View Vacancy - Country Director, AfDB Lead and Head of Trade - DIT C4 (02/20 ABI)

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Department for International Trade roles (DIT)

About the Department:

Home to five of the world’s fastest growing economies, Africa’s GDP could double between 2015 and 2030. Yet for too many Africans, this prosperity – and the improvements to education, health and security that come with it – still feel distant. 

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is the Trade Promotion and Negotiation Organisation for the UK. We promote UK businesses overseas and attract foreign investment to our shores. We have 3,000 staff across the globe in over 100 countries. Our aspiration is to address some of the challenges facing the UK, by helping British businesses to internationalise and grow overseas. 

DIT supports the development of strong, prosperous and peaceful African nations, through modern, dynamic and long-term partnerships that deliver mutual benefit for the UK and Africa. The UK is making a new and distinctive offer to work alongside, invest in, and partner with countries across Africa. By supporting African-led ambitions with British expertise, we want to create more opportunities, more jobs and greater stability – both in the UK and for our African partners. The UK can unlock economic growth and job creation by bringing private sector investment to Africa.

The UK government has committed to radically expand its presence in Africa. This role is part of this uplift and offers applicants the opportunity to help shape this new, long-term UK partnership for prosperity and stability with Africa. 

You will join the Department for International Trade’s Africa network and become a member of the team in the British Embassy Abidjan. This is an exciting time to join, as we expand our resources and ambition.

Main Purpose of Role

Your role will have three elements:

1) You will be the DIT Country Director within the British Embassy, driving an ambitious and targeted plan of action to increase trade and investment flows between the UK and CDI. You will work to increase the overall value of trade and investment to Cote d’Ivoire by tackling barriers faced by business seeking to access the CDI market. The position will feed in cross-government efforts to drive the Prosperity agenda forward in CDI. 

2) You will lead the efforts to implement the UK-CDI free trade agreement, supporting the Overseas Trade Policy Advisor based in Ghana on in Country implementation of the agreement through outreach with Ivoirian exporters, communications on trade opportunities and support offered by the UK to improve and expand Ivoirian export potential to the UK. You will lead the work at post on Market Access barriers, working closely with London teams to identify and remove barriers across a range of sectors. 

3) You will be DIT’s lead on liaison with the African Development Bank. Developing strong contacts in the Bank you will help to identify and share key projects and opportunities for collaboration with UK stakeholders, including the DIT Africa network; leveraging UK and other finance offers. This will be done though close coordination with the UK’s Executive Director at the African Development Bank.

Your role will be 80% funded from UK Official Development Assistance (ODA). This reflects your main objective of supporting economic and social development in Cote d’Ivoire through increasing UK investment which will have a positive and sustainable impact on development, working on trade and market access policy and working with the AfDB. The post holder will work with the Development Counsellor and other  colleagues in the Embassy and the region working on opportunities for economic and social development, and in refining the Embassy’s prosperity strategy for our work in Cote d’Ivoire.

Roles and responsibilities:

40% Country Director

  • You will be DIT’s Country Director for CDI and be part of the Embassy’s leadership team, setting and driving an ambitious and targeted plan of action to increase trade and investment flows between the UK and CDI 
  • In line with DIT’s Regional Trade Plan you will provide strategic direction across trade, inward investment, trade policy and market access work streams and ensure the UK’s Africa Trade Commissioner has a clear understanding of DIT’s strategy for CDI;

  • You will advise the Ambassador and Deputy Trade Commissioner (based in Nairobi) on commercial matters to ensure a strong alignment and integration of trade and investment with the wider business priorities of the UK Embassy in Cote d’Ivoire. 
  • You will provide investment support for existing investors in CDI, you will draw on analysis and data to build a clear understanding of the investment picture and develop a strong, fact-based narrative about investing in CDI, to help drive a targeted campaign approach with UK businesses to promote the country as an investment destination, driving forward key CDI sustainable development goals.
  • Working with the British Chamber of Commerce in Cote d’Ivoire to help them increase profile of UK firms doing business in Cote d’Ivoire, GREAT campaigns, working with our development finance offer (UKEF, CDC, PIDG, AgdevCo etc) to raise awareness of the UK offer, skills, expertise amongst the Ivoirian private sector, government, and wider public.


30% Trade Policy, Market Access and Business Environment 

  • Support the Ambassador, Deputy Trade Commissioner and Overseas Regional Trade policy adviser to support engagement with CDI authorities as the UK leaves the EU. Leading on helping business to understand how to continue exporting into the UK where necessary. You will work closely with the London and regional teams on the implementation of a new UK-Cote d’Ivoire trade agreement.

