Chief Operating Officer job post at Aceli Africa

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Aceli Africa

Aceli Africa

Job Description

Job Category:
Management jobs in Uganda
Job Location:
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Job Details

About Aceli Africa:

Aceli Africa (Aceli) is a market incentive facility to mobilize over $1.5 billion in private sector lending for agricultural SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2029. To achieve this goal, Aceli offers incentives to share in the risk and boost the returns for loans ranging from USD $25K-$1.75M to high-impact agricultural SMEs. Financial incentives are:

1. Data-driven based on an original dataset of 22k loans totaling $4.4B that Aceli has gathered and analyzed in collaboration with Dalberg Advisors.

2. Impact-aligned to reward capital additionality and impact objectives related to improved livelihoods for smallholder farmers and enterprise employees, economic opportunities for women and youth, food security & nutrition for African consumers, and climate and environment.

3. Market-level to engage a mix of commercial banks, impact investors, and alternative lenders that collectively offer a range of financial products in a competitive financial market.

Alongside financial incentives and capacity building for lenders on the capital supply side, Aceli also expands addressable demand by partnering with technical assistance providers to prepare high-potential SMEs to qualify for and manage financing. Aceli is designed as a demonstration model with two-fold objectives: 1) catalyze a more competitive lending market for agricultural SMEs with incentive levels reducing over time; and 2) build an evidence base and influence adoption of enabling policies by African governments to promote investment in agricultural SMEs.

Aceli launched in September 2020 and is partnering with 30 lenders, including many of the leading banks and non-bank lenders in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. To date, Aceli has secured $62M from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IKEA Foundation, Swiss Development Corporation, UK FCDO, and USAID. Additional funding partnerships are in process, and donor funds have mobilized private sector capital at a leverage ratio of 12X.

Looking ahead:

Aceli has successfully navigated a start-up phase (design, resource mobilization, launch) and proof of concept across four countries. With a talented team in place, 80% of the baseline budget through 2025 already committed, momentum building with lenders and other partners in the initial focus countries, and numerous opportunities to expand geographically or into market adjacencies, Aceli is now entering a new phase. We are seeking an East African-based Chief Operating Officer (COO) to partner with the US-based CEO and Africa-based Leadership Team in: defining Aceli’s strategic growth priorities; managing annual planning, budgeting, and performance management; adapting reporting lines, making key hires, formalizing investments in People & Culture, and building the systems and processes to enable the next phase of growth; supporting Aceli’s capable programmatic leads in scaling up their respective portfolios; and representing Aceli with key stakeholders.

Job Responsibilities:

Reporting to the CEO, the COO will have the following responsibilities:

Operational execution

1. Lead and actively manage the design and build-out of Aceli’s products and operating systems and processes to deliver an increasing volume at Aceli’s standard of excellence

2. Oversee annual work planning and budgeting aligned with strategic priorities

3. Lead performance management to balance accountability with flexibility through monthly, quarterly, and annual reviews

4. Support the CEO in donor cultivation and stewardship and supervise donor reporting

Organizational development

1. Supervise and support Aceli’s programmatic leads in expanding their respective portfolios

2. Champion and oversee the formalization of an approach to People & Culture that attracts, retains, and grows a high-performing team

3. Ensure that HR policies and procedures are designed and implemented to deliver on the People & Culture objectives and facilitate a best-in-class working environment

4. Support the CEO in determining the most appropriate corporate structure to enable Aceli’s long-term objectives as we graduate from proof of concept stage

Strategic planning

1. Work closely with the CEO and Leadership Team to define and articulate Aceli’s growth strategy. Strategic decision points include: how to balance going deeper in Aceli’s current focus countries and market (mobilizing loans for agricultural SMEs) with expansion into new geographies in Africa and beyond (by replication and/or a franchise or network model) as well as into market adjacencies.

External representation

1. Support programmatic leads in engaging senior leaders from Aceli’s current and prospective partners, including commercial banks, government officials, industry alliances, development finance institutions, and international donors

2. Serve as a spokesperson who can communicate Aceli’s evolving strategic priorities with the Aceli board, team, and external stakeholders


Embody Aceli’s core values:

1. Driven by impact – We design solutions for agricultural SME finance to grow prosperity for farmers and workers in harmony with nature.

2. Diligent stewards – We safeguard the resources and information that we manage to honor the trust that our partners have placed in us.

3. Evidence based – We practice data-driven approaches to mobilize capital flows for impact at scale.

4. Market builders – We promote competition to meet the range of financing needs among agri-SMEs and strengthen market resilience.

5. Partners in change – We forge relationships and facilitate collective action with a diverse set of stakeholders to drive systemic change.

Required qualification and experience:

1. Dynamic leader with a track record running a fast-paced, growing organization or office in agricultural finance or a related field;

2. Demonstrated ability translating strategic priorities into systems and processes (e.g., work planning, project management, reporting, budgeting) to drive excellent performance;

3. Commitment to creating a best-in-class work environment, including experience designing and implementing a People & Culture strategy and developing multicultural teams operating across several countries;

4. Knowledgeable about the agricultural finance market in Africa, including the relevant financial institutions, ecosystem actors, and policy environment;

5. Proven communicator adept at engaging a wide range of stakeholders;

6. Passion for applying financial and business acumen for development impact in Africa; and

7. Minimum of 15 years relevant professional experience.

Application Process

Interested and Qualified, Click Apply

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