Head of Tech, Sierra Leone & The Gambia


Number of Positions:
Contract Type:
Fixed Term/Full Time
Contract Details:
12 month fixed term contract
Salary Competitive
Working Hours:
Accra (Ghana), or Freetown (Sierra Leone)
Closing Date:
Job Category:
Business Area / Division:
Tomorrow Partnership
Business Unit:

Focus of the Role

Are you excited by the prospect of transforming developing and emerging nations in Africa through the application of technology and innovations across public services, agriculture and health? Do you have experience of consulting or working in the tech field and of leading teams to drive systemic and transformative change in an emerging economy? Are you excited by opportunities to travel to, and work across, multiple countries on similar efforts? If yes, then we are looking for you!

The Head of Tech – Sierra Leone and The Gambia position is a key role enabling the effective implementation of the Tech for Development Programmes in West Africa, starting with The Gambia and Sierra Leone. Responsible for overseeing the T4D programme in each country, the role will support the scoping, framing, roll-out and scaling of Tech for Development initiatives in The Gambia and Sierra Leone, and jump in as necessary to support Tech for Development efforts in the West African region.

Job Introduction

Enabled by a dynamic external partner, the Tech for Development programme operates in close coordination with TBI’s Government Advisory and Tech & Public Policy divisions, exploring transformational initiatives across existing and new government partnerships. This landmark initiative will be delivered in 30 countries, with preliminary initiatives in The Gambia and Sierra Leone already being explored.

Working closely with advisory teams embedded in both The Gambia and Sierra Leone delivering respective government priorities, the role provides an exciting opportunity to work with relevant ministries and partners to implement a new element to our partnership, focusing on the application of technologies to deliver transformative outcomes.

Reporting to the Regional Director, Anglophone West Africa and TBI’s Deputy Global Director Tech for Development, the post holder will drive both countries’ Tech for Development programmes, leading T4D teams based in Banjul and Freetown. The post holder will also work closely with TBI’s Global Director, Tech for Development and broader team to deliver our global plan.

This is a senior role requiring an exceptional candidate with relevant expertise and professional networks. The role would ideally be based in Accra or Freetown, allowing for travel between Sierra Leone and Banjul and for developing strong networks in the region.  There is also potential for this role to provide expertise and inputs to wider T4D programming in the region. Networks with government and/or industry in The Gambia, Sierra Leone and/or other peer countries would be an added advantage.

Key outcomes of the role

  • Establishing effective and trusted relationships with senior governmental interlocutors, including consolidating an anchor relationship with one or more ministerial counterparts as regular contact;
  • Development and delivery of our Tech for Development country programme strategy, created and staffed with engaged and results oriented team members; 
  • Tangible results delivered in tech for development, such as deployment of solutions addressing the current pandemic response and broader improvements in digital health systems, high quality transformational advice on digital policy and regulatory frameworks, initiatives to improve the efficacy of public service delivery through digital government services, and efforts to support the role out of digital IDs; 
  • Thought leadership recognised in country/regionally/globally and contribution to our tech for development global offer and playbook; and
  • Expenditure in line with budget.

Key Responsibilities

  • Strategy and Planning: Design, maintain and continually improve: (i) both countries’ strategies for tech for development; and (ii) plans and tools to roll out the strategy across tech domains, within one ministry or across government.
  • Government Relations: Establish effective and trusted relationships with senior officials in government, such as ministerial and Presidential advisers, senior officials, heads of agencies, partner organisation representatives (e.g. development finance institutions, implementing partners, private sector). Secure mandates with at least one key counterpart as regular contact, in service of our mission to support political leaders to achieve results that benefit the people of the country and in service of our tech for development initiative.
  • Execution and Monitoring: Establish, review and maintain project goals, plans, proof points and KPIs. As the focal point for tech transformation in country, be responsible for project and output quality control and design tools to support execution. Report and engage with Country Heads in The Gambia and Sierra Leone, and the Global Director Tech for Development and team to drive delivery, ideate, troubleshoot and manage the initiative across TBI. 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 in place. 
  • People: Recruit, manage and develop a T4D team for both countries, to report to the respective Country Heads; and shape and embody a culture that drives innovation and delivery. Provide quality control of new hires and ongoing development and mentoring. The post holder and his/her team will be expected to play a key role in the broader community at TBI and will be expected to build strong working relationships.
  • External Relations (non-governmental): Engage with relevant external stakeholders such as tech hubs/incubators, investors, other not for profit organisations, donor agencies, media, suppliers and agencies.
  • Flexible Management: Supervise the design and deployment of Tech for Development initiatives in  both The Gambia and Sierra Leone, travelling as needed for the successful execution of the role. The post holder will also intermittently support other country teams in West Africa in the execution of their Tech for Development initiatives.
  • One TBI: The post holder will formally report to the Regional Director, Anglophone West Africa and be integrated into the wider country teams in The Gambia and Sierra Leone. They will be matrixed on deliverables, working closely with the Country Heads for The Gambia and Sierra Leone and the Deputy Global Director, Tech for Development. Other key relationships will be with the Executive Directors for External Relations, Government Advisory, Tech & Public Policy, and our Legal, HR and Finance support teams.

Person Specification

We are looking for an experienced leader:

  • With experience in business operations, technology, consulting or advisory functions and demonstrable experience in technology enterprises or programmes;
  • With a minimum of 12+  years’ experience in management consulting or government advisory, preferably with the majority focussed on technology and digital sectors;
  • With a strong understanding of, and ability to navigate, the Gambian and/or Sierra Leonian ICT eco-system and Government machinery, their structures and operating environment;
  • With proven management skills and the ability to build and inspire teams to achieve exceptional objectives;
  • Who is a communicator and influencer, from board level through to technical level and is adept at managing up and beyond hierarchy;
  • Who has experience working or consulting in developing and emerging economies;
  • Who is sensitive to a diverse range of cultural and regional norms, able to foster a positive spirit of collaboration between our countries and our tech transformation offer;
  • Who is open to regional travel;
  • With a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree or equivalent practical experience.

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 Government Advisory teams work directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It works with a variety of partners and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia.

 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.