International Finance Corporation: Operations Officer – Lighting Africa

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets.

Job Title: Operations Officer – Lighting Africa, Lagos

Job Description

Background / General description

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group, pursues its mission of creating opportunities for people to escape poverty by promoting private sector development through investment and advisory services. IFC’s Sustainable Business Advisory (SBA) Business Line works with firms in manufacturing, agribusiness, services, and infrastructure to contribute to the creation of inclusive, environmentally sustainable, and efficient markets in developing countries. Across six regional teams, Clean Energy Specialists within the Business Line work to increase investment flows into clean energy by demonstrating the commercial viability of and removing specific barriers to the scale-up of renewable energy technologies that reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions and increase access to modern energy services for the poor.

In support of IFC’s growing commitment in this area, we are seeking an Operations Officer for a key position in Nigeria, in relation to the expansion of the Lighting Africa program.

Lighting Africa ( works to reduce market barriers for the private sector to reach and provide modern lighting to 250 million people in Africa without electricity by 2030. This is in support of achieving the energy access Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with an emphasis on clean energy solutions. Lighting Africa is currently finalizing its pilot phase undertaken in Kenya and Ghana, and wishes to replicate its activities throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.

Africa faces deep development challenges and the lack of access to reliable energy sources makes these challenges even more daunting. Currently, about 587 million in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) lack access to electricity. Africa’s growing un-electrified households and businesses are estimated to spend annually US$10 billion on low quality fuel-based lighting such as kerosene and candles. Fuel-based lighting is expensive, inefficient, hazardous, and pollutes the environment. Poor quality light negatively affects health, hinders the development of small and medium enterprises, and impedes learning in schools and homes.
There are alternatives to fossil fuel-based lighting. Recent technological advances in compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) and in particular light emitting diodes (LED) promise clean, durable, and high-quality lighting as a solution for those who are not yet connected to the electrical grid.

The Lighting Africa program works with lighting product manufacturers, distributors, consumers, financial institutions, development partners, and governments to help build a market for reliable lighting products.

Duties and Accountabilities

The Operations Officer will be in charge of leading the implementation of Lighting Africa in Nigeria, all the way from designing the specific services provided by the program to managing its implementation with clients at the company, sector and policy levels. Specifically, the responsibilities will include:

1.Business Development and Advisory to off-grid lighting and mini-grid companies

As part of the Lighting Africa team, the Operations Officer will provide advisory services aimed at catalyzing commercial markets for clean energy products and services in Nigeria by operating at the firm, sector and policy levels. S/he will oversee a small team of third party consultants to work with equipment manufacturers, distribution companies, financial institutions, etc. to build replicable business models for lighting in off-grid markets in Nigeria. In particular, s/he will identify and support companies with direct advisory and business development support to off-grid industry stakeholders to promote and scale up high potential business models. The country officer will also manage market intelligence production – the analysis cycle from content design to review and quality control of the final publications, as well as also oversee final report production and dissemination where required.

2. Engagement with stakeholders

Continuously update and keep the industry stakeholders in the country abreast of the activities of Lighting Africa, leveraging IFC colleagues who have client relationships with the stakeholders. The key stakeholders include:
•Ministry of Energy officials [may also involve Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development ]
•Off-grid lighting companies (as relevant) and sector players
•Distribution and supply chain partners
•Financial institutions
•Associations representing the renewable energy sector in general and relevant standard bureaus
•Other IFC internal divisions, World Bank Group and other stakeholders as required

3. Reporting

Responsible for reporting on project progress, budgets and M&E to IFC management and donors, e.g. through IFC’s project supervision reporting system, donor reports, etc. as required.

4. Measurement & Evaluation

Set up tools to monitor and track the program performance in line with the log-frame.
-Manage individual projects as the Task Team Leader ensuring timely execution and completion of Management Information System reporting requirements. The successful candidate will have volume and development impact targets defined by the Clean Energy Team Leader.

5. Other Responsibilities

•Draft TORs, hire and manage third party consultants to execute projects
•Depending on the development of the project, additional tasks will be discussed with the candidate and added or removed in line with the scope of responsibilities.

6. Coordination

The Operations Officer will report to the Lighting Africa Regional Program Manager based in Nigeria. In addition, s/he will also coordinate with the Global Clean Energy Specialists who oversee IFC’s global clean energy program portfolio and with the Lighting Africa team in Nairobi, as well as the Infrastructure Investment cluster team leader.

Selection Criteria

The successful candidate will be a determined and perseverant “go-getter”, with a positive attitude, dedication to excellence, patience for detail and the ability to translate detailed information into broad strategy and back into individual work-plans or actions. While s/he would need to be able to work independently and take initiative, s/he would have to be a strong team player, able to take leadership as well as supporting roles. S/he will need to handle a variety of activities concurrently in a high-pressure environment and deliver consistently. Must be open-minded, able to work in a fast-paced and multicultural environment and used to exploring links between fields, disciplines and people that would not usually be related. S/he encourages innovation and knowledge sharing in an open, team-based environment; creates an environment conducive to teamwork, continuous learning and innovation; s/he builds alliances and promotes open communication and collaboration to achieve joint objectives.

Specifically, the successful candidate will have a combination of the following skills and qualifications:

•Masters level education in business, engineering, finance, economics, or related subject.
•6+ years of hands-on commercial sales/marketing or business development or managing complex programs and delivering results.
•Experience with supporting new technology ventures, SMEs or Base of the Pyramid business and marketing, ideally in Nigeria.
•Experience with projects in or that interface with the private sector a must.
•Successful experience managing relationships, resolving differences, and achieving successful outcomes among multiple and diverse set of stakeholders.
•Dynamic individual committed to and motivated by promoting economic and social development by supporting the growth of private sector companies and new markets in the clean energy space
•Strong communication and negotiation skills and ability to represent the program at senior levels for an audience of companies and government representatives.
•Experience with clean energy technologies and markets would be an advantage
•Excellent written and spoken English a must, other languages a plus
•Ability to synthesize multiple/complex messages and to identify appropriate key points for different audiences.

Women are strongly encouraged to apply.

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