View Vacancy - Sector Director: Energy G 7 (19/22 LOS)
Main purpose of job:
The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) is the UK Government’s Department for promoting free trade and open market access, UK exports and investment. In Africa, DIT supports the development of strong, prosperous and peaceful African nations, through trade and investment partnerships delivering mutual benefit for the UK and Africa. DIT brings together trade policy, promotion, and finance expertise to break down barriers to trade and investment in markets across the world, and to help businesses succeed.
This is a great opportunity to take a leadership role, operating with a high level of autonomy, shaping our work in Africa in renewable energy, a very important sector for the Continent. The UK offer includes world-class capability in project creation, development, design and execution, in technology and the provision of equipment, in skills and training, in innovation and investment from corporates, and from private equity. Africa’s renewable energy needs are huge and the Continent is in need of reliable partners like the UK who can deliver sustainable solutions.
Your job will be to work independently with senior level African buyers and key UK companies. You will help UK firms to create new, and expand existing business, and build up investments in Africa. This includes identifying the very best opportunities in Africa and the right strategies and markets together with UK companies, informing, challenging and helping UK companies at board level to create plans that support new effective market entry, and successful engagements with major projects. You will guide DIT country teams to understand the UK offer, and help them to evaluate projects in terms of their best alignment to deliver outcomes that match UK interests, and to work effectively in support of UK business interests in their countries. You will lead DIT’s work with the key UK businesses interested in renewable energy in Africa. You will develop a strong understanding of the current state of energy development in Africa, the greatest opportunities for the UK, identifying new projects on the horizon as well as driving existing projects forward. You will learn to understand the key barriers to UK trade and investment, and ensure that our work in this area is prioritised effectively, and that adequate action is taken to resolve these barriers. You will engage UK companies early on when opportunities start to arise in Africa. You will liaise with key buyers, increase their understanding of UK expertise, and help key buyers to engage with UK companies. You will create and lead a small number of very high quality events that reflect the unique quality of the UK offer in renewable energy, and that advance our interests with key buyers.
The successful candidate will have autonomy and will be expected to bring a step change in UK business, drawing on the full set of tools available, including UK export finance, UK Government capability working with host Governments, and all the UK’s private sector USPs, to create partnerships based on sustainable growth in our trade. This will require strategic thinking, drive, leadership and an ability to understand and link up different tools and approaches, creativity
and problem solving in work with stakeholders to ensure the right outcomes are achieved, together with sales and delivery skills in working with key buyers.
The jobholder will join a dynamic team of experts from the private sector, committed to support UK business interests and Africa’s economic growth. This is an exciting time to join DIT Africa, as we deliver on our ambition to be Africa’s trade and investment partner of choice.
Roles and responsibilities / what will the jobholder be expected to achieve?:
- You will lead and deliver DIT Africa’s work in the renewable energy sector.
- You will create and deliver a sector plan focussed on outcomes and with clear priorities, goals, milestones and deliverables. You will create greater awareness in the UK, organise focussed sector events, and provide an evidence based view of the key areas for UK business engagement. You will create a pipeline of key projects and opportunities, and ensure there is appropriate and strong support for UK companies in making progress on these projects. You will lead a pan-Africa virtual sector team working in the sector. You will work together with UK stakeholders to advance your interests.
- You will lead this work, securing outcomes through the wider DIT Africa team across the continent, providing them with direction, helping to upskill them, and ensuring a consistent high standard of delivery and service.
- You will lead a strong programme of relationship management with major UK companies in the sector. You will lead accounts at Africa CEO level, working with senior leaders to understand their strategy, priorities and objectives, and market access concerns, delivering additional support for them that matches their needs, helping to realise the best possible opportunities in Africa. You will deploy support across the full range of DIT and HMG interests (trade policy, market access, export and business support, planning and strategy development, and new investments). You will also create your own relationships with buyer Governments, and your role will include some occasional travel when conditions permit to African countries.
- You will use your own experience of business to role model and secure better services for UK business among the DIT Africa family. You will have autonomy to drive forward our work in this key sector, helping country teams in DIT Africa to find new opportunities, develop new deals, resolve problems, and win projects
Resources managed (staff and expenditure):
- Team of 10 advisers, who you will matrix manage in coordination with their Country Directors.
- Operational budgets for travel and subsistence, and marketing and communications.
- Undergraduate degree or other relevant professional qualification relevant to energy.
- Knowledge of renewable energy projects, having worked in the private sector to develop renewable energy projects, with at least ten years of experience working on energy, preferably in multiple markets in Africa, not just one.
- At least 5 years’ experience in leading teams at a senior level within a private sector business, operating with autonomy to deliver success and project impact.
- Experience of working with government departments in Africa at a senior level to secure progress on renewable energy projects
- At least 5 years of leading the development of new areas of business in Africa for international companies, or at one of Africa’s most successful private sector firms
- Proven track record of cross-team collaboration
- A positive, resilient, flexible and adaptable “can-do” attitude that can see a way through challenges.
- Knowledge of the UK, a keen interest in sustainable development.
Learning and development opportunities (and any specific training courses to be completed):
You will have access to the full suite of DIT and FCDO learning and development opportunities including the FCDO’s Diplomatic Academy, training in the UK, and will be encouraged to join DIT’s trade profession. We also provide regular in-house learning opportunities and are committed to supporting further academic opportunities. Our staff who demonstrate great leadership potential are encouraged to apply for the FCDO’s pan-African Emerging Leadership Programme.
This opportunity is closed to applications.