Investment & Private Sector Development Advisor

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Job Introduction

The Government of Malawi is embarking on an ambitious agenda to transform the heavily agriculture-dependent economy away from a reliance on tobacco in order to develop an economy that can create jobs at scale and add value in country. Around 85 percent of Malawi’s population is estimated to live in rural areas and rely on rainfed agriculture for employment. Nine-tenths of rural households engage in subsistence farming, cultivating small and fragmented land held under uncertain customary tenure. As such the agro-led industrialisation of the economy is critical.

Malawi’s President is strengthening the capacity of his Government to implement his vision for development. A key part of this is developing – in a market-led way – sectors and industries, most of which build on the agriculture sector, that can replace tobacco and create jobs at scale, by attracting investment and improving the sub-sector specific enabling environment. Such sub-sectors are also essential to widen the tax base for the growth of public services and for access to foreign exchange. The Government is focused on agro-led industrialisation, given this is where the greatest scope for sectors that can drive inclusive economic growth and economic transformation lies.

TBI is supporting the Government of Malawi to strengthen its delivery and implementation mechanisms, particularly in the Presidency. The project will support the roll-out of out of this delivery agenda, providing support and facilitation to key ministries and agencies.

We are recruiting an Investment and Private Sector Development Advisor to join this project and support the Government to attract investment and to improve the enabling environment for the subsectors and value chains with the greatest transformative potential. This includes market access and trade facilitation. This is an important role in the team and will report to the TBI Malawi Country Head while serving as our investment advisor supporting the Presidency and relevant senior government officials (e.g. Ministers, Permanent Secretaries). The post holder will need to rapidly understand Malawi’s political economy in order to understand how to build a strong collaboration between the government and the private sector that ensures a vested interest in value addition, diversification from tobacco at scale and investing in local human capital. The post holder will be supported by TBI’s Inclusive Growth practice and will work very closely with our Delivery Advisors for agriculture and for infrastructure, among others.

This is an exciting role requiring an exceptional candidate with relevant expertise, deep networks with government and/or industry in country or other peer countries.

Key Responsibilities

The Investment and Private Sector Development Advisor will be responsible for:

Government Relations

  • Establishing and managing trusted relationships with key decision makers and implementers around the President’s agro-industry and investment delivery agenda
  • Supporting the Government to strengthen communication and coordination, primarily among Government agencies and ministries so they can coalesce around the President’s agro-industrialisation agenda, but also with development partners, the private sector and other stakeholders, with the aim of driving the delivery agenda. In particular, coordination across the Ministries of Trade, Industry, Agriculture, Finance, Economic Planning and the Presidency, as well as with the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre and development finance facilities, is essential. This role is also responsible for bringing focus on the most transformative value chains and ensuring coordination by the above organisations around these value chains and sub-sectors
  • Coordinating closely, via the President’s Delivery Unit, with other areas of focus, such as agriculture, infrastructure, human capital and digitization, in order to ensure a joined up government approach to the implementation of the President’s overarching vision of development
  • Doing the above while building the capacity of Government, where the opportunity exists for sustainable gains, for example mentoring and supporting of Government officials with high potential for development who are in the fore front of driving this agenda

Strategy, Planning and Execution

  • Supporting the Government as needed so that major milestones in its agro-industry agenda are delivered with minimal time delay
  • Supporting the Government to address resource gaps for priority projects and reforms and help ensure timely application of existing resources
  • Supporting the Government to facilitate and follow through on private investment deals into the targeted sub-sectors, including with existing investors (e.g. aftercare and expansions)
  • Supporting the Government with public-private dialogue and collaboration, particularly with the private sector whose interests align with the agro-industrialisation agenda of the Government
  • Supporting the Government to follow up on issues and bottlenecks raised by suitable private sector and investors
  • Providing independent and objective advice to the Government on a range of key investment, trade and subsector-specific enabling environment reforms, using a pragmatic delivery lens, whilst recognising that policy decision-making and implementation of initiatives is the responsibility of the Government
  • Exploring any opportunities for transformative technologies with our technology team to speed up the implementation of the government’s agro-industrialisation agenda


  • Contributing to the success of the Malawi project, by supporting the Country Head, the Deputy Country Head and other team members and workstreams where necessary including contributing to prudent financial management individually and for the project, monitoring and evaluation of the project work and team building exercises (e.g. organising team briefings, outings, etc)
  • The team will consist of experienced Advisors providing embedded support at the Presidency and to key economic institutions of the government to attract and scale up investment in priority sectors positioned to diversify the economy away from tobacco and to drive job creation and improved governance
  • He/she will also be a member of TBI’s Inclusive Growth Practice, through which they will gain from and contribute to the expertise of TBI’s teams across Africa and beyond

Person Specification

We are looking for outstanding individuals with a proven track record of leadership and delivery in the public or private sectors. We seek to create international and multi-disciplinary teams and are looking for individuals with a background in: public/civil services worldwide; strategy consulting; relevant industry experience; private equity and finance; and international development.

All candidates will be required to have:

  • At least 5-10 years of experience in investment, industrial policy implementation, agribusiness, delivery, management, strategy or similar, preferably in emerging markets especially in Africa and or similar contexts like Malawi
  • Strong interpersonal, leadership, collaboration and communication skills
  • Strong at adaptive management and a team player with an ability to develop and foster relationships with counterparts across a large organization
  • Strong analytical and management skills, including sound knowledge of data analysis, strategic planning, and project management tools
  • An ability to work independently, think strategically and translate strategies into tangible delivery plans
  • Political savvy and an understanding of the needs of a senior government officials, while being able to work and interact at the highest level of public life
  • Ability to liaise with partner governments, external bodies, organizations and key stakeholders to help deliver the government’s agenda
  • Willingness to travel, sometimes at short notice; and to go the extra mile when needed
  • Experience of identifying and resolving project implementation bottlenecks
  • Proven ability to mentor, coach, and build capacity of national counterparts
  • Excellent writing, presentation skills and verbal communication skills in English
  • A master’s degree in a related field or equivalent practical experience
  • Be open about exploring digital and tech solutions to support the implementation of the governments’ infrastructure delivery agenda

About The Institute

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people

We do this within two connected divisions:

 Government Advisory  

Our Advisory Practice works directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It has both non-profit partners and a client base and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia. We are currently in a rapid expansion phase from c. 18 countries at present, to 30 by December 2022.

 Policy Futures  

Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas:

  • Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics;
  • Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and
  • Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world.

As an organisation, the core beliefs we all embrace are:

  • Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork
  • Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity
  • Optimistic Changemaker: you’ll be focused on results

TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work.  It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\’re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.

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