Advocacy and Partnerships Lead

Background

Across Africa there are 400 million unbanked adults according to data derived from the World Bank. Unbanked African adults rely on cash or informal providers to meet their financial needs, a system which is costly and risky for people. The poor, and mostly women in rural areas, are disproportionately affected. The transition toward digital financial services (DFS) helps accelerate access to financial services. Connecting all Africans to the digital economy lowers the cost of financial transactions, creates significant benefits for households, and helps fuel economic growth. Instant and inclusive digital payment systems implemented at national or regional level can drive transformation in Africa; however, they need support to scale. A concentrated source of continental expertise can help accelerate deployment of inclusive payment systems.

About AfricaNenda

AfricaNenda is an emerging and independent Africa-led coalition of dedicated digital payments experts that work to build expertise, coordinate, and accelerate the roll-out of instant and inclusive payment systems (IIPS) for the benefit of all Africans including the poorest and financially excluded. Our mission is to work towards universal access to inclusive payment systems ensuring that the more than 400 million unbanked adults across Africa are included in the financial system. We will pursue this mission by removing the structural and technical barriers to effective deployment of IIPS such as lack of interoperability, insufficient technical in-house capacity, and lack of collaborative models across actors.

As a convening actor, AfricaNenda will execute its mission by enhancing capacity building across African institutions, providing technical support to IIPS projects, facilitating knowledge-sharing and collaboration, and providing the following tools and training:

  • Policy and capacity building: AfricaNenda aim to build institutional capacity of African institutions through expert advice, curated convenings and secondments from AfricaNenda’s vast network of experts.
  • Technical project support: AfricaNenda provide pre-project planning support to expand the pipeline of fundable IIPS projects in the formation and design phase including readiness assessment and project definition.
  • Knowledge-sharing and collaboration: AfricaNenda facilitate knowledge-sharing and collaboration using its cross-sectoral network of experts to provide cutting-edge thought leadership on how to accelerate inclusive payment systems.
  • Tools and training: AfricaNenda develop open access IIPS tools and trainings sessions tailored to African organizations, payment experts and relevant stakeholders in the sector.

AfricaNenda aims to partner with private actors, sector associations, central banks, ministries, regional economic communities and other development stakeholders enabling AfricaNenda to collaboratively reduce structural and technical barriers to deployment of IIPS.

Position summary

Partnerships with African institutions are critical to achieve AfricaNenda’s mission. Strong engagement and collaboration with a broad range of stakeholder in the digital payment ecosystem will allow engaged partners to share learnings and technical expertise. They will also allow to invest in building the long-term capacity of these institutions to scale instant payment systems. AfricaNenda is looking for an Advocacy and Partnership Lead to join its team, reporting to the Deputy CEO Partnership and Capacity Building.

The Advocacy and Partnership Lead, in close collaboration with the Deputy CEO Partnership and Capacity Building, will lead the development of AfricaNenda’s advocacy and capacity building strategy as well as the roll out of AfricaNenda partnership strategy across Africa. This includes:

  1. strategically positioning AfricaNenda with a broad range of stakeholders (project implementers, central banks, sectorial ministries, regional economic communities, private sector associations and other stakeholders in the development ecosystem,
  2. enhancing the capacity of African institutions and facilitating capacity development support for project partners across the continent
  3. providing tools and resources to support project owners and practitioners in developing and scaling up Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS).

He/she provides support in all the phases of the partnership process: partners identification and prioritisation, needs assessment, concept note and project document development, MOU / partnership / technical assistance agreement negotiations, capacity-building / training planning and implementation, development of IIPS tools and resourcesfor the ecosystem. This position is also responsible for supporting and monitoring implementation of partnerships jointly with Regional Directors and Technical Payment Specialists.

Summary of key responsibilities:

  • Strategic advocacy and partnership development;
  • Capacity building and training support;
  • Development IIPS tools and ressources.

Key responsibilities

Strategic advocacy and partnership development

  • Assist in building and maintaining relations with other Central Banks, policy makers, Regional Economic Comunities and other stakeholder in the development ecosystem
  • Develop, review, update and roll out partnership and advocacy strategy;
  • Explore new partnership opportunities, identify and prioritize potential partners in close collaboration with Deputy CEO;
  • Lead, document discussions and implementation with existing and new / potential partners including need assessment, concept note, MOU / secondment / Technical Assistance (TA) agreements, project inception reports, project documents etc.
  • Carry-out research and diagnostics; provide project report post implementation;
  • Produce briefing notes, technical reports, presentations as necessary;
  • Provide strategic advice and policy recommendations for strong positioning of AfricaNenda.

Capacity building and training support

  • Provide, with support from the Team, capacity building to stakeholders including African institutions, project partners, practitioners in payment and financial inclusion ecosystems;
  • Carry-out capacity building needs assessment of existing and new partners and develop capacity building plans;
  • Coordinate all capacity development support provided to partners, central banks, regional economic communities etc…, in collaboration with other staff and consultants where needed
  • Contribute to training needs assessment exercises in inclusive payments in organizations receiving technical assistance
  • Work closely with teams internally and relevant agencies for timely implementation of the capacity development plan including coordination of training, re-assessments and continuous technical support;
  • Contribute to publications on lessons learnt/ best practices etc…
  • Coordinate and organise meetings, events, workshops or panels as necessary.

Development IIPS tools and resources

  • Conduct desk research/literature review of availability of tools/ resources and gaps
  • Identify partners offering IIPS courses & master classes to industry stakeholders
  • Identify tools and resources that would be useful to industry (e.g., best practices and benchmarks)
  • Enroll project stakeholders in digital courses
  • Based on demand, build / offer / facilitate access to workshops, training events, certification programs on inclusive payment
  • Perform other tasks as assigned by the Deputy CEO

Skills and experience

  • A Master’s Degree in Public Administration/Policy, or any other related discipline. A higher post graduate qualification or an additional professional diploma in the above areas will be preferred
  • At least 7 years of progressively responsible professional experience in advocacy / technical assistance and policy advisory in development / ICT / digital financial services
  • At least 3 years experience in capacity building initiatives, training facilitation and inputting to training contents
  • Proven experience in research, stakeholder management or partnership portfolio management
  • Good understanding of digital financial services in Africa, including awareness of key actors in the ecosystem and their roles
  • Excellent analytical capabilities (particularly economic/quantitative analysis), written and oral communication - Adequate computer skills (Microsoft Office Suite) - Good planning, organisational and reporting skills
  • Full professional proficiency in English and another language, preferably French or Arabic.

Personal attributes

  • Sound commitment and a passion to further financial inclusion on the African continent
  • Excellent interpersonal and problem-solving skills, representation, negotiation, and diplomacy skills
  • Exceptional communication skills, both oral and written, including multi-party communication
  • Versatility and adaptability to the workload of multiple projects and clients
  • High accuracy and attention to detail
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Independent and the ability to apply sound judgement to decisions
  • Sound time management skills and the ability to prioritize
  • Nimble, flexible and the ability to deal with structured change
  • Comfortable in a multicultural environment, flexible and able to handle pressure well.

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