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? Do you have experience of consulting or working in the e-commerce sector and leading teams to drive systemic and transformative change in an emerging or developing country? Do you thrive on driving the end-to-end delivery of transformative projects? If so, we want to hear from you.
The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is scaling up its support to multiple governments in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia to accelerate reforms and progress, through better delivery support, technology and private sector engagement. Focused on supporting TBI’s growing e-commerce portfolio as part of its Tech for Development (T4D) programme across Africa, the post holder will join a fast-growing team supporting these efforts across the sector, reporting to the East Africa Regional Director.
Working closely with Heads of Tech across East Africa and the Africa Advisory sector practices (including industrialisation, agriculture and investment), the role will involve supporting efforts across the region to scope, develop, implement and monitor e-commerce initiatives as part of TBI’s holistic offering. The Advisor will play a lead role in structuring and designing TBI’s e-commerce offering and partnerships.
Bringing substantial sector expertise the post-holder will help develop strong relationships with key private and public stakeholders, including the East African Community (EAC), undertake landscape and feasibility assessments, and support the development and implementation of e-commerce interventions. Collaborating with teams across East Africa, the E-Commerce Advisor will be based in Arusha or Nairobi, but expected to travel across the region. Reporting to the East Africa Regional Director, with matrixed reporting to TBI’s head of E-gov, the role will play a pivotal role building synergies across TBI’s East Africa regional and country level work.
Working closely with Heads of Tech and existing country teams, as well as EAC, the E-Commerce Advisor is expected to assess key elements of existing digital economy ecosystems, make recommendations on areas of intervention, and provide expert input for delivery. Responsibilities will vary depending on country, but will include:
- T4D E-Commerce Scoping: In countries where TBI is not currently involved in the sector, but governments have identified e-commerce as an area of priority, establish a preliminary list of transformative opportunities in line with government and presidential priorities and transformation agenda, and in line with TBI’s T4D Strategic Framework. Where relevant, conduct SWOT analyses of existing initiatives, as well as current players in the sector and areas of implementation.
- Feasibility Assessments: Assess short- and long-term feasibility of identified e-commerce opportunities, taking into account TBI’s T4D value proposition and considerations including infrastructure, skills, policy and regulatory frameworks, funding and other enabling factors for the successful rollout of each opportunity.
- Partnership Identification: Identify partnership opportunities with stakeholders with capacity to support product/solution development, infrastructure establishment or enabling factors around scoped digital economy opportunities. Develop relationships with key partners, with a specific focus on national and regional actors.
- Initiative Proposal and Delivery Plan: Based on the identified opportunities, work with country teams to develop initiative delivery plans, including high level timelines for implementation, milestones, as well as risks and challenges to implementation.
- Implementation: Provide technical expertise to East African regional and national e-commerce initiatives, including where relevant assessments of legislative and policy frameworks, evaluation of hard and soft infrastructure, and human capital development.
- Recruitment: Support Country Heads and Heads of Tech with the recruitment of required technical and programme management expertise to support delivery.
- Reporting: Regularly inform TBI country-level and central T4D colleagues of progress through reporting and engagement sessions, and proactively escalate issues for further support as needed.
- One TBI: Working with TBI teams across East Africa, the post holder will be responsible for ensuring synergies between regional level and country level work, ensuring a joined up approach is taken, and maximising the benefits that can be leveraged through greater alignment of e-commerce initiatives across the region.
The successful candidate must demonstrate a good understanding of the e-commerce/digital economy ecosystem and digital transformation space in Sub-Saharan Africa countries. Prior work with the Governments in the region is highly desirable. Additional skills and competencies required include:
- Experience of working with governments or the private sector on the digital economy
- Expertise in issues relating to e-commerce and the digital economy, notably around interoperable digital-payment systems, consumer protections, e-commerce policy and regulatory frameworks, private sector development or data protection
- Prior experience working on digitisation programmes/projects in emerging markets, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa is highly desirable
- Experience of comprehensive engagement with public and private sector stakeholders to support programme delivery
- Ability to present information in a concise, insightful and structured manner, in written and oral form
- Problem-solving and analytical skills, including sound knowledge of data analysis, strategic planning, and project management practices
- Experience in analytical and research studies in the state sector, within public reforms, national and investment projects
- Experience in development and/or implementation of risk management/matrix frameworks
- Ability to coordinate with team members across multiple locations, and develop relationships with multi-disciplinary advisors
- High quality communication, drafting and presentational skills
- Excellent relationship building and management skills, including the ability to navigate complex political environments
- Fluency in English (oral and written). Fluency in regional languages desirable
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:
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.
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.