Lead Agriculture Economist at World Bank Group

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Job Detail

  • Job ID 6103
  • Experience 12 Years
  • Gender Male or Famele
  • Qualifications MBA/MSc/MA

Job Description

The World Bank Group – Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2018, the WBG committed $67 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $24 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188-member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Lead Agriculture Economist

Job No.: req12213
Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Organization: World Bank
Sector: Agribusiness
Grade: GH
Term Duration: 4 years 0 months
Recruitment Type: International Recruitment
Required Language(s): English
Preferred Language(s): French


  • Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges.  For more information, visit www.worldbank.org.

Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region

  • We need the best and brightest talent focused on Sub-Saharan African countries in order to harness the potential and innovation happening across the continent.
  • Africa is a continent on the move, with a young population and a growing market of nearly 1.2bn people. We are committed to making the Africa regional teams into leading innovation hubs.
  • Yet, these vast opportunities are tempered by persistent gaps in education, health, and skills, which have Africa only reaching forty percent of its estimated potential.
  • Moreover, conflict, food insecurity, population growth, and the disruptive forces of climate change threaten to curtail or even reverse the progress that has been made over the past decades.
  • In West and Central Africa, the World Bank is a leading partner with a growing portfolio of 350 projects totaling more than $38 billion in areas such as agriculture, trade and transport, energy, education, health, water and sanitation- all to support job creation, gender equality, poverty reduction, and better lives.
  • Across the continent, the World Bank’s program has nearly doubled over the last 10 years. By 2030, about 87% of the world’s extreme poor are projected to live in Sub-Saharan Africa, so this is where our mission to end extreme poverty and to promote shared prosperity will be achieved.
  • Are you ready to make an impact? We are looking for dedicated professionals to join our innovative and diverse team to improve people’s lives and help countries build back better after COVID.
  • Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region:https://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/western-and-central-africa
  • Agriculture is an essential pathway to meeting the World Bank Group’s (WBG) twin goals—eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity. Food production must increase by at least 35 percent to meet the needs of the rising global population.
  • Thus, ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity cannot be achieved without more and better investment in agriculture, food security, and nutrition. Meeting today’s challenges on the food and agriculture agenda will require major strides in agricultural innovation and climate smart agriculture, efficiency in food production and distribution systems, promoting environmentally and socially sustainable production practices, strengthening agricultural policy and institutions, supporting agribusiness value chains, and joint private and public sector action.
  • The Agriculture and Food Global Practice (GP) of the WBG, working closely with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), supports a Global Vision for Food and Agriculture with agriculture able to feed every person, every day, in every country with a safe, nutritious and affordable diet, and where jobs and income gains in the food system are sufficient to meet poverty reduction targets.
  • To help the achievement of the twin goals, the strategic focus of the Agriculture and Food GP is to help client countries on the issues mentioned above.
  • Areas of focus include, among other: (i) increasing smallholder agricultural productivity, and it’s resilience through support to improved land and water management in irrigated and rain-fed areas; (ii) linking farmers to markets and strengthening value chains through support for improved infrastructure, information technology, postharvest handling; etc.; (iii) facilitating rural nonfarm income by improving the rural investment climate and skills development; (iv) reducing risk, vulnerability and gender inequality through support to risk management mechanisms; and (v) enhancing environmental services and sustainability.
  • The work program of the Agriculture and Food GP in West and Central Africa spans across 23 countries and supports projects/programs and non-lending services aimed primarily at inclusive growth through increased agricultural productivity, food security, and rural non-farm incomes and employment while protecting the quality of the environment.
  • The GP’s program in the region is central to achieving the Bank’s Mission of reducing poverty given that:  (i) the majority of the Region’s poor live and work in agriculture; (ii) the demand for food in the region is expected to significantly increase over the next decades; and (iii) the pressure on natural resources in rural areas is expected to worsen.
  • The Agriculture and Food GP works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that Agriculture outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the Practice, and the GP actively contributes to work managed by other Global Practices.  Accordingly, a capacity to work across GP boundaries, forge coalitions and influence multi-practice solutions is essential for achieving the major objectives of improving agriculture outcomes.
  • The Agriculture and Food GP seeks a Lead Agriculture Economist to lead its strategic, advisory, and operational work in West and Central Africa and where needed elsewhere.
  • The Bank has a very active engagement on agriculture in West and Central Africa, consisting of a significant portfolio of projects covering among other agricultural research, innovation and digital technologies agribusiness and value-chain development, climate resilient agriculture, food and nutrition security, one health and post-COVID recovery, and fragility and conflict.There is a very active policy dialogue and close coordination with other development partners.

