Project Management Specialist (Regional Market Systems and Food Safety)

from US Agency for International Development
Closing date: 18 Oct 2019

The Project Management Specialist (Regional Market Systems and Food Safety) position will be a senior member of the Office of Economic Growth and Integration (OEGI), and s/he will manage regional Feed the Future (FTF) and other related programs and relationships in support of regional agricultural markets, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) systems to reduce poverty and advance food security, resilience and trade in Eastern Africa.

The primary responsibility of the position is to manage regional programs and partnerships in support of regional, national and community level initiatives and develop relationships with senior regional officials and private sector actors to coordinate USAID activities. OEGI works in partnership with a multitude of African institutions and private sector partners to achieve development goals and promote U.S. foreign policy objectives.

OEGI and its partners jointly seek to increase inclusive agricultural-led economic growth, improve nutrition, especially among women and children, and strengthen the resilience of people and systems. In particular, the position will contribute to efforts that reduce trade barriers, increase the productivity and competitiveness of the region, particularly in agricultural value chains; improve transit corridors. USAID/ KEA also supports the adaptation and clean energy initiatives in response to global climate change; to improve access to clean water and sanitation; and to help maintain regions rich biodiversity as a sustainable and globally­ recognized asset. OEGI coordinates with bilateral USAID Missions and U.S. government interagency partners within East Africa on policy, program, and technical issues.


Technical Support Services to African Regional Partners and USAID Missions (35%)

The position requires important coordination, communication and management skills related to a broad-based technical assistance program involving many stakeholders including regional and national government departments and private sector actors in highly visible and politicized sectors. The incumbent will provide advice, leadership, and specialized skills and services to strengthen market systems along key value chains and improve regional and national capacity in SPS systems across East Africa.

The position will engage regularly with Regional Economic Community partners, including East African Community, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and the International Authority on Government Development, IGAD and private sector stakeholder groups such as the East Africa Grains Council, East Africa Cross Border Traders Association and other private sector trade and food security entities. The incumbent will work closely with the United States Department of Agriculture.

The position will provide senior level leadership within USAID for the design, implementation, and evaluation of technical assistance programs, training and workshops in the realm of agricultural market system development, which includes regional value chains such as maize, livestock, pulses, and other strategic value chains such as seeds, processed foods and nutritionally dense food products that reduce poverty and malnutrition. The position will also provide expertise and manage activities on plant and animal health, and food safety in East Africa in collaboration with other OEGI staff members.

Activities will support several U.S. Government efforts such as the U.S. Global Food Security Strategy, Feed the Future Initiative (FTF), Prosper Africa, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) and USAID’s Journey to Self-Reliance. These efforts will focus on bringing agricultural policy, legislation, regulations and production methods in Eastern Africa into compliance with international obligations and strengthening trade and SPS regulatory infrastructure. These efforts will also support agricultural market development and assist in meeting international standards, which will enable agricultural commodities produced in sub-Saharan Africa to become eligible for export to new markets creating opportunity for economic growth and private investment.

Duties include providing expert technical review, leadership and policy and program guidance in identifying market system opportunities and providing leadership on SPS program directions and objectives, establishing priorities, implementing activities and providing budget and resource recommendations to USAID/KEA, USAID's Bureau of Food Security, Bureau for Africa, bilateral and regional missions, and partners working in trade, plant health, animal health, and food safety sectors. The incumbent will identify and report on barriers to regional and international agricultural trade and actively participate in actions and measures to prevent, minimize, or remove them, with particular attention to SPS issues.

The position will establish and maintain productive working relationships with public and private-sector representatives throughout the region of responsibility to promote regulatory policy development and implementation in line with USG and international policy. The incumbent will work closely with USAID, implementing partners, relevant USG regulatory agencies and private sector associations to support regulatory development processes in African Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and national governments. Specifically, the incumbent will be able to identify, analyze and address trade SPS policies that will impact the ability of African agricultural producers to access broader markets and create economic opportunity for growth and investment in the sector.

The Regional Markets and Food Safety Advisor will serve as COR/AOR and Activity Manager for relevant programs.

