Communication and Editing for Agri-SME Financing and Development

African Development Bank
  • Location
    Remote possible, Cote D'ivoire
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    May 06

Position description

  1. Objective and Activities of the Assignment



The role of agri-small and medium enterprises (agri-SMEs) and their critical importance to meeting the Feed Africa Strategy goals are well recognized.  Eighty percent of all food consumed across the continent is produced, transported, processed and sold by SMEs. SMEs also constitute up to 70% of formal employment in Sub-Saharan Africa and up to 90% in the informal sector.  Despite this, agri-SMEs in Africa are critically underfunded with an annual financing gap of approximately $100 billion for enterprises with financing needs between $25,000 and $5 million. This gap has been further exacerbated by Covid-19 and the pressure it has put on SMEs operating within agri-food supply chains. 


To advance and accelerate the Feed Africa Strategy, there is a growing commitment to enhance support to agri-SMEs financing and business development.  Consistent with a Bank-wide effort to increase investments in SME programs and their impact across sectors, the Feed Africa team aims to (i) mobilize concessionary impact capital from donors to flexibly deploy it in targeted blended financing structures attractive to SMEs, (ii) support targeted advisory and business development to increase investments in bankable agri-SMEs, (iii) build partnerships that could lead to impactful largescale agri-SME support projects through either private operations, or integrated into public operations or through innovative Public-Private Partnership projects, (iv) coordinate and manage the activities necessary to structure a fund to invest in agri-SMEs, and (v) ensure monitoring of key performance indicators and capitalize on lessons learned.


Across the Bank ecosystem, there is a growing number of targeted funds, facilities and specialized programs that share complementary objectives (e.g., Horn of Africa; Entrepreneurship Establishment Program; Affirmative Financing Action for Women in Africa; Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Bank; Climate Smart Agriculture; Multi-sectoral Nutrition Action Plan and others) that can be leveraged to systematically enhance our support to agri-SME financing and development across targeted Bank operations. Similarly, outside the Bank, a growing number of countries, development organizations, international finance institutions, foundations, and private sector companies are dedicating increasing resources to support SME initiatives across the agri-food value chain as a means to delivering on inclusive job provision and impactful Agricultural transformation.


In that context, the objective of the assignment is to support the delivery of internal and external communication and outreach efforts to raise the profile and visibility of the two following initiatives within the Department:


  1. The Agri-SME program: Supports the development of agri-SMEs and helps address the significant financial gap characterizing the African agri-business sector, by operationalizing innovative financial instruments and providing expertise to generate bankable projects in the agri-SMEs sector. The program will ensure that impact-oriented development outcomes are met, particularly agri-SMEs that are climate resilient and gender balanced.


b.    The Agri-SME Catalytic Financial Mechanism (ACFM Special Fund): The Bank in collaboration with the Canadian Government is establishing the Agri-Food Catalytic Finance Mechanism (ACFM). This is a 100 million CAD, blended finance facility hosted at the Bank which provides long-term concessional capital, alongside technical assistance to catalyze financing and de-risk investments in agri-SMEs servicing the agri-food ecosystem in the Bank’s regional member countries. The ACFM aims at leveraging private capital investments through commercial intermediaries to support inclusive and green growth, by investing in a portfolio of gender-oriented and climate resilient agri-SMEs along the agri-food value chain.


  1. Duties and Responsibilities: Communication, drafting and editing written materials


The successful applicant will support the Department’s objective to develop and lead the execution of a communication strategy that outlines the work and achievements of the agri-SME programme and the ACFM Special Fund in addressing the agri-food financing gap in Africa.


The key tasks and deliverables to achieve the objectives of this assignment will include but may not be limited to the following:


  1. Support the development of a multiplatform communication strategy for the ACFM Special Fund and the agri-SME programme, in collaboration with the Front Office of the Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development (or AHVP Complex, where the Department is housed) as well as with the Bank’s Communication and External Relations Department.
  2. Identify communication opportunities within the Bank, its partners, and at regional member country levels that the Department may leverage and/or co-lead on.
  3. Support the delivery of internal and external communication and outreach efforts to strengthen awareness of the agri-SME program activities, as well as raise the profile and visibility of the ACFM Special Fund, with a particular attention to gender equality and climate resilience along the agri-food value chain.
  4. Drafting and editing of written materials relevant to the ACFM Special Fund and the agri-SME program including proposals, briefings, web stories, video scripts, press releases, newsletters, external and internal reports, social media posts, project documents and impact stories.
  5. Provide support to ensure coherent and consistent branding of the above initiatives across all promotional materials, knowledge products, multimedia/digital content, feature/news/success stories, project documents, press releases, events (virtual and in person) and reports.
  6. Establish a dedicated web presence for the ACFM Special Fund, and build it as a portal for stakeholder engagement, including for resource mobilization, knowledge dissemination, impact stories and reporting. Support the updating and upgrading of the web presence in line with the broader AHVP Complex and Bank communication strategy and adhering to Bank guidelines.
  7. Disseminate key messages, multimedia content, knowledge products through communication channels including social media, content marketing, emails, digital marketing, website and other relevant channels to targeted audiences including donors, general public, other multilateral development banks, agri-SME stakeholders and internal Bank departments.
  8. Co-lead in the planning and execution of agri-SME themed communication events.
  9. Be responsible for modern and accurate filing, archiving Special Fund-related photos, video and press contacts to databases managed by AHFR as well as PCER.
  10. Liaise with the AHVP Front Office and Bank Communications Department (PCER), to align with the wider Bank’s media efforts. The Consultant will make sure that deliverables conform to PCER guidelines.
  11. Assist in fact-checking and copy-editing all related written and digital communication.
  12. Perform any other job-related duties as assigned by the Manager.


