Country Director, Ethiopia

Self Help AfricaCareers, Careers - Ethiopia, Careers - Ireland

Job Title: Country Director, Ethiopia
Organisation: Self Help Africa (part of the Gorta Group)
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Contract: Fixed term contract – Three years
Reports to: Regional Director East & Horn of Africa

Organisational Overview:

Gorta was formed in 1965 by the Irish government in response to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s call for countries to support long term agricultural and economic development in the world’s poorest regions. Today the Gorta Group is a group of innovative organisations driving sustainable economic and social change across Africa.

Comprising Self Help Africa, Partner Africa and TruTrade, the Gorta Group combines expertise in market-based solutions to poverty and rural development; climate change mitigation and resilience; trade facilitation and farmer and worker rights; underpinned by an inclusive ethos that specifically targets women and youth.  In August 2021, United Purpose joined the Gorta Group, which operates as Self Help Africa (SHA), bringing together two organisations with proud histories of assisting those in greatest need. United Purpose, formerly Concern Universal, has worked for more than 40 years as a leader in community-led development and grassroots innovation. SHA now has over 700 staff worldwide as a result of the merger, and a global turnover of over €40m. We are currently implementing a portfolio of 80 projects in Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia funded by a variety of institutional and private donors including the European Union, Irish Aid and World Food Programme. In 2020, we supported close to eight million people in rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa and Bangladesh.

Self Help Africa has a long established and growing office in Ethiopia, with approximately 40 full-time staff running development and humanitarian projects that encompass enterprise development and climate resilience programming with smallholder farmers. The Ethiopia programme has a strong focus on cooperative development and support, supporting market access and enterprise development among smallholder farmers, natural resource management and green economy approaches, and climate change adaptation across the country.


SHA is looking for a dynamic and entrepreneurial professional with significant programme management and proven new business development experience. You will drive the Group’s mission and vision and deepen our impact, through delivery of high quality programmes and ensuring that the processes of planning, implementation as well as monitoring, evaluation and learning, are robust. The Country Director will be responsible for overseeing all areas of SHA’s operations in Ethiopia, providing leadership and strategy guidance to the SHA team, with two direct reports and a mandate to expand operations.

The key responsibility of this role is the development, delivery and recalibration of the Group’s Ethiopia country strategy to ensure it is fit for purpose, aligned to our global strategy and that we are achieving significant impact for communities

You will be responsible for growing SHA’s operations in Ethiopia. The Country Director will collaborate with international organisations, national government, national organisations and the private sector to design and secure finance for innovative programmes that strengthen agricultural value chains, support entrepreneurs and their businesses and drive rural economic development and reduce poverty.


New business development and stakeholder relationship management:
• Build relationships in-country to identify new opportunities and win funding for new programmes
• Build partnerships to expand our footprint in Ethiopia
• Represent SHA and present at national, regional and international fora and build the profile.

Programme management & operations:
• Develop, present and implement the strategic vision, overall goals and objectives for SHA
• Oversee the implementation of all programmes in Ethiopia, ensuring SHA meets all key targets
• Work with the Head of Programmes to ensure all programmes are effectively monitored and evaluated so we can demonstrate our success, impact and value for money
• Work with the Head of Programmes to vet and manage any implementation partners
• Ensure that SHA is recognised as a thought leader in agriculture and agribusiness in Ethiopia
• Work with the Humanitarian Director to ensure growth of SHA’s humanitarian portfolio.

• Manage a large and diverse team, providing direct line management to members of the Country Management Team
• Ensure efficiencies in the operation of a joint country team through the use of shared services
• Oversee talent acquisition, with a particular focus on championing local talent
• Recruit, retain and develop SHA’s team
• Demonstrate values led authentic leadership.

Finance, audit and risk:
• Manage SHA’s Head of Finance and Administration
• Oversee financial management and ensure programmes are delivered in a cost-effective manner, ensuring a value for money approach and that major costs are successfully recovered from programme funding
• Ensure a culture of accountability, transparency and adherence to all group policies and to staff welfare and security
• Ensure compliance with all programme and donor requirements


• Minimum of five years’ senior management experience
• Previous experience of running multi-sectoral teams to deliver complex programmes either in a development or private sector setting ideally in sub-Saharan Africa
• A proven ability to deliver new income opportunities through proactive and sustained business development activity
• A proven ability to develop, implement and adapt organisational and business strategy
• Excellent communication and presentation skills, both in formal and informal settings
• Strong financial analysis and management skills
• Fluency in English

Download the Job Description

This Job Description only serves as a guide for the position available and SHA reserves the right to make necessary changes.

How to apply:

Please upload a completed Application Form, CV and cover letter outlining your suitability for the role here

Please note incomplete applications will not be considered for shortlisting.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and, therefore, this job posting will remain open until such time as the preferred candidate is identified.

Any candidate offered a job with Self Help Africa will be expected to sign Self Help  Africa’s  Safeguarding Policies  and  Code  of  Conduct  as  an  appendix  to  their  contract  of  employment  and  agree  to  conduct themselves in accordance with the provisions of these documents.

Specific roles may require police vetting

Self Help Africa strives to be an Equal Opportunities Employer

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