Wasafiri is Recruiting for a Senior Manager – Food Systems and Inclusive Growth


Senior Manager, Food Systems and Inclusive Growth

Location: Nairobi, Kenya, alternative locations may be considered

Salary: 40k-55k GBP depending on experience, plus package


Wasafiri is a consultancy and institute helping leaders and organisations tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges. Established in 2010 by four African and Western development professionals, we are a vibrant and growing organisation motivated by the opportunity to help leaders and institutions build a more effective response to a broad range of complex problems such as food systems, youth entrepreneurship, inequality, and economic development. The people of Wasafiri are brought together for their adventurous spirit, understanding of complex problems and track record of delivering change.


Agricultural transformation, food security and job creation, particularly for youth, are among the top political priorities for Africa’s leaders and their development partners. Wasafiri is determined to strengthen food systems and economic opportunities so that they can benefit the poorest globally and particularly in Africa. Wasafiri helps facilitate and structure such collaboration by:

  • Helping establish international and Africa-wide architecture and networks through which governments, companies, donors and civil society are collaborating on food systems;
  • Facilitating public-private partnerships within agricultural value chains and market systems that offer commercial and developmental returns;
  • Reviewing social impact investments and enabling peer learning and innovation on inclusive business models and partnerships;
  • Devising strategy taking account with complex environmental, social and economic goals.

We work with dynamic players globally and particularly in Africa to help them connect across the public, private and third sectors to advance their strategies. Our clients are diverse and influential, for instance the Gates Foundation, WWF, Yara, World Economic Forum, DAI and DFID.

Three examples of current Wasafiri work that you could be part of:

  • Yara and Econet Group approached Wasafiri to help them develop a new major initiative on youth entrepreneurship in the agri-food sector in Africa. We developed the partnership approach and engaged across Africa to formulate a strategic initiative ‘Generation Africa’ to guide the way forward. It was announced at Davos by Strive Masiyiwa and Svein Tore Holsether. In 2019, we expect Generation Africa to establish itself as a transformative movement bringing the dynamism and innovation of youth entrepreneurship into the continent’s food economy
  • Wasafiri conceived and facilitates a multi-stakeholder initiative to reduce extreme levels of poverty in Kenya, working to draw together the Government, major donors, and civil society. See graduation from poverty in Kenya
  • The World Wide Fund For Nature aims to find a strategic middle ground between growing small-holder income for farmers in value chains, while also protecting the environment. Wasafiri is co-creating with WWF their ‘Africa’s Food Futures Initiative’ in 2019


We are looking for a dynamic and engaging professional with a collaborative spirit capable of advancing our growing Food Systems and Inclusive Growth (FSIG) Portfolio.

The purpose of the role is to generate new opportunities and lead implementation of projects with high quality service delivery in the FSIG portfolio. The role will also contribute towards strategic planning and thought leadership to influence the sector. It will also strengthen our network of consultants and partners. Our desired profile includes some or all of the following:

  • Thematic: Food and agricultural systems, youth, entrepreneurship and economic inclusion.
  • Sectoral: Cross-sector experience. Public-private collaboration. Corporate sustainability. Social impact investment. International donors, NGOs and development partners.
  • Geographic: East Africa / Africa-wide.

The role reports to Alex Rees, Wasafiri’s Strategy and Portfolio Lead for Food Systems and Inclusive Growth. The role brings capacity to a small team working regularly with Alex and two of Wasafiri’s founders.


The value we add is directly dependent upon how well we design, manage and deliver projects for our clients. Every Wasafiri project is led by a Team Leader, and overseen by a Project Director. It is anticipated that this role will serve as Team Leader (TL) as well as directly delivering work for clients. Occasionally they may be Project Director (PD) for projects within the portfolio. Key responsibilities in these roles are likely to include:

  • Project leadership: Provide high quality team leadership, ensuring our contributions are best placed to effect meaningful change and respond to the client’s needs.
  • Strong client and institutional management: Engage with clients and their partners, ensuring a strong relationship and institutional engagement for overall project quality.
  • People and performance management: Establish and support a project team comprising a tailored team of consultants and specialists. Successful project delivery depends upon ensuring strong performance and relationship management at the heart of every team.
  • Technical direction: Provide technical direction and coaching support to the wider project team, helping where necessary with all aspects of project delivery.
  • Robust project and financial management: Coordinate the project, ensuring sound management of the workplan, finances, operations, risk and quality to deliver high quality outputs.


We wish to expand our support to organisations tackling complex problems, and the role has an important focus:

  • Strategic opportunities: Identify new business opportunities which add value to our portfolio, and in which Wasafiri can make a meaningful contribution to important and complex issues.
  • Proposal development: Lead and support proposal development processes. These responsibilities are likely to include working with clients to design projects; coordinating the proposal development process; establishing a high-quality delivery team; developing the financial structure for a successful project; and writing and presenting proposals



We are looking for the candidate to demonstrate a proven track record with the following essential professional skills and experience:

  • Excellent project management experience: Managing complex projects and initiatives, particularly in Africa, including related to risk and budget management.
  • Proven business and network development record: Identifying and securing new opportunities in fields related to the thematic and sectoral areas mentioned above. Underpinning this, the candidate will be able to bring an established network and articulate how this might be best used.
  • Strong and relevant technical experience: Strong technical skills relating to at least some of the following areas; proposal development, strategic planning, project design and management in at least some of the following thematic fields; agri-food systems, entrepreneurship, youth, governance, and social / economic inclusion of the poorest.
  • Proven team and people management skills: Demonstrate their experience in managing and working effectively with staff, consultants and institutional partners at several levels and in internationally based teams.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills: Strong interpersonal skills, English written, oral and presentational skills with different audiences.


The following are desirable skills and experience:

  • Consulting experience: Experience working within or with a commercial consultancy.
  • Living and working in East Africa: Ideally with the right to live and work in Kenya.
  • Language skills: Notably Swahili, French and Portuguese.


The successful candidate that will thrive with the role in Wasafiri will be able to describe the following style and approach with how they work:

  • Excited to be in an entrepreneurial, start-up environment: A willingness to be flexible in the role, do what it takes to get the job done; comfortable negotiating with senior clients, and willing to, when needed, get stuck in with basic tasks.
  • Proactivity and autonomy: Values collaboration, relationships and high-quality delivery. The role requires a proactive and collaborative style, and an ability to work independently.
  • Focused on client needs: Comfortable working directly with clients across all levels of seniority, curious to understand their issues and willing to challenge them to help create the best possible solutions; and capable of representing the organisations in different forums and with a wide variety of organisations.

A curiosity about Wasafiri’s complexity-based practice: A willingness to invest in, and be a champion of, Wasafiri’s approach to delivering change in complex systems including supporting thought leadership within Wasafiri and with consultants



We plan for the role to be full-time and based in Nairobi. Some travel may be required. For exceptional candidates Wasafiri might consider alternatives to these arrangements. Wasafiri also has offices in Brighton, UK and Asheville, USA.

Compensation & Benefits

The position comes with an attractive compensation package based on skills and experience. This will be a permanent position, with 3-month trial period and then annual review process to ensure performance and remuneration is acceptable to both parties. Salary is negotiable based on experience, broadly in the range GBP 40,000-55,000 p.a.

Recruitment Process

Submission: To apply for the post, please download and complete a (short) application form below and submit a max 3-page CV to  If you wish to discuss the role please contact Alex Rees

Closing date for applications: Midnight GMT Sunday 7th April 2019