British Council is the UK's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We are on the ground in six continents and over 100 countries, bringing international opportunity to life, every day.
The UK Department for International Trade has a committed and growing presence across 23 of Africa’s nations. As the UK Government Department promoting free trade and overseas investment, we want to support the development of strong, prosperous and peaceful African nations,through modern, dynamic and long-term partnerships that deliver mutual benefit for the UK and Africa.
The UK believes that by understanding and supporting African-led ambitions, we can help Africa create sustainable trade, prosperity, jobs and livelihoods. That in turn will be of benefit to the UK and wider global community. We aspire to help tackle business environment issues, help introduce commercial solutions to meet African needs, and attract foreign investment to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
In the year ahead of the UK hosting COP26, and after the UK’s commitment to carbon zero by 2050, the UK wants to show continued global leadership on energy transition and climate action. Africa is set to be the most affected by climate change having contributed the least towards it. We are supporting on adaptation and mitigation; and Africa can be a leader too on transition with an abundance of clean energy and huge energy consumption needs. This part Official Development Assistance (ODA) funded role will offer the jobholder the opportunity to ensure that UK decisions truly reflect an expert understanding of this crucial sector for Africa, with an important objective being to strengthen renewables investment and provision in priority African markets.
The jobholder will join a dynamic network of committed trade officers working to support Africa’s economic growth and position at the heart of the future world economy. This is an exciting time to join DIT Africa, as we continue to expand our resources to deliver on the ambition of our current Government to be Africa’s trade and investment partner of choice as well as exploring where best we can support Africa’s recovery from Covid-19.
Roles and responsibilities:
- Renewable energy, including generation from the full suite of subsectors (wind, solar, waste, biofuel, geothermal etc) and clean storage, is one of six sector priorities in 2020/21 for the Department for International Trade in Africa. You will lead and deliver DIT Africa’s renewables sector, working with a pan-Africa virtual sector team across the continent with advisers currently located in key markets including Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco in North Africa; and Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Mozambique in Sub Saharan Africa.
- You will also work closely with a DIT renewables specialist focusing on African renewable energy needs, practices and regulations. You will develop relationships with relevant countries’ governments and private sector players working in power, oil and gas and energy efficiency, and our specialist in the green economy (non-power generation multi-sector transition to low carbon), supporting their work on adaptation and mitigation and helping to identify incentives for that change. You will forge close relationships with African regulators, developers and companies looking for opportunities to encourage transition to renewable technologies, identifying where commercial solutions could deliver the desired outcomes.
- You will work with the sector specialist to find the areas where commercial, investment or regulatory intervention could improve the sustainability and viability of African energy supply. This will be in complement to other actors for the British Government, with whom you will forge close working relationships, whose primary interests might be in e.g. climate resilience and/or emissions reductions. You will work to understand the contribution of our International Climate Finance, Green Finance, DFID and other programmes, so that DIT can support these while also adding value in its commercial and trade policy sphere.
- You will identify market access barriers (regulatory and practical) to strengthening renewables provision, and work closely with market access advisers to implement solutions to address these; scoping the sector for areas where investment could have a real impact.
- You will determine which markets should be a priority for our support and interventions based on prospective sector growth and opportunity. Across those markets, you will develop a pipeline of the key opportunities where commercial partners and investors are sought or could assist, especially in the areas of research and innovation. Where financing is required, you will work with UK Government partners including UKEF and DFID to identify sources of finance in support.
- Working with the DIT sector team on renewables in the UK, you will spend a portion of your time marrying African needs to UK solutions, exploring UK capability, and building commercial partnerships – including where UK expertise can be used to develop African capability. You will develop a strategic relationship management approach for the top African producers and firms, and the same for our UK companies working to support agriculture.
- You will do this working through your virtual team across the continent, providing them with direction, helping to upskill them, and ensuring a consistent high standard of delivery and service in developing a strategic relationship management approach with African governments and key institutions. In designing a sector specific delivery plan with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), you will demonstrate an analytical view of the areas where you believe the UK has something to offer, ensuring alignment with other HMG work streams where relevant, for example ODA programmes focused on renewables through DFID and FCO.
- Team of around 8 advisers, who you will matrix manage in coordination with their Country Directors.
- Operational budgets for travel and subsistence, and marketing and communications.
Essential qualifications, skills and experience
- Undergraduate degree and other relevant professional qualification or experience.
- At least three years’ experience working in a renewables or related power generation trade and investment fields
- Experience of leading teams across Africa and proven leadership experience
- Experience of working in or with government departments, NGOs, and similar institutions
- Proven track record of cross-team collaboration
- A positive, resilient, flexible and adaptable “can-do” attitude that can see way through challenges.
- Knowledge of, and a keen interest of the renewables sector and the UK offer to business seeking to invest/export to Africa
- Knowledge of African markets and/or African energy needs in the context of sustainable development
Desirable qualifications, skills and experience
- Understanding of UK Export Finance however training will be provided for the successful candidate.
- Knowledge of, and a keen interest in ODA programming and sustainable development.