Duties & Accountabilities

  • The Lead Agriculture Economist will assist GP management in delivery of the West and Central Africa agriculture work program, assurance of quality, interaction with internal and external clients, including the private sector, staff development and partnerships.
  • The primary responsibility of the Lead Agriculture Economist will be to provide technical and strategic leadership to the development and implementation of the region’s work program (and elsewhere if needed).
  • In doing so, s/he will work closely with the Country Directors and the CMUs (Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and Regional Integration Unit), including the Sector Leaders.
  • S/he will assist the Practice Manager in overseeing the Unit’s work program and will be expected to work closely with other GPs, particularly within the SD group. S/he will participate in a leading and supporting role in the supervision of complex operations, preparation of new operations and carrying out specific pieces of high priority ASA.
  • S/he will generate knowledge and provide thought leadership and mentoring.
  • S/he is expected to lead the policy and reform dialogue in selected countries, support and guide others in the unit for a subset of the region, contribute to broader SD engagements and dialogue, lead and oversee analytical work of the unit or contribute to core analytic pieces for the country engagement as needed and proactively engage and seek opportunities for business engagement and support the unit’s achievements of milestones and targets.
  • In her/his analytical and advisory role, s/he will also contribute to the work of the Africa Sustainable Development Policy Unit (ADSPU) and liaise with the Global Solutions Leads and cross-cutting themes in central units. Her/his responsibilities will include, but will not be limited, to the following:
    • Lead task teams in the design and implementation of new lending projects and programs, knowledge products and reports.
    • Lead complex operations as Task Team Leader (TTL), both in agriculture and multi-sectoral operations, assuring quality in all stages of the projects and other financial instruments such as DPLs, IPFs, P4Rs, and trust funds.
    • Provide technical and thought leadership to the development and implementation of the Unit’s work program, with special emphasis on the design of innovative and transformative solutions. In doing so, s/he will engage the global leads/cross cutting themes in the center.
    • Lead/initiate/participate in a high level and quality of engagement and just-in-time dialogue with key government stakeholders on the strategic program and policy.
    • Lead or actively engage in key stakeholder dialogue (including donors/external stakeholders) and represent the unit at relevant events and speaking engagements.
    • Collaborate and engage with partners to identify cooperation opportunities and leverage financial and intellectual resources to complement unit resources.
    • Remain current with relevant analytical work on agriculture development, stay up to date on key operational designs and implementation experiences, and identify opportunities to address existing or emerging needs in the agricultural sector by bringing in experience from other countries within the Region or other regions.
    • Assume an active role in the country teams with the aim to ensure adequate and appropriate integration of relevant aspects of the agriculture and rural development agenda in core Bank products, including systematic country diagnostics, country partnership frameworks, country economic memorandum and the like.
    • Serve as an active member of the AFW SD team contributing to the Region’s strategic scale up of support for an agriculture and food systems in West and Central Africa.
    • Serve as an advisor to colleagues who are themselves TTLs of demanding operations, providing them with mentoring, advice and support.
    • Work across sectors with staff of other Global Practices and IFC to ensure coherence and integration of the agriculture portfolio in West and Central Africa and beyond.
    • Support the management of the Agriculture and Food GP by contributing to corporate, regional and unit level initiatives when requested and represent the Bank and the Agriculture and Food GP at public events with agriculture sector focus as needed.

