AgTech Advisor


Number of Positions:
Contract Type:
Fixed Term/Full Time
Contract Details:
Working Hours:
35 Hours per week
Closing Date:
Job Category:
Business Area / Division:
Advisory - Africa
Business Unit:

Job Introduction

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is looking to hire an exceptional Advisor to lead the delivery of TBI’s agtech projects in Rwanda, as part of the wider organisation’s ambition to make a positive difference to the lives of people through highly impactful, technology-enabled development solutions. The role would start immediately and be based in Kigali, Rwanda.

Candidates should have experience and expertise across technology and government advisory, have a background in agriculture, agtech and ideally have previously worked on a successful agtech product rollout for either government or a notable private / public sector organisation.

The successful candidate will join a growing team focused on ‘technology for transformation’, leading the organisation’s agtech work in Rwanda while also working closely with TBI’s Tech for Development central team. They will need to facilitate engagement between the Government of Rwanda (GoR) and a variety of private and public sector stakeholders, to drive delivery of highly impactful agtech products, advising and supporting strategy, efficient development and product adoption.  In particular, the successful candidate will work closely with a technology service provider to ensure timely delivery of an open agricultural data and information system which meets the combined TBI and GoR requirements. 

This is an initial one year fixed term contract.

Key outcomes of the role

  • To work through the design and delivery of an open agricultural data and information system that will have a positive impact on smallholder farmers and wider agricultural stakeholders, while informing the Government of Rwanda and leading sector stakeholders
  • To support the wider partnership between the Government of Rwanda and TBI, through delivery of well scoped multi-year agtech transformation strategy and specific opportunities that will have a transformative impact on the lives of people in Rwanda’s agricultural sector
  • To explore further opportunities for impact through the delivery of agtech innovations in Rwanda

Key Responsibilities

In the immediate term, the key responsibilities are as follows:

  • Project manage the development of a farmer-facing agricultural data and information system plus stakeholder insights platform to interface with wider ag-system actors (government, agribusinesses, banks, donors, NGOs, etc.)
    • Give strategic input on product design, testing and delivery
    • Lead on engaging and building relationships with suitable project partners
    • Develop supporting documentation, including impact and sustainability plans
    • Lead on overall project management and accountability for outputs
  • Manage a diverse set of stakeholders from TBI, Government of Rwanda, technology providers and other sector relevant delivery partners (agribusinesses, banks, donors, NGOs, etc.)
  • Work closely with and quality assuring the work of technical teams to facilitate timely and relevant product delivery designed for users and to deliver on outcome targets
  • Regularly inform both TBI country-level and central colleagues of progress through reporting and engagement sessions and proactively escalating issues for further support as needed
  • Define and report success metrics to help evaluate the efficiency and impact of implemented solutions

The longer-term responsibilities of the role include management of adjacent agtech application delivery to support Government of Rwanda’s wider sector digital priorities.  This will involve:

  • Planning and Design: Working closely with TBI’s Tech for Development team (in consultation with Government of Rwanda) to design, maintain and continually improve country project plans and tools to roll out technology-enabled development solutions in Rwanda’s agriculture sector
  • Execution and Monitoring: Under the direction of the Country Head and Head of Tech in Rwanda, and close collaboration with TBI’s Tech for Development team, including the Head of AgTech,  Global Director of Tech for Development, the AgTech Advisor will review and maintain project goals, plans, proof points and KPIs, as well as drive delivery, ideate, troubleshoot and manage roll-out. Where relevant, they will ensure expenditure is utilised in line with budget with robust management accounts and accountability established. Ensure all necessary risk, legal and financial compliance and processes are followed 
  • Government Relations: Support the Country Head and Head of Tech in Rwanda to maintain effective and trusted relationships in government, in line with the country project strategy and positioning, and in service of the overall TBI mission
  • People: Support the recruitment and management of team staff, as required. The AgTech Advisor will be expected to develop strong working relationships with the TBI country team and with GoR counterparts and sector partners.
  • External Relations (non-governmental): Support the Country Head and Head of Tech in Rwanda to engage with relevant external stakeholders such as information and technology companies, private and public sector agricultural partners, and other relevant stakeholders in the delivery of these agtech innovations

Person Specification

We are looking for a senior project manager or advisor:

  • With experience in delivering impactful innovations and/or technology solutions on the continent
  • With experience managing technology vendors (recruitment, contracting, on-going management to delivery) preferred
  • With experience in East Africa’s agriculture and agtech sector, and farmer information systems / farmer-facing technology and associated back end (data processing and flows)
  • With a minimum of 5 years’ project management experience (product design and product management experience a plus)
  • Who commits to business objectives and pulls out the stops to make sure they are always met
  • With the ability to work under pressure, and to coordinate with teams and multi-disciplinary advisors
  • With strong communication skills
  • Who can work flexibly and be adaptable, open to changing approaches in response to changing situations on the ground
  • With understanding of Rwanda’s technology policy and regulatory landscape, and the discretion and judgment needed to navigate a complex environment
  • Fluency in English required

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.