Senior Agriculture Economist

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Full vacancy title:  Senior Agriculture Economist
Location:  Lilongwe, Malawi
Position Grade:  LP5
Position Number:  50067430
Posting Date:  10-Dec-2021
Closing Date:  09-Jan-2022


Established in 1964, the African Development Bank is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 81-member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries).  The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Ten-Year Strategy (TYS, 2013 – 2022) and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas (High 5s), all of which will accelerate our delivery for Africa, have been identified for scaling up, namely; energy, agro-business, industrialization, integration and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa. The Bank is seeking to build a management team that will lead the successful implementation of this vision.


The Vice-Presidency for ‘Agriculture, Human, and Social Development’ is a Sector Complex focusing on two of the Bank’s Ten ear Strategy High 5s priorities of “Feed Africa” and “Improve Quality of Life for the People of Africa”. The complex objectives are to develop, policy and strategy; provide deep sector expertise to the Regions by gathering pools of experienced individuals who can be consulted to provide sector expertise on complex transactions; develop new financing instruments; the Vice President will act as the spokesperson to represent the Bank with external stakeholders on aspects of “Feed Africa” and Improve Quality of Life for the People of Africa”.


Within the context of the Bank’s High 5’s vision for Africa’s long-term economic transformation, the Agriculture and Agro-Industry Department (AHAI) provides support for the delivery of the Bank’s Feed Africa: Strategy for Agricultural Transformation in Africa, 2016-2025. The Bank also has an Agriculture, Finance and Rural Development Department (AHFR). The Feed Africa Strategy aims to end hunger and rural poverty in the next decade through self-sufficiency in eighteen (18) priority commodity value chains specific to the continent’s agro-ecological zones. Realizing the objectives set forth in the Strategy requires increased productivity; value addition; investment in infrastructure; an enabling agribusiness environment; capital flows; and inclusivity, sustainability and effective nutrition. The Department leads the effort to transform African agricultural systems for greater competitiveness, inclusivity and sustainability, and for enhanced job creation and poverty reduction in Bank Group Regional Member Countries. Feed Africa’s many Flagships include the ENABLE Youth initiative, Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), Agropoles and Agro-Processing Zones, Post-harvest Loss Reduction and Agricultural Value Addition, Blue Economy, Risk Sharing and Finance Mechanisms (RSFM), and Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA).


The Senior Agriculture Economist Position will provide technical support to the development and implementation of projects including the flagship programs under the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy and High 5 vision for Africa’s economic transformation such as the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT), ENABLE Youth, Postharvest Loss Reduction, Staple Crops Processing Zones etc.

The Senior Agricultural Economist works across technical, geographic and institutional boundaries to support the delivery of development solutions for a diverse set of clients in the rural (and urban) space and in the public and private sectors, in line with the agricultural development, agribusiness and agro-industry agenda of the African Development Bank Group. Using a value-chain approach, the incumbent will support the implementation of this agenda in in Malawi, with specific focus on providing technical input for the design, and supervision of projects, which promote value chain development, value addition and primary and secondary processing of crops and livestock; catalyze private sector entry and growth in African agribusiness; promotes agri-SME growth and the commercialization of agriculture, particularly addressing access to finance needed to create farm to fork market linkages; facilitates the development of agro-poles and agro-processing hubs; supports the development of an agribusiness enabling environment; and invests in hard infrastructure (including roads, markets and irrigation), soft infrastructure (human capital, i.e., trained potential employees, ICT, etc.), and enabling policies and reforms, for transformation of African agriculture into viable, profitable businesses.


Under the direct supervision of the Sector Manager and administratively reporting to the Country Manager Malawi, the Senior Agricultural Economist will work with other Task Managers in AHAI, AHFR, other related Bank departments as well as, with external stakeholders, to further the agenda of Feed Africa in Malawi. Specifically, He/she will

  1. Undertake analytical work and provide technical guidance focusing on agriculture, water and agriculture infrastructure development, and advice on how to ensure sustainability of benefits of Bank-financed agricultural projects and programs in Malawi.
  2. Identify opportunities for strategic collaboration with multilateral and bilateral donors in support of the agriculture and water sector in Malawi to increase the advantage effects of ADB’s loan and grant operations.
  3. Support RDGS in all agriculture-related activities, including project development, implementation and supervision, and co-ordination with other stakeholders within the Bank as well as other donors and development partners.
  4. Contribute to the preparation of Country Strategy Papers, with particular reference to rural roads, water resources, and agriculture infrastructure development.
  5. Participate in the relevant sector donor-coordination meetings, sector wide approaches, and advise on sector policy issues.
  6. Assist where required in the development of the Bank’s policies, procedures and guidelines, and ensure their application.
  7. Provide expert advice and guidance to officials of executing agencies on sector issues and priorities, technical and operational aspects of projects, and Bank rules and procedures, including those for the procurement of works, goods and services, and disbursement activities.
  8. Provide active support to Government in facilitating loans/grants effectiveness.
  9. Assist country officials and implementing agencies in carrying out procurement and disbursement activities in accordance with Bank Group rules and procedures.
  10. Assist Government and implementation agencies in the utilization of revolving funds and preparation of quarterly reports and annual audit reports.
  11. Provide inputs in the review of tender evaluation reports and undertake the evaluation of technical and financial proposals for contracts relating to project implementation.
  12. Ascertain good performance of operations through regular supervision of portfolio operations, technical guidance and training of Borrowers on compliance with the Bank’s rules of procedure
  13. Collaborate with other Banks’ Units in reviewing the operations performance, preparing completion reports, etc., so as to ensure that the lessons drawn from the implementation of past operations are taken into account in new projects.
  14. Undertake any other duties as may be assigned by the sector manager.

COMPETENCIES  (skills, experience and knowledge) :

  1. Hold at least a Master’s degree in Agricultural Economics or related field;
  2. Have a minimum of five (5) years relevant professional experience in program/project design and management, broad knowledge of all Rural Infrastructure, Water/Agriculture sub-sectors, with specific experience in implementation and management of donor-funded projects in the rural infrastructure and irrigation sub-sector;
  3. Previous experience working in multilateral financial institutions or similar large organizations, and performing such roles as project preparing, appraising, supervising or implementing donor funded projects;
  4. Proven planning and organizational skills, with ability to think strategically and rapidly analyse and integrate diverse information from varied sources into conclusions and recommendations;
  5. In-depth knowledge of job-related social, economic and environmental development issues in the country;
  6. Proven ability to interact competently with Government and donor agencies on issues relating to aid coordination;
  7. Ability to communicate and write effectively in English. Good practical knowledge of French and other languages would be an advantage;
  8. Having private sector experience will be an added advantage;
  9. Ability to work in a team and work in a multicultural environment;
  10. Ability to work effectively in partnership with clients and seek feedback to improve work processes.
  11. Communicate verbally and write effectively in English or French, with a good working knowledge of the other language;
  12. Competences in the use of standard Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint); knowledge of SAP is desirable;




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