Program Management (35%)

The position will manage programs for USAID/ KEA regional, which includes coordination with relevant bilateral missions, Washington and private sector stakeholders on regional agricultural market systems and SPS regulatory issues that affect poverty reduction, agricultural development, food security and trade in East Africa.

Specifically, the position will assist OEGI and the Contracts/Assistance Office in the design and management of grants, agreements, and contracts with regional programs in the technical areas mentioned above. Provide leadership in the writing of technical program descriptions and scopes of work, providing technical support to food security knowledge management projects and serving as USAID Agreement Officer’s Activity Representative (AM) or COR/AOR (technical project supervisor) or alternate COR/AOR for awards, leading or participating in field supervision visits, evaluation teams, as needed.

This position includes frequent regional travel in Eastern Africa, with some attention to key countries in the COMESA region. Manage the capture, retention and sharing of USAID and stakeholder's collective knowledge through connecting people to information, experience and expertise. Provide up to date information on innovation and development as relates to USAID/KEA’s trade and food security portfolio. Maintain professional collaborative and/or team working relationship with the technical and analytical branches of other USAID bureaus, missions, offices, and staff. Coordinate the regional internal-USAID network of Feed the Future and Trade team members supporting COMESA, EAC and IGAD to promote trade, food safety, and resilience work and identify areas of synergies with bilateral missions.

Representation and Reporting (30%)

A respected development professional, the Project Management Specialist, Regional Market Systems and Food Safety, will be called upon to liaise with local, regional, and international private-sector partners, as well as agricultural policy and promotion officials in the public sector. He/she may be required to represent USAID to a number of different stakeholders including Ambassadors, Mission Directors, other senior USG Agency representatives, regional economic communities, national level counterparts, bilateral and multilateral donors, and corporate executives.

Serve as a liaison to connect USAID, other USG agencies, relevant technical partners, and national and regional trade and SPS agencies throughout East Africa. Specifically, the incumbent will establish partnerships between OEGI and other relevant trade and SPS actors to provide leadership in strategic planning for East African regional trade and SPS initiatives which support domestic economic and agricultural development. Areas covered include: Regulatory guidance on the development of science-based SPS policy and regulations; Capacity building programs to expand and promote the safe trade of African agricultural commodities and food products across borders; Support for the integration of East Africa and constituent countries into regional and global markets, and SPS stakeholder support needed to drive economic growth and increase investment opportunities for the private sector in East Africa.

As a member of the Agriculture and Food Security team, participate in the writing of annual and other reports, success stories, press releases, etc.; prepare approval documents, budgets, and memos; help manage USAID's internet-based information management systems and respond to tasks from within USAID/KEA, Washington, as needed. The incumbent will also liaise with bilateral Missions, and respective trade, agriculture and resilience staff, on reporting responsibilities and other duties that may arise in respect to economic growth activities.

The incumbent is expected to respond flexibly and capably to a wide range of work-related requirements. This includes, but is not limited to, responding to U.S. Congressional inquiries and other Washington policy and operational requests, supporting VIP visits, and carrying out ad-hoc assignments as dictated by unforeseen operational requirements at the discretion of the Mission Director, Deputy Director, or OEGI Office Director.

How to apply:

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Step 2: Complete the job application questionnaire at (Please use Internet Explorer to access this site) The applicant must answer all the questions in the Questionnaire.

Step 3: Internal Applicants/Current USG Employees: Attach an updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five pages), a copy of your most recent Performance Evaluation Report, and copies of all relevant certificates. Scan and attach all the documents as one attachment and upload to MyJobsInKenya***. *(Please use Internet Explorer to access this site)**


External Applicants/Not Current USG Employees: Attach an updated curriculum vitae/resume (no more than five pages) and copies of all relevant certificates. Upload all the documents to MyJobsInKenya (Please use Internet Explorer to access this site)

Note to Applicants:

  1. Applications must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted through as stated in Section IV.

  2. Submissions will only be accepted through (Please use Internet Explorer to access this site) Late and Incomplete applications (those that do not contain the applicant’s most current and up to date detailed CV and relevant education certificates) will not be considered for the position. The closing date for receipt of applications is indicated above.