market knowledge and penetration into Rwandan and East African Markets. The Membership of the AfCFTA, COMESA, and EAC provide opportunities for Rwanda to become an innovation centre of excellence in Agriculture and Food start-ups, leveraging existing and new relationships, such as the recently launched eWTP (electronic World Trade Platform) partnership with AliBaba.

To this end, the Government of Rwanda, through the Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI) and National Agricultural Exports Board (NAEB), has initiated the early scoping of GlobalGro Rwanda Agribusiness Innovations Hub, a public-private partnership to accelerate existing agribusiness and food companies, especially related to increasing Rwanda’s agriculture and food exports, while serving Rwanda’s farmers. GlobalGro Rwanda will act as a flagship Agribusiness Incubator and Accelerator, as well as facilitator for early stage capital.  Over time, the Hub will serve as:

  • A platform which allows African Countries to tap into the technology available globally to improve agriculture productivity
  • A design hub which creates African technology solutions for unique African farming and food production challenges
  • A form of incubator and accelerator fund.
  • A physical base where the key people, innovators and leaders can be convened, share best practice and resources, find quick wins and enable structured dialogue between Government and the technology sector, specifically for Africa.

The Innovation Associate will work alongside the Government of Rwanda and TBI Rwanda’s 10-member team of Advisors based across key private sector- and export-facing institutions of the Government of Rwanda: namely, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), National Agriculture Exports Board (NAEB), Ministry of Agriculture (MINAGRI), Rwanda Agriculture Board (RAB), Ministry of Trade and Commerce (MINICOM), and Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN).

  1. Scoping of existing innovation landscape, initiatives, and players
  • Map the existing and planned innovation ecosystem – including innovation funds, hubs, start-up labs, educational and higher learning institutions, etc. – in Rwanda, particularly as it relates to agribusiness and agriculture entrepreneurship (including regional linkages)
  • Map potential public and private partners for in-kind and financial assistance
  • Conduct desk research to draw on lessons learned from successful and failed agriculture innovation initiatives on the African continent and globally, including in Israel and the Middle East (e.g. hubs, challenge funds, business competitions)
  • Incorporate lessons from the design and implementation arrangements for Kigali Innovation City and the Rwanda Innovation Fund that could be leveraged for GlobalGro
  1. Co-design of GlobalGro
  • Design an operating model for Phase 1 of GlobalGro and its implementation plan; including recommendations on the initiative’s scope, governance, and ownership structure; definition of success; milestones; key beneficiaries; staff and stakeholders; projected budget, funding, and funders
  • Develop proposal for governance structure and identify key strategic partners to serve on a steering committee that leads governance and funding decisions
  • Incorporate outcomes of TBI’s Human-Centred Design (HCD) study examining challenges and needs faced by young graduates, entrepreneurs and early stage agribusiness, to ensure that project objectives meet the key needs of the recipients [January/February 2019]
  • Together with the Government of Rwanda, validate the design and work with partners to identify and mobilise financial and human resources for initial launch and Phase 1
  • Provide managerial and logistical support for the planned GlobalGro launch (envisioned mid-2019 TBC)
  1. Support for resource mobilization
  • Identify and develop proposals to secure additional resources for the full launch and Phase 1, including with Rwandan government stakeholders, external development partners, local and international private sector, non-profits and foundations
  • Leverage personal and professional networks to identify potential synergies and partnerships to bring innovative financing and solutions to bear on agriculture challenges faced in Rwanda and East Africa
  • Support the TBI teams in Rwanda and London

Priority Outputs

  • Interviews with key stakeholders on the ground in Rwanda, Israel, and elsewhere in the region
  • A brief overview of similar efforts in the agriculture innovation space in Rwanda and East Africa, and successes and challenges faced by other countries around the world embarking on similar projects
  • Mapping of public and private sector sources of financing relevant to the project
  • A detailed design of operating model and governance structure, including how the project will be governed, scope, planned budget, financing and implementation arrangement, steering committee structure, and monitoring & evaluation mechanism
  • Support to at least one stakeholder validation workshop co-led with the Government of Rwanda
What We Look For in Our People:
 
  • Master’s degree (strongly preferred) in public policy, economics, business, finance, trade, agribusiness or related fields
  • Ideally 3 years of experience working on private sector development in emerging markets, including but not limited to issues related to international trade, development finance, private investment, commercial agriculture and industrial development
  • Strong analytical and management skills, including sound knowledge of data analysis, strategic planning, and project management tools
  • Strong communications skills, including delivering high quality presentations as well as effective cross-cultural and interpersonal communication
  • Effective inter-personal and leadership skills. Team player with an ability to develop and foster relationships with counterparts across a large organization
  • An understanding of the key public and private sector players and financiers in Rwanda
  • Proven ability to mentor, coach, and build capacity of national counterparts
  • Working knowledge of Kinyarwanda an asset but not required
  • Above all, we are looking for individuals with high levels of enthusiasm, resilience, and a can-do attitude. Experience of living and working in developing countries is desirable but not essential.

 

Values we expect our advisors to share with us

  • COURAGE… because to tackle global challenges, we must innovate and take smart risks
  • COLLABORATION… because when we work together and with external partners, we can overcome even the largest problems
  • COMPASSION … because our work is ultimately about improving people’s lives

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