9 Nov 2019

Manager in Charge of Start-ups and Innovation ecosystems at Smart Africa

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    1. About Smart Africa

Smart Africa is a bold and innovative commitment from African Heads of State and Government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to Broadband and usage of Information and Communications Technologies.

The Transform Africa Summit held in Kigali, Rwanda on 28th-31st October 2013 culminated in the adoption of the Smart Africa Manifesto document by seven (7) African Heads of States (Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Mali, Gabon, Burkina Faso) in which they committed to provide leadership in accelerating socio-economic development through ICT’s.

On 30th-31st January 2014, The Smart Africa Manifesto was endorsed by all Heads of State and Government of the African Union at the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Addis Ababa. This development places the Manifesto at the heart of the ICT agenda in Africa beyond just the 7 original signatories at the Summit to all the 54 African countries.

The Smart Africa Alliance has since grown to include 29 African countries that represent 600+ million people.

The Smart Africa Manifesto aims to put ICT at the Center of National Socio-economic development agenda of member countries; improve access to ICT especially Broadband; to improve accountability, efficiency and openness through ICT promoting the introduction of advanced technologies in telecommunication; to put Private Sector first; and to leverage ICT to promote sustainable development.

    1. Background of the Start-ups and Innovation ecosystems development initiative

In all countries of the world, access to the digital environment promotes growth in gross domestic product. This trend is already being observed in Africa, notably through mobile penetration. As a factor of innovation, digital technology generates new uses everywhere and helps to transform business models. While African innovation and start-ups is starting to emerge into the international scene, the significant development potential of the digital innovation and entrepreneurship is not being used to their full potential.

The continent remains very fragmented between a few rare hubs, and the fragility of the ecosystem of start-ups mainly due to:

    • Administrative and legal barriers to the creation and development of enterprises,
    • Limited access to telecommunications infrastructure, in particular the Internet,
    • Particular access to finance and expanding market,
    • Lack of countries support for the development of innovative start-ups,
    • Difficult market access,
    • The weakness of education systems.

From this background, it is important to enhance entrepreneurship and increase innovation for new solutions in the ICT sector.

    1. Duties and Responsibilities

The Smart Africa Secretariat would like to recruit a Consultant Project Manager (PM) in charge of the Start-ups and Innovation ecosystems development initiative with responsibility for management of various strategic projects, in close consultation with stakeholders and partners.

More precisely, the PM will help define and execute our global strategies on various projects, including the development of start-ups and innovation ecosystems development.

The primary duties of the position will include:

    • Provide required technical and administrative support to coordinate and implement project activities across Smart Africa Member States while ensuring effective linkages to the Smart Africa core objectives and activities.
    • Preparing an annual Work Plan for submission to the reporting to the Head of Digital Transformation, Innovation and Services;
    • Design and document our evolving strategy, including produce relevant slides, presentations, and key messaging;
    • Review and prepare analysis and research on the sector, using regional and global resources including academia and industry;
    • Help us bring new allies and strengthen the commitment of existing partners;
    • Establish close collaboration and working arrangements with an interdisciplinary team composed of experts from Governments, Private sector, Non-Government organisations and other professional associations, to ensure good coordination, collaboration and timely conduct of Smart Africa activities;
    • Follow through mobilization of funds /resources from other development partners and institutions to complete the financing of the Smart Africa projects;
    • Provide periodical reports on the progress of project activities and issues arising;
    • Participate in regional project meetings and workshops and other activities as required.

Other duties and responsibilities will include:

    • Prepare the terms of reference and identify consultants/institutions to undertake assignments in accordance with the approved annual Work Plan;
    • Monitor and supervise the work of consultants, institutions, government staff and other partners, facilitate meetings and, as far as possible, ensure the timely and responsive delivery of outputs and reports;
    • Provide to institutions/consultants visiting or engaged in assignments, including preparing itineraries, appointments and assisting with travel and other logistical arrangements;
    • Any other assignments which will be assigned from time to time by the leadership of Smart Africa.
    1. Key qualifications

Education:

    • A Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, Business Information Technology (BIT), Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Technology, or a related field with recognised at least 10 years of technical expertise.
    • A Project Management Certification from a recognized International Project Management Certification Body such as the Project Management Institute (PMI).
    • A Masters’ Degree in Business Information Technology or master’s in business administration, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Technology, or a related field with experience in business development will be an added advantage.
    • General experience and skills:
    • Strong management skills with the ability to provide strategic guidance, technical oversight, build strong teams, develop work plans, manage budgets and project expenditures;
    • Good interpersonal skills with experience in networking with partners at all levels (Ministry, development partners, private sector, NGOs and Academia) to effectively explain strategy and approach to external Partners audience.
    • Self-starter, work independently, with critical thinking, ability of tolerance and ambiguity to work on multiple projects
    • Experience in the start-ups and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Africa.
    • A good knowledge of ICT policy and regulation ecosystem /framework;
    • Strong competence in the use of standard software productivity tools (such as Microsoft Office Suite , modern communication tools such as zoom, etc.
    1. Languages:
    • Excellent Knowledge and Fluency in French or English.
    • The good working knowledge of both French and English or other languages such as Portuguese or Arabic will be an advantage.
    1. Duration of the assignment

The duration of the assignment will be for 1 year, with a possibility of renewal, subject to availability of funds and performance appraisal.

    1. Reporting requirements

The PM will report directly to the Head of Digital Transformation, Innovation and Services.

How to Apply

    • A one-page cover letter with a motivation statement in relation to the ToR;
    • A CV with 2 contact information of referees;
    • A brief essay of two (2) pages to the following question: What would be your approach to develop successfully Start-ups and Innovation ecosystems in Africa within a short period of time (1 to 3 years) as a PM in Smart Africa Secretariat?
You will send your Curriculum Vitae, cover letter and essay in either French or English. All the above should be sent to the following email address: to [email protected]  and copy [email protected] not later than Monday, November 18th, 2019 at 5 pm.





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