Deadline: 15 November 2020

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Type of Job: Full-time



Established in 1964, the African Development Bank is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 81 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries).  The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Ten Year Strategy (2013 – 2022) and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas (High 5s), all of which will accelerate our delivery for Africa, have been identified for scaling up, namely; energy, agro-business, industrialization, integration and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa.


The Vice Presidency for ‘Agriculture, Human, and Social Development’ is a Sector Complex focusing on two of the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy, High 5s priorities of “Feed Africa” and “Improve Quality of Life for the People of Africa”. The complex objectives are (i) to develop, policy and strategy; (ii) provide deep sector expertise to the Regions by gathering pools of experienced individuals who can be consulted to provide sector expertise on complex transactions; (iii) develop new financing instruments; (iv) the Vice President will act as the spokesperson to represent the Bank with external stakeholders on aspects of “Feed Africa” and Improve Quality of Life for the People of Africa”.


Within the Complex, the Gender, Women and Civil Society Department is designed to improve coherence and coordination across Complexes on Gender and Civil Society Organization issues. The Department ensures strategic priorities are reflected in resources allocation, enhances monitoring and management of performance, and strengthens the focus on results.

The Department also houses a number of special initiatives including the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), a flagship program of the Bank that aims to bridge the gender gap in access to finance and unleash women’s entrepreneurial capacity across the continent. AFAWA’s holistic approach focuses on 3 pillars: (a) access to finance, leveraging AfDB’s various instruments such as lines of credit, equity investments and risk sharing mechanisms, (b) technical assistance, to financial institutions as well as women entrepreneurs, and (c) policy dialogue to reform the legal and regulatory frameworks affecting women businesses.


The Principal AFAWA Officer will be based in the African Development Bank’s East Africa Office, under the supervision of the AFAWA Program Coordinator and the leadership of the Director, Gender Women and Civil Society Department.

The Principal AFAWA Officer will work on the design, structure and implementation of operations under the access to finance and Technical Assistance/Capacity Building pillars of AFAWA.  He/She will lead interaction with key implementing partners such as the African Guarantee Fund and deliver substantial, innovative and measurable results related to increasing access to financial services and markets for women-owned SMEs and support the knowledge and learning agenda for banking women-owned SMEs. Given the importance of the enabling environment to enhance access for women-owned SMEs, the Principal AFAWA Officer will oversee and monitor progress on the pillar working in close collaboration with the regional gender specialist and the AFAWA Enabling Environment Officer.

Duties and responsibilities

The Principal AFAWA Officer under the oversight of the AFAWA Coordinator (AHGC.0), will perform the following duties and have the following responsibilities:

Business Development

  • Working closely with the Private Sector Finance Department and other relevant Bank departments, organize/participate in business development missions through market analyses and meetings with existing and potential clients to identify potential areas for AFAWA support to increase access to financial services for women in East Africa. This will include pipeline identification and participation in client due diligence and appraisal, identification of technical assistance and capacity building support
  • Prepare AFAWA TA pitch books and project proposals approval reports including project objectives, scope of work, key deliverables, timelines, budget and expected outcomes and impacts with input from the client and relevant Bank Departments
  • Work closely with the AFAWA Coordinator on enhancing the ability of key partners such as the African Guarantee Fund in implementing some of AFAWA’s major initiative (i.e. the AFAWA Guarantee for Growth Program)
  • Participate in drafting donor proposals and securing funding for AFAWA programs as needed.
  • Work closely with Digital Financial Services to design and implement projects to facilitate women-owned SME’s access to digital finance and the digital economy.
  • Contribute to tools and standards to further enhance the Bank’s ability to deliver strong and impactful access to finance and markets programs for women entrepreneurs on the continent.

Design Implementation and Quality Assurance

  • Participate in the review of both lending and non-lending projects within the ambit of the AFAWA Program, strengthen the provision of operational inputs for the mainstreaming of AFAWA key performance indicators, including the identification of women entrepreneurship indicators and development outcomes and specific technical assistance activities.
  • Work closely with the Gender, Women and Civil Society Department, as well as the Financial Sector, Private Sector and other Sector Departments (notably the Agriculture Finance and Rural Development Department), to harmonize the integration of AFAWA in Bank’s operations
  • Provide market intelligence on the women’s market and business case for investing in women; recommend innovative and operational products/toolkits with the aim of addressing adequately the challenges women entrepreneurs face in accessing finance and markets and achieve the objective of AFAWA.
  • Have overall responsibility for project AFAWA technical assistance and capacity building design at client level, including scope of work definition, timeline and budget setting, outcome target setting, stakeholder identification and mapping, terms of Reference development including procurement of experts and coordination essential to the implementation of AFAWA projects.
  • Manage client relations through open and regular communications to assess progress and satisfaction; anticipate and respond to client needs
  • Prepare and draft internal and external project documents and reports e.g., project documents, mission reports, project supervision and completion documents
  • Monitor and review project implementation, scope of work and resources deployed, to ensure project qualitative and quantitative milestones are achieved, and corrective actions taken when necessary, provide project updates for internal and external audiences
  • Meet with clients on a regular basis to assess project progress; continually anticipate and respond to client needs to ensure client satisfaction
  • Supervise consultant work to ensure high quality and on-time delivery of work program
  • Contribute to research and knowledge management events and publications
  • Perform analysis of client-related data and information to derive insights
  • Perform other duties as assigned by supervisor.

Selection Criteria

  • Hold at least a Master’s degree or equivalent in Development Finance, Business, Economics, or related field; relevant qualification in investment appraisal and project finance is a plus.
  • Have a minimum of six (6) years of SME finance experience, with track record in banking women-owned or led Enterprises – experience in developing gender financing products is an asset.
  • Good command of undertaking comprehensive due diligence and clients’ portfolio data analysis as well as SME Banking practices;
  • Experience in financial and investment policy engagement, particularly in relation to inclusive finance and women’s access to credit.
  • Experience in designing and leading technical assistance and capacity building programs for SMEs and more specifically women-owned SMEs.
  • Good understanding of Human Centered Design methodology is a plus
  • Strong client relationship management skills, including the ability to develop and maintain mutually beneficial stakeholder relationships with senior management and ensure timely and appropriate follow-up
  • Ability to identify possible shortcomings of clients (and to propose solutions, formulated through detailed technical assistance proposals.
  • Demonstrate strong analytical and reporting skills.
  • Ability to perform in non-traditional sectors and work autonomously within deadline.
  • Ability to communicate effectively (written and oral) in English and French. Working knowledge of Arabic is an asset.
  • Competence in the use of standard Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint); knowledge of SAP is desirable.


Should you encounter technical difficulties in submitting your application, please send an email with a precise description of the issue and/or a screenshot showing the problem to: HR Direct [email protected]

Apply for this position

To apply for this position, you need to be national of one of AfDB member countries.


African Union Commission Scholar || Founder @ Youth Opportunities Hub || Former RBA COST/Sahel Team at UNDP || TEF Alumni ||

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