Innovation Ecosystem and E-Commerce Advisor

tbigc/TP/53380/609 #LI-NM1

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Tomorrow Partnership
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Tomorrow Partnership
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Focus of the Role

Are you excited by the prospect of being involved in initiatives that leverage the application of technology and innovation for sustainable development? Do you have experience of consulting or working on innovation and e-commerce, leading teams to drive systemic and transformative change in an emerging economy?  Do you thrive on driving the end-to-end delivery of transformative projects by the public sector?  If yes, we want to hear from you!

Scaling up support to governments in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia, the Tony Blair Institute’s Tomorrow Partnership works with political leaders and governments to bring tech and digital solutions to their biggest challenges, because we believe tomorrow will belong to those who responsibly harness the power of technology for the good of all people, and to leave no one behind.

Through The Tomorrow Partnership, we broker strategic partnerships between governments and leading tech organisations and innovators to help foster environments that enable tech to deliver practical change in people’s lives.

Job Introduction

As part of the Tomorrow Partnership programme in Rwanda we are looking for an experienced Innovation Ecosystems and eCommerce Advisor to join a fast-growing team working in the Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICT) to deliver on Rwanda’s ambitions in this space.  

Working under the Senior Head of Tech in Rwanda, and working with the Director General Innovation at MINICT, this role will interface with senior ministry and implementing agency leadership, and leverage knowledge from across the Institute, to support MINICT’s efforts in advisory, scoping, developing, implementing and monitoring interventions that reposition Rwanda’s innovation and eCommerce ecosystems to deliver the full potential they hold.

The successful post-holder will develop strong relationships with key private and public stakeholders, undertake landscape and feasibility assessments, and support the development and implementation of interventions in Rwanda.

The role will also contribute to the structuring and designing of TBI’s e-commerce and innovation offering and partnerships, and engage with TBI’s teams in Africa to ensure a regionally coherent approach on TBI offers from the regional TBI team.

Key outcomes of the assignment

  • Working under the guidance of MINICT, help drive forward ministry-led initiatives related to meeting Rwanda’s ambitions for the innovation ecosystem and eCommerce, including the design, negotiation and implementation of partnerships
  • Working with colleagues in TBI’s Tech Public Policy team, support the roll out and development of the “fostering tech ecosystem” work-stream, seeking to unlock the catalytic potential of start-ups
  • Identify and develop partnerships with key international, regional and national sector stakeholders across East Africa, including tech providers, innovators, funders and governments, for the benefit of initiatives engaged with or leading on in Rwanda

The position is full-time, with a minimum duration of 12 months and based in Kigali, Rwanda and starts as soon as possible on the identification of a suitable candidate.  Relocation assistance may be provided for the successful candidate if required.

Key Responsibilities

Reporting to the Senior Head of Tech in Rwanda, the Innovation Ecosystem and eCommerce Advisor will work closely with the MINICT’s leadership to advise, make recommendations on, and provide expert input for delivery of initiatives in the innovation ecosystem and eCommerce space.

Specifically, the post-holder will take a lead coordinating and implementing role for #RwandaInnovates, a ministry-led initiative for coordinating Rwanda’s innovation ecosystem to create market-creating innovations in a consistent and sustainable way. The post-holder will also support Rwanda’s efforts on taking the National Post Office to the next level (NPO 2.0) including positiong the same as a regional logistics and eCommerce hub.

The post holder will also engage and coordinate with other TBI Advisors on support to the Government of Rwanda in innovation ecosystems and eCommerce to ensure complementarity of efforts and alignment of goals, with a focus on the innovation ecosystem work supported by TBI in the Rwanda Development Board, TBI-supported work with Katapult in MINAGRI, support to the investment ecosystem at the Rwanda Finance Limited, and support on Made in Rwanda (MiR), as well as government eCommerce partnerships at the Rwanda Development Board.

Responsibilities covering the above will include:

  • Scoping: Identifying transformative opportunities in line with government and presidential priorities and Rwanda’s transformation agenda, and in line with TBI’s Tomorrow Partnership Strategic Framework. Where relevant, conduct scoping exercises of initiatives, as well as current players in the sector and areas of implementation to help in aligning the same to meet government objectives.


  • Feasibility Assessments: Assessing short- and long-term feasibility of identified innovation ecosystem and eCommerce opportunities, taking into account Rwanda’s infrastructure, skills, policy and regulatory frameworks, funding and other enabling factors for the successful rollout of each opportunity.


  • Partnership Identification: Identifying and pursuing partnership opportunities with stakeholders having the capacity to support product/solution development, infrastructure establishment or enabling factors around scoped opportunities, with a specific focus on national and regional actors. 


  • Initiative Proposal and Delivery Plan: Based on the identified opportunities, work with MINICT to develop initiative delivery plans, including timelines for implementation, milestones, as well as risks and challenges to implementation.


  • Implementation: Provide technical expertise to MINICT and other relevant stakeholders on innovation and eCommerce initiatives, including relevant assessments of legislative and policy frameworks, evaluation of hard and soft infrastructure, and human capital development.


  • One TBI: Working with TBI teams across East Africa, including the East Africa Regional eCommerce Advisor, the post holder will support efforts to build 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 initiatives across the region.

Person Specification

The successful candidate must demonstrate a good understanding of innovation, eCommerce and digital economy ecosystems. Prior work with the Government of Rwanda would be a significant advantage.

Additional skills and competencies required include:

  • Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, Information Technology or other relevant areas, preferably with specialization/expertise in eCommerce development, innovation ecosystem development, strategy development, or technology  essential; additional professional qualifications an asset
  • Significant experience in providing strategic advice and development of public development policies and/or strategies; of which 2 years specifically in areas related to working with governments or the private sector on innovation ecosystems and the digital economy
  • Expertise in issues relating to eCommerce and the digital economy, notably around  ensuring innovation ecosystems produce high quality investable deal flow, managing start-up funding and events, aligning private innovation for public sector digital transformation, eCommerce policy and regulatory frameworks, private sector development, and data privacy and protection
  • Experience of comprehensive engagement with public and private sector stakeholders to support programme design and delivery
  • Ability to present information in a concise, insightful and structured manner, in written and oral form, and having problem-solving and analytical skills, including sound knowledge of strategic planning, risk management, and project management practices, and fluency in English (oral and written)
  • Ability to coordinate with team members across multiple locations, and to develop relationships with multi-disciplinary advisors, including the ability to navigate complex political environments

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.