  1. Deliverables


  1. Deliver and execute a clear, coherent, and concise multiplatform communication strategy for the ACFM Special Fund and the broader agri-SME initiative within 8 weeks of the start of the assignment.
  2. Lead in the creation the ACFM Special Fund web presence and create relevant content for it. Provide timely updates as required.
  3. Monthly reports outlining achievements in implementing the strategy and reaching partners and beneficiaries. This will include monthly statistical analysis on Web use, client engagement through the various social media channels, observations and recommendations to improve outreach and client engagement, etc.
  4. Timely and targeted dissemination of publications, promotional materials, and briefings in relation to both the ACFM and the agri-SME initiative.
  5. Tracking impact and usage of content across communication channels to support monitoring and evaluation of internal and external communication activities.
  6. Develop an events calendar and workplan for key Fund initiatives.
  7. Support communication efforts for the broader Department and Complex as required.



  1. Qualifications and Experience Required


The Consultant shall demonstrate appropriate qualifications and skills necessary for the assignment as described below:


  • A minimum of a Masters’ degree in the field (e.g. communication/journalism, international relations, political science, economics, development, etc.).
  • A minimum of ten (10) years working experience in communication, journalism, writing and editing preferably in the area of communication for development, ideally within recognized international development institutions.
  • Client and results-oriented with strong analytical and communication (verbal and written) skills, sense of accuracy and attention to detail;
  • Ability to deal with sensitive issues in a multi-cultural environment and to build effective working relations with colleagues;
  • Understanding of the newsgathering and media storytelling process. Solid knowledge of online marketing tools and best practices.
  • Familiarity with Adobe Edit Suite: knowledge of multimedia applications like Final Cut Pro, Canva, Quik or iMovies a distinct advantage.
  • Fluency in social media and social media management platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc.);
  • Experience leading the production of, or overseeing the production of, innovative and contemporary digital story telling. Submit sample(s) of past communications materials, including articles, press releases, video scripts, social media posts, etc. in application;
  • Competent in the use of standard software applications (MS Word, Power Point, Excel), advance Power Point and layout/design skills will be a distinct advantage;
  • Demonstrable skills in writing and editing of impact stories, briefs, development project documents, project reporting, website content, promotional content etc..
  • An understanding of communications strategy and the role of development institutions in the global aid architecture, knowledge issues within the African agricultural sector is an advantage.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and/or French, and working knowledge of the other language.
  • Proven ability to manage and deliver products in a timely manner and handle multiple tasks at the same time, at times under high pressure and in time sensitive situations and
  • Be a member of a member country of the African Development Bank Group

Application instructions

  1. Administrative and Technical Reporting


The Consultant will be under the overall supervision of the Lead, Agri-SME Development and Finance, AHFR.0, in close collaboration with the AHVP Front Office and the PCER Department. The consultant shall submit monthly progress reports on expected deliverables.


  1.  Duration of the Assignment


The assignment will be for six (6) months with the possibility of an extension. The assignment is expected to start in June 2022. Renewal will be subject to budget availability and the Bank satisfaction of the consultant’s work.


  1. Establishment of the Shortlist

A shortlist of consultants will be established at the end of the stipulated period of request for expressions of interest. Consultants on the shortlist will be assessed based on the following criteria and on the basis of their updated résumé:


General qualifications and adequacy for the assignment to be undertaken


Experience in the area of the assignment as shown in work samples and understanding of the terms of reference


Experience with the Bank and/or other international development organization


Knowledge of the Region (Africa)


Language proficiency







  1. Eligibility


The position is open to nationals of Member Countries of the African Development Bank Group. Interested applicants are encouraged to send an updated Curriculum Vita and samples of communications and/or multimedia material. Selected candidates will be asked to participate in a skills assessment exercise and a timed communications test. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.


  1. Remuneration


The Consultant will receive a monthly lump sum. No additional benefits or per diems will be paid. The Consultant is responsible for his/her own health insurance and accommodation costs. The Bank will cover full costs of any required missions and provide per-diem in accordance with rules governing consultant mission travel. The Bank will also cover or reimburse any related costs pre-approved and required to carry out deliverables appropriately.


  1. Duty Station


The indicated duty station will be Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire but may be negotiable subject to the Bank’s policy on Working from Home and Return to Office as may apply.


The AHFR Department invites Individual Consultants to indicate their interest in providing the above-described services. Interested Consultants shall provide information on their qualifications and experience demonstrating their ability to undertake this Assignment (documents, work samples, reference to similar services, experience in similar assignments, etc.)


The eligibility criteria, the establishment of a short list and the selection procedure shall be in conformity with the Bank’s Rules and Procedure for the Selection of Corporate Consultants. Please, note that interest expressed by a Consultant does not imply any obligation on the part of the Bank to include him/her in the shortlist.


Expressions of interest must be received at the address below no later than 16th of May 2022 at 17:00 GMT.


Please send your email with the following title in the subject line: Communication and editing consultant for Agri-SME Financing and Development

For the attention of Mr. Ilyes Bdioui and Ms Grace Ochola

E-mail : [email protected];   [email protected]

African Development Bank - AHFR Department

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire