View Vacancy - Country Director DIT, SEO (01/22 ABI) - OH

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Department for International Trade roles (DIT)
Department for International Trade (DIT)

Main purpose of job:

This is an exciting time to join the Department for International Trade (DIT). Our aim is to promote British trade and investment across the world which is vital for the prosperity of the UK. DIT brings together policy, promotion and financial expertise to break down barriers to trade and investment in markets across the world to help businesses succeed. This is a great opportunity to be part of an international team that contributes to the success of the UK's trade goals.

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.

The UK government is committed to its presence in Africa. This role 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, providing crucial leadership and expertise. You will be networked closely with colleagues from across HMG working on prosperity issues as DIT can only successfully deliver our commercial ambitions by working seamlessly as part of joint and coordinated prosperity teams alongside our Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) colleagues.

Roles and responsibilities:

You will be the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) Country Director, leading and overseeing the team within a larger Embassy operation supporting our trade and investment relationship with Cote d’Ivoire The primary objective of your role as Country Director is to encourage private sector led growth, by protecting and promoting investment and leveraging the strengths of businesses in order to support the poverty reduction, investment and broader economic objectives of  Cote d’Ivoire, as well as supporting the UK’s investment ambitions in Africa.

The Africa Region is exciting and energising and UK firms have a strong presence here, making the UK the second largest investor on the continent. With some of the strongest growing economies in the world and booming population growth, there are numerous more opportunities for UK firms; from tech start-ups in the West to infrastructure in the East. The Network’s role is to promote these opportunities and position the UK as the continent’s number one trading partner and investor.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Support British companies to win new business in Cote d’Ivoire.
  • Provide strategic direction for DIT activity in Cote d’Ivoire, identifying and regularly reviewing priorities for trade, outward investment, trade policy and market access work streams with both embassy and DIT leadership teams, ensuring that these are fully aligned to the Africa Regional Trade Plan.
  • Lead the DIT team in  Cote d’Ivoire, ensuring that each team member has a clear sector and/or thematic focus and objectives, and a clear pipeline of deals and activities in place to achieve those objectives.
  • Be an integral part of the Embassy’s senior leadership team, ensuring that DIT and wider embassy goals are aligned, and advising the Ambassador on commercial matters.
  • Ensure the Trade Commissioner for Africa based in Johannesburg has a strong insight into DIT’s strategy for  Cote d’Ivoire, and identify where he can advance specific opportunities.
  • Develop and maintain a network of high value trade and investment relationships in  Cote d’Ivoire , including Ivorian government and the local British and Ivorian business community.
  • Organise visits and trade missions, including by trade ministers and the Trade Commissioner.
  • Represent DIT Africa and HMG at events to promote  Cote d’Ivoire to new investors and also create and manage an events schedule in support of your country business plan, leveraging the HM Trade Commissioner, Deputy Trade Commissioner and Heads of Mission. You will need to be a confident public speaker, networker and relationship builder.
  • Promote, where relevant, the financing products offered by UK Export Finance, the British government’s Export Credit Agency, to support companies win contracts;
  • Identify market access and other issues faced by existing UK investors in market and work with the trade policy team to implement campaigns to solve them. Promote  Cote d’Ivoire to new investors, including identifying events that can be use to maximise the visibility of the UK offer, and partner with the Ivorian investment promotion function
  • Liaise with other areas of UK government, and provide advice and guidance on trade, investment and trade policy issues, ensuring that commercial offers are complementary to our political and programme support.
  • Manage the local devolved budget, ensuring that financial and staff resources are deployed effectively in support of DIT priorities, the achievement of challenging targets and the identification of future opportunities
  • Engaging with the Government of  Cote d’Ivoire, other State entities and the local private sector to promote British business partnership opportunities, including lobbying and market access support
  • 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, contributing to the 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)
  • The role is subject to change as sector priorities develop.

Resources managed:

DIT country team at post

  • A university degree in a relevant area or other professional qualification.
  • Experience of working with Government departments and/or public sector agencies.
  • Private sector experience, or within a private-sector orientated part of UK Government  and a strong understanding of the Ivorian business environment and economy.
  • Excellent organisational and self-management skills to respond effectively to tight – and changing – deadlines and priorities.
  • Relevant work experience, a track record of delivery through collaboration and partnering in complex environments.
  • Campaign or project management experience, strong eye for business in identifying potential business partners; capacity to identify gaps and barriers for market creation opportunities in the assigned country.
  • Strong interpersonal and leadership skills  including to build credibility with senior government/business representatives.
  • Building the skills and capacity of teams including the ability to mentor and coach others to achieve results.
  • Experience in managing budgets.
  • A positive, resilient, flexible and adaptable “can-do” attitude that can see way through challenges.
  • Fully fluent in English and French.

Knowledge and/or experience in the trade and investment sector in Cote d’Ivoire.

  • Experience in client facing roles (managing businesses, understanding issues and pursuing strategies together, investment appraisal, deal pipeline preparation, deals brokering).
  • 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.
Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace, Leadership, Working Together
15 August 2022
Senior Executive Officer (SEO)
34 hours
Côte d'Ivoire
British Embassy
XOF 2,526,539 gross paid 13 times per year, plus Transport Allowance XOF 30,000 paid 12 times per year
1 October 2022

Learning and development opportunities:

The successful applicant will have access to a range of Learning and Development opportunities with 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 Department, building overall resilience and broader experience.

  • 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 Côte d’Ivoire .
  • 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 liable to pay local income tax on their Mission salary may have their salaries reduced by the equivalent local income tax 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
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This opportunity is closed to applications.