30% AfDB Lead

  • Identify and map key developmental projects within the African Development Bank’s pipeline across the continent.  Firstly through spotting the opportunities, secondly sharing those across the Africa network, at an early date ahead of decisions being taken by the recipient government. The job holder will need to develop strong relationships across DIT Africa to maximise their impact and effectiveness. 
  • Working closely with a wide range of UK Government departments and marketing teams to raise awareness in the UK of opportunities available in Cote d’Ivoire and through the AfDB in order to mobilise UK companies to pursue investment opportunities.
  • Liaising with development partners, social development focused Ministries, and engagement with the National Development Plan, the job holder will identify opportunities for UK firms to bid for aid funded business opportunities both in Cote d’Ivoire and also those presented by the AfDB. 

The role will also make a wider contribution to Embassy work, mucking in to lend a hand, contributing to corporate agenda and working closely with the wider Economic, trade and prosperity effort of the Embassy (Development Counsellor, Economic officer and regional team looking at issues like climate change, prosperity, green growth, and trade policy)

Resources managed (staff and expenditure):

DIT team – one B3(L) DIT generalist

Country budget – modest budget covering events, travel, official entertainment

  • You will need to be a self-starter who can seize the initiative and lay out their strategy for achieving the objectives in the job description.
  • Excellent drafting skills in English and French, and fluency of written and spoken English and French is a prerequisite.
  • Relevant degree and/or other professional qualification.
  • At least five years professional experience.
  • Knowledge of, and a keen interest in, sustainable development (additional training will be given), trade, investment and economic growth
  • Private sector experience, or within a private-sector orientated part of Government.  Knowledge of the private sector, thorough understanding of private sector and business, regulatory environment in Cote d’Ivoire.
  • Experience of working in political and commercial environment with senior stakeholders and VVIPs
  • A positive, resilient, flexible and adaptable “can-do” attitude that can see way through challenges.
  • Excellent communication and collaboration skills, including the ability to work with colleagues and partners in other countries.
  • Client facing experience, for example with a professional services business (managing businesses, understanding issues and pursuing strategies together)
  • Experience of working in the public sector
  • Understanding of the trade policy / market access space
  • Understanding of AfDB and how it works
Seeing the Big Picture, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering, Achieving Commercial Outcomes
13 November 2020
Higher Executive Officer (HEO)
Fixed term, with possibility of renewal
Côte d'Ivoire
British Embassy
XOF 1,985,172 plus XOF 25,000 transport allowance
1 December 2020

Learning and development opportunities (and any specific training courses to be completed):

The successful applicant will have access to a range of Learning and Development opportunities both in-house and e-learning, with the potential for overseas training. From time to time there will be requirements to assist other teams within the Embassy, working with other members of the team to build overall experience through delivery of training and awareness sessions.

Working patterns:

The British Embassy’s working hours are:

Monday-Thursday: 0830-1630

Friday: 0830-1430

Flexible working can be considered for the right candidate.

The British Embassy is a small but dynamic mission with a culture which encourages staff to be creative and take the initiative. Staff at the Embassy are expected to be team-players, willing to support colleagues in other areas of work as necessary. Good communication and team-working skills are highly desirable

The British Embassy is a rapidly growing and dynamic mission with a culture which encourages staff to be creative and take the initiative. Staff at the Embassy are expected to be team-players, willing to support colleagues in other areas of work as necessary. We place a high value on creating a supportive and welcoming place of work where all colleagues are respected for their contribution. Good communication and team-working skills are highly desirable.

The British Embassy in Abidjan is a small diplomatic mission. Your role will be essential in providing operational support to the team and helping to ensure the efficient running of the Embassy. 

  • Please complete the application form in full as the information provided is used during screening.
  • Please check your application carefully before you submit, as no changes can be made once submitted.
  • Employees recruited locally by the British Embassy in Abidjan are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local employment law in Ivory Coast.
  • All candidates must be legally able to work and reside in the country of the vacancy with the correct visa/work permit status or demonstrate eligibility to obtain the relevant permit.
  • The responsibility lies on the successful candidate to;
  1. Obtain the relevant permit
  2. Pay fees for the permit
  3. Make arrangements to relocate
  4. Meet the costs to relocation
  • The British Embassy/High Commission does not sponsor visas/work permits except where it may be local practice to do so.
  • Employees who are not eligible to pay local income tax: e.g. certain third-country nationals and spouses/partners of UK diplomats will have their salaries abated by an equivalent amount.
  • Information about the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Competency Framework can be found on this link: Please note: AA=A1, AO=A2, EO=B3, HEO=C4, SEO=C5
  • Reference checking and security clearances will be conducted on successful candidates.
  • The British Embassy will never request any payment or fees to apply for a position
Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Country Based Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

This opportunity is closed to applications.