Position Summary :
The overall goal of this position with the Creative Development Lab is to lead Creative’s presence across the African continent as it relates to digital development priorities and interests by sourcing and supporting African technology innovation relevant for development, identifying partnership opportunities, yielding value from partnerships, designing digital solutions relevant to Creative’s development programs, and supporting Creative’s business development efforts on the continent.
Based in Washington, D.C., Creative has a field presence in more than 25 countries with a strong client portfolio that includes the U.
S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, among others. The Creative Development Lab (the Lab) is a team within Creative devoted to digital innovation in development, leveraging information and communication technologies (ICT) for use in programs including for livelihoods, workforce development, agriculture value chain linkages and improvement, civic engagement, citizen security, community resiliency, governance, teaching and learning.
The position will be based in Lagos or Abuja in Nigeria or split between Nigeria and Washington DC in the US. The position will be supervised remotely from Washington DC by the Director of the Creative Development Lab and will collaborate closely with the Lab, Creative’s Africa Regional Center, the Africa Business Development Team and the West Africa Trade & Investment Hub project.
Reporting & Supervision :
The Regional Manager will report to Director of the Lab.
Expected Outcomes :
Successful impact investments with African firms that contribute to Creative’s thought leadership positioning, project effectiveness, and networking in the region;
Documentation of relevant African innovations and firms, and incorporation of them in solution design for business development efforts; and
Increased recognition of the Creative and the Lab’s work in Africa, and in innovation in development.
Primary Responsibilities :
Grow and maintain strong relationships and networks with the growing technology ecosystem in West Africa to find and facilitate partnerships that strengthen Creative’s ability to pursue both traditional donor-funded activities as well as non-traditional development programs such as Public-Private Partnerships and grant opportunities;
Provide short-term technical assistance to the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (WATIH) project and other projects in the region as needed;
Provide support to business development, capture and proposal efforts on the continent well suited for digital solutions;
Assist in the development and management of a prospective impact investment partnership;
Develop selection criteria and measures of success for prospective impact investments and perform due diligence;
Make the case for grants and investments to Creative’s leadership investment committee;
Monitor grantees / investees to oversee and verify reporting, assess assistance needs, and determine ongoing feasibility / viability;
Manage existing relations with Mobile Network Operators (such as Orange and MTN) and yield value from them for all parties involved; and
Provide thought leadership and contribute to both internal and external marketing with regional USAID missions, Creative projects in the region, and the regional technology community.
Required Skills & Qualifications :
Master’s degree in a relevant field and minimum five (5) years of relevant work experience; or bachelor’s degree in a related field and minimum seven (7) years of relevant work experience;
Prior experience in technology entrepreneurship and investing;
Demonstrated knowledge of the technology and innovation landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa;
Demonstrated knowledge of technology trends;
Demonstrated experience in designing and applying appropriate technology solutions for development goals / projects;
Experience in developing, negotiating, inking and bringing value to partnerships;
Strong relationship management and interpersonal communication skills;
Experience and comfort in working remotely and without much supervision;
Entrepreneurial drive to conceptualize and take forward initiatives as their own;
Strong formal writing and presentation skills;
Ability to discern problems and identify opportunities;
Ability to work well in a team and collaborative team / organizational environment; and
Demonstrated ability to lead initiatives and drive organizational change.
Desired Skills & Qualifications :
Experience with venture capital investments and impact investing;
Experience in the field of FinTech and AgTech;
Passion for technology solutions for development;
Field experience in an international development setting;
Experience in designing for and responding to solicitations, tenders, or Request for Proposals, especially USAID or other donor solicitations;
Experience with design approaches, such as Human-Centered Design; and
Fluency in a second regionally relevant language, such as French.