Creative Associates International is a fast-growing, social impact company that specializes in the areas of education, economic growth, democratic transitions, and stabilization in post-conflict environments. Based in Chevy Chase, Maryland (within the DC metro area), this global development organization has a field presence in more than 25 countries and a strong client portfolio that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department. Since its founding in 1977 by four enterprising women, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.
The USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub Project (hereinafter referred to as the Trade Hub) is a five-year, $140 million trade and investment facilitation activity that seeks to improve private sector competitiveness in West Africa through a market-based approach. By working in partnership with the private sector and fostering co-investments, the project will generate new private-sector capital investment into key sectors to create jobs and increase trade between the U.S. and West Africa, including through increased utilization of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The project comprises of three main components:
- Design and administration of a Co-Investment fund for private sector partnerships, including a portion for partnerships in Research and Development (R&D) towards innovating and modernizing practices in Nigeria across five targeted value chains;
- Technical assistance (TA) that directly supports, coordinates, and engages with qualifying recipients (i.e., partners and grantees) to achieve USAID’s trade and food security objectives;
- Urgently respond to the secondary economic impacts of COVID-19, notably to 1) increase access of working capital with financial actors, 2) prevent and mitigate job losses, and help respond to local and regional supply chain disruptions and shortages of critical medical supplies and services as well as for agricultural inputs and food staples.
Through this Co-Investment Fund and technical assistance, the Trade Hub will improve companies’ abilities to expand business operations, increase productivity, and create jobs that build on the talents and aspirations of West Africa’s growing population. The Trade Hub will collaborate on specific commercial opportunities with firms, service providers, research organizations, as well as other business network actors to access private capital that will contribute to large-scale jobs, exports and investment, particularly with strong demonstrated or potential links to the U.S. companies and investors.
The Value Chain PPP Manager will support Public-Private Partnership (PPP) efforts in establishing and maintaining co-investment projects related to the five targeted value chains in Nigeria.
Reporting and Supervision:
The Value Chain PPP Manager will report to the PPP Director with additional support being provided by the Chief of Party.
The Value Chain PPP Manager’s responsibilities will include:
- Building partnerships with private sector organizations, firms, and financial institutions operating in Trade Hub’s strategic target sectors in Nigeria, primarily within five value chains (maize, rice, soy, cowpea, aquaculture) and seven target states (Kebbi, Niger, Kaduna, Ebonyi, Benue, Delta, Cross River);
- Providing agribusiness expertise to potential and ongoing co-investment partnerships to the Trade Hub;
- Leveraging existing network and contacts to engage with private companies in Nigeria and achieve proven results;
- Completing preliminary analysis and evaluations of potential agriculture-based projects;
- Conducting and supporting technical screening efforts of potential partners to the Trade Hub;
- Supporting grantees during the implementation of activities as the technical point of contact;
- When necessary, provide technical assistance and support to the R&D.
- Participate in grantee kick-off meeting with grantee and Grants Team.
- Participate in MEL start-up training, Communications, and gender training with grantees.
- Monitor grantee performance against technical implementation objectives, in line with timeframes and budget.
- Routinely engage with grantees via telephone and email, supplemented by carefully targeted site visits, to review implementation progress, identify issues arising, and recommend approaches to support successful implementation.
- Proactively identify/provide technical assistance and solutions needed to support implementation of technical activities and mitigate problems before and when they arise.
- Proactively identify needed amendments and other implementation issues (e.g., delayed payments, implementation delays, and budget issues) and immediately notify Grants and MEL points of contact.
- Review grantee quarterly reports and identify areas of achievement, challenge, and underperformance and recommend corrective actions/solutions when needed to grantee, MEL and Grants points of contact, and DCOP/COP as needed.
- Work with the grantee to prepare and review milestone deliverables before the grantee officially submits the deliverable in SMART for milestone payment to ensure accuracy and completeness. Milestone submissions to SMART should be made by the date stipulated in the grant agreement.
- Review grantee quarterly reports and support program validation of means of verification (MOV) submitted with milestone payment requests.
- Serve as surrogate representative, fulfilling required responsibilities, for Grants, MEL and Communications teams as needed on site visits to grantees.
- Inform Grants and MEL teams on grantee performance issues and provide suggestions for corrective actions.
- With MEL and the Environmental Compliance Officer, support compliance of environmental monitoring reporting and identify areas of achievement and underperformance and recommend corrective actions/solutions if needed.
- Keep abreast of security concerns or other potential issues related to conflict risk in project areas and inform MEL and Grants of potential negative impact on grant implementation.
- Provide input to Grants team on needed grant amendments.
- Work with Communications team to ensure that grantee and Trade Hub successes and challenges are effectively communicated to stakeholders.
- Prepare presentations and make high level presentations to client and partners.
Required Skills and Qualifications:
- BA/BS degree required, and MA/MS degree desired in agronomy or related field,
- Must have at least 8 years of general work experience and 5+ years of specific experience related to relevant market-driven private sector experience in the agriculture field in the role of managing, developing and deploying innovations and efficiencies in businesses with demonstrated results in helping firms expand is required. Candidate must have at least 4+ years of direct supervisory experience.
- Strong preference in past experience working with agribusinesses in Nigeria, notably in at least one of the five target value chains (maize, rice, soya, cowpea, aquaculture).
- Ability to prospect for potential new project partner enterprises to jointly improve their operations, improve their competitiveness, and enhance their business growth.
- Ability to build relationships with management of project partner-enterprises, leading to developing a strong shared vision about enterprises’ needs and recommendations to enhance their competitiveness, grow their business, and generate employment.
- Integrity and honesty in the management of a portfolio of the private sector partner enterprise.
- Experience engaging private sector partners and forging public-private partnerships in Nigeria.
- Strong qualitative and quantitative analytical abilities.
- Strong execution skills yet displaying the potential/ability to adopt a strategic approach.
- Willingness and ability to travel throughout West Africa
- Problem solving, stress management and time management skills are required
- Proficient at using Microsoft office software: MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.
- Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with institutional and private sector partners and stakeholders, including the national government.
- Fluency in Spoken and Written English required, including ability to produce high-quality project reports and deliver high level presentations to clients and partners.
Only finalists will be contacted. No phone calls, please.
Creative Associates International Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer (gender/race/disability/veteran) and provides equal opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state, federal, or local law.
Please view Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Posters provided by OFCCP here.