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AfricaRice is one of the 15 international agricultural research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium. It is also an autonomous intergovernmental association of African member countries.
- The Africa Rice Center (AfricaRice) wishes to employ a highly qualified Rice Commodity Specialist who will be based at IITA/AfricaRice, Kubwa, Abuja, Nigeria.
- This position is housed in the Agricultural Transformation Agenda Support Program Phase 1 (ATASP-1) in Nigeria, which is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
- The Rice Commodity Specialist will drive the implementation of rice related activities under the African Development Bank (AfDB) funded ATASP-1 project and take responsibility for coordination of all rice related activities in a manner that is efficient and timely.
- S/he will provide oversight to all project activities working with other commodity specialists and other staff including senior government officials to ensure result-oriented implementation of all project activities in accordance with the overall project implementation plan for the four-year period or revised Annual Work Plans and Budgets and Procurement Plans, in compliance with the relevant Protocols of Agreement as well as AfDB Rules and Procedures.
- The successful candidate will work under the supervision of the AfricaRice Regional Representative.
S/he will undertake the following functions
Coordination of Rice Project Implementation under ATASP:
- Coordinate development of rice-related annual work plans in conformity with the overall project implementation plan for the five-year period of the ATASP-1 project or as revised annually and ensure that the budgets and procurement plans are executed conform AfDB rules and procedures;
- Oversee and drive the implementation of all rice activities with stakeholders and with a focus on timely delivery of targets set and proactively seek linkages with the other non-rice related components of the project;
- Organize annual work review and work planning workshops specific to rice sector development for government officials and NARS stakeholders;
- Organize and oversee capacity-building activities for facilitators and staff members involved in program implementation;
- Liaise with relevant national research and development institutions, private sector actors in ensuring appropriate backward and forward linkages in the rice value chain in manner that leads to attainment of desired targets;
- Oversee the selection of key project implementation areas (‘rice sector development hubs’) and rice value chain actors and in particular ensure mobilization of farmer groups for effective implementation of rice project activities in the ‘Hubs’;
- Organize review and reflection workshops on a periodic basis and the expansion of the intervention from year 1 to the end of project; this includes presenting the activities, results and impact of the rice component of the ATASP-1 project at relevant meetings and fora;
- Oversee the monitoring and evaluation of project implementation in the rice sector and ensure measurement of achievements towards project goals.
- Ensure preparation of real-time progress reports of project implementation, defining progress, problems and solutions.
Finance and Administration:
- Responsible for the overall management of the sub-office activities including general office administration and transport, supplies and equipment;
- Supervise rice project staff and, where necessary, participate in the recruitment, orientation, supervision and mentoring of new staff, including promoting capacity development of staff in accordance with the needs of the project;
- Ensure that performance appraisals are carried out annually for all project staff;
- Ensure proper record keeping for the intervention and ensure that appropriate and accurate documentation is provided to the program administrator within specified deadlines;
- In coordination with the project finance officer, supervise the maintenance of the rice budget, including accounting of all project expenditures incurred under the project.
Government and donor relations:
- Represent the project to relevant local authorities and organizations and support AfricaRice in policy engagement;
- Develop an appropriate and clear relationship with local and state governments on implementation of the rice activities particularly with respect to their investments in irrigation infrastructure as part of the rural rice development plans;
- Participate in local, regional or international information exchange fora or exposures related to the project as may be deemed necessary by AfricaRice;
- Undertake any other duties as required by the needs of the Center.
- PhD in Agriculture or a related science, together with Rice Sector development implementation experiences at national or state level in a donor project management.
- A minimum of 10 years' experience of which at least five years will be at managerial level in donor-funded (preferably multilateral) projects/programs in rice sector research to development activities. Experience with community-based projects implementation and/or small-holder-oriented development initiatives with track records in Africa is desirable.
- Knowledge: Thorough knowledge of Rice Value Chain Development including linkages with government and private sector institutions in general and particular experience within Nigeria is important. Working knowledge of the operational modalities of national and international NGOs is desirable.
Key Competencies Required:
- Demonstrated ability to establish priorities and to plan, co-ordinate, and monitor his/her own work plan and those of subordinate staff; demonstrated ability to meet deadlines, and to make appropriate links in work processes and anticipate next steps; demonstrated success in working with multi-disciplinary teams and partnerships in a cross-cultural environment; computer literacy with proficient knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint applications.
- The ideal candidate must have excellent leadership and management skills; excellent interpersonal and team building skills, including negotiation skills.
- Proficiency in English language and excellent written and spoken communication skills are required.
Terms and Conditions
- This is an internationally recruited position.
- AfricaRice provides an attractive international salary and benefits package and a collegial and gender-sensitive working environment.
- The initial appointment is for three years with the possibility for renewal. The normal retirement age for internationally recruited staff at AfricaRice is 65.
Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should forward their expressions of interest together with a full CV (MS Word format) and supporting statement in confidence to: A.Kpadonou@cgiar.org with the vacancy reference in subject: IRS/05/DPC/2015/05.
Note: AfricaRice thanks all applicants but only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.