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Project Manager - Cowpea at the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF)

Posted on Fri 29th Oct, 2021 - --- (0 comments)

The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) is an international not-for-profit organisation that facilitates and promotes public/private partnerships for food security and enhanced livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. AATF works with African governments, private and public technology owners and developers, NGOs, seed companies and African farmers to identify and access technologies that address farmers’ key problems and empower them through availability of a choice of agricultural innovations that generate wealth and health for their families and communities. AATF is a registered charity under the laws of England and Wales and has host country status with the Governments of Kenya and Nigeria. The Foundation depends on the ongoing support and collaboration of different partners and investors to meet its objectives.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Project Manager - Cowpea

Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Recruitment: International recruitment
Reports to: Director Programme and Commercialization (PDC)

The Role

  • AATF is developing and commercialising insect resistant cowpea varieties in West Africa and is seeking to recruit an experienced Project Manager to lead the cowpea project.
  • Based in Nigeria, the Project Manager in collaboration with national partners will oversee development, testing, scaling and commercialisation of improved insect resistant cowpea for smallholder farmers, and be responsible for the overall implementation of the Cowpea Project in West Africa as defined by the project scope and in conformity with the guidelines and procedures established by AATF.
  • The Manager will have direct supervision of project staff and will have responsibility for the performance of partner countries and project contractors.


  • Lead product development to introgress biotech trait into farmer preferred cowpea varieties and drive gene stacking for the development of advanced cowpea products
  • Manage technology transfer, adoption and commercialization of biotech cowpea products in project countries
  • Work closely with the AATF Regulatory Unit to develop and implement the regulatory strategy for the Cowpea Project
  • Plan all regulated field activities of the project, including the acquisition of all necessary permits for regulated field activities in close with support of the AATF Regulatory Unit
  • Manage the development of the bio-safety assessment and regulatory submissions for environmental release of insect protected cowpea
  • Work with the AATF Regulatory Unit to train project partners in bio-safety and regulatory requirements
  • Work with the AATF stewardship team to develop, monitor and implement PBR Cowpea stewardship plan for sustainable use of the technology by farmers
  • Work with the AATF communication team to develop and implement a strategy for improved public knowledge and understanding of biotech cowpea technology and products
  • Represent AATF in Nigeria, coordinate and supervise all AATF activities in Nigeria and West Africa partner countries.
  • Develop data repository for the project and facilitate the analysis of project data
  • Coordinate the product development and deployment activities with the national research partners in the region.
  • Ensure that annual activity programs are implemented in conformity with the set procedures
  • Give instructions and guidelines relating to the administrative, technical and financial orientation with the view of achieving the objectives of the project and set result (technical, quality, deadlines) indicators
  • Establish an information dissemination and management system to ensure an effective monitoring of project implementation and maintain the archives of the Project
  • Carry out missions in the project area and the partner countries to supervise, monitor and counsel the national components.
  • Implement recommendations made either by AATF or partners in consultation with the Director Programme Development and Commercialisation or the Executive Director
  • Prepare project technical and financial documents including annual workplan, budget, progress reports, and manuscripts for publications in international journals.
  • Identify issues/risks and provide advice on project progression
  • Manage project staff, activities and consultants to be recruited (if any)
  • Effectively liaise with AATF investors, institutions, research institutions, NARS for execution of project activities
  • Acts as AATF sub-regional representative in West Africa including providing support for resource mobilization functions.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Education: PhD Degree ideally in Plant Genetic Engineering, Plant Breeding / Molecular Genetics, or Entomology (with biotechnology background), or related subject
  • Ten (10) years minimum of practical experience in plant breeding and genetics, agronomy, or entomology and familiarity with African farming systems.
  • Strong technical background in plant genetic engineering.
  • Hands on knowledge and practical experience of regulatory issues associated with new technologies of genetic improvement of food crops.
  • Knowledge of regulatory and bio-safety issues associated with GM technology
  • Extensive experience in deployment, innovation management and commercialization of technologies/products
  • Fluency in written and spoken English. A working knowledge of French would be an added advantage.

Candidate Profile

  • Strong leadership skills to foster teamwork, develop and motivate staff, resolve conflicts as well as the ability to provide direction, guidance, momentum and vision in order to achieve organisational objectives
  • Strong communication and presentation skills including the ability to develop proposals, concept papers, position papers as well as write reports and prepare relevant publications
  • Good knowledge and experience in demand-led product development and deployment
  • Broad knowledge of resource mobilization trends at national, regional and international levels
  • High level of interpersonal and cross-cultural skills including ability to build alliances and collaborative relationships with sensitivity to diversity including gender.
  • Strong expertise in strategic management, project planning and budgeting, implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation
  • Proficiency in computer applications such as word processing, data base, spreadsheets, statistical software for data analysis, project management software, accounting packages, email, internet and the workflow process as well as PowerPoint presentations.
  • Ability to build and sustain relationships with key constituents (donors, research institutions, NARS, government institutions, private sector, etc
  • Ability to develop and implement performance management systems, giving candid performance feedback, rewarding desirable behaviours and providing support to professional development efforts linked to strategic objectives
  • Ability to empower staff by removing obstacles hindering the achievement of strategic objectives, focusing on results and delivering what is promised, on time and within budget
  • Ability to maintain high standards of integrity; establish straightforward, productive relationships; treating individuals with fairness and respect, demonstrating sensitivity for ethnic, cultural and gender differences.

Competitive international package.

Application Closing Date
6th December, 2021.

Interview Date
December, 2021 - January, 2022.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Note: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.


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