Selection Criteria
The Lead Agriculture Economist will have broad knowledge in the agriculture sector and policies and across SD and will be well versed in the Bank’s operational and reform dialogue on agriculture, and the broader SD sector. In addition to meeting the Bank-wide requirements for Grade GH Level position, it is expected that the successful candidate will meet the following selection criteria:

  • Advanced degree in Agricultural Economics or closely related discipline, with at least 12 years of relevant professional experience in agriculture, agribusiness, food science and nutrition, and other disciplines related to food systems. Experience in two regions, a corporate assignment or similar experience that builds global expertise and client facing skills;
  • Recognized by peers and/or managers for cutting edge disciplinary knowledge as evidenced by peer reviewed publications and the ability to identify and pro-actively solve operational issues and problems.
  • Demonstrated intellectual leadership and recognized authority in the sector, based on strong technical capabilities and research credentials, and a capacity to represent the Bank externally and lead discussions at high policy levels;
  • Demonstrated familiarity with Bank/MFI procedures, directives, business practices and experience in identifying, preparing, appraising, and supervising operations, as a task team leader or team member;
  • In-depth knowledge of the issues faced by smallholders participating in modern value chains;
  • Ability to think innovatively and strategically in dealing with policy issues while maintaining a strong client focus;
  • Ability to take principled and balanced positions on complex issues and to communicate and defend them orally and in writing to Senior Bank management and Senior Government officials;
  • Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving, and team skills with ability to think innovatively and strategically to find balanced, pragmatic and implementable solutions;
  • High degree of discretion, ethics, tact and sensitivity in handling confidential and sensitive information;
  • Ability to work under pressure while retaining perspective and a sense of humor;
  • Very high level of energy, initiative and self-motivation, coupled with willingness to travel extensively and work under challenging conditions;
  • Excellent spoken and written English. French will be a plus.


  • General Economic Knowledge and Analytical Skills: Possesses Cross-country knowledge in economic specialty and demonstrates ability to link the macro, institutional, and micro-level behaviors; able to support findings/policy recommendations with credible analysis and tools.
  • Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena: Translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level.
  • Policy Dialogue Skills: Anticipates needs and requests in the field and conducts independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners.
  • Integrative Skills: Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.
  • Agricultural Economics: Deep understanding of most of the economic concepts used in agriculture, with significant experience.
  • Agriculture Policy, Strategy and Institutions: Solid understanding of agriculture policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.
  • Project Design for Impact and Sustainability: Contributes to the design of projects and programs, based on an understanding of the country and sector context.
  • Sector Dialogue: Able to conduct a dialogue with the client on familiar topics, with a narrow scope, based on a solid understanding of the sector.
  • Operational Project Management: Demonstrates in depth knowledge and understanding of project management tools & methodologies, as well as of Bank instruments and processes related to project preparation & implementation, resource management, and stakeholder communications.
  • Operational Policies Application to the Project Cycle (fiduciary, disbursement, safeguard and GAC policies): Possesses a strong understanding of procurement and disbursement policies; knows what issues might arise and who to involve in problem resolution.
  • Team Leadership: Leads teams to achieve challenging outcomes, providing a role model and enhancing the team-leadership skills of team members.
  • Knowledge of Relevant Operational Policy and Associated Good Practices: Has a solid understanding of all aspects of OP 8.60 and associated Good Practice Notes; has experience in designing DPOs.
  • Knowledge of Relevant Bank Procedures and Associated Guidance: Has a solid understanding of all aspects of BP 8.60 and associated Good Practice Notes; has experience in designing DPOs.
  • ASA/TA Policy, Strategic and Technical Analysis for Country/Sector Issues: Participates fully in the production of quality ASA work and policy papers, leveraging relevant analytical tools and a grasp of issues surrounding policy and sector reform.
  • Client Orientation:  Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.
  • Drive for Results: Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.
  • Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion: Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.
  • Knowledge, Learning and Communication: Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.
  • Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making: Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.

Application Closing Date
30th June, 2021; at 11:59pm UTC

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

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