Thematic Director - Crop Productivity Enhancement

The Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) is seeking a Crop Productivity Enhancement Theme Director (TD-CPE). This position will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The TD-CPE will work within a matrix management system that includes a number of staff in management-related positions – two Executive Directors (EDs) for Programmes and for Management; the Managing Directors (MDs) of SAA and SAFE; four Country Directors (CDs) for Ethiopia, Mali, Nigeria and Uganda; and the three other Theme Directors (TDs) for Post-Harvest and Agro-Processing (PHAP), Public/Private Partnerships and Market Access (PPP-MA), and Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Sharing (MELS).

The TD-CPE is a subject matter specialist who will be expected to collaborate closely with all these team members; however, the TD-CPE will report administratively and is primarily responsible to the SAA Managing Director based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In its hiring practices and work environment, SAA-SAFE seeks to encourage diversity and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, colour, religion, nationality, political affiliation, age or sexual orientation.

Primary Role and Responsibilities/Scope of Work

The role of the TD-CPE entails a generic set of responsibilities:

  •     Provide technical leadership and support on crop production and extension, both regionally and at the individual country level, while remaining current in the technical aspects of crop production and its extension to farmers and farmer groups.
  •     Design and implement participatory farmer learning platforms to support effective and efficient crop training and demonstration programmes; strengthen systems to identify appropriate crop technology options for different farmers; and involve more women farmers and very poor smallholders in farmer learning platforms.
  •     Promote improved crop production and utilisation of technologies by representing SAA at workshops, meetings and conferences, and supporting emerging private sector enterprises engaged in crop processing and marketing.
  •     Build, maintain and participate in professional international, regional and national networks and associations that are relevant to crop extension and that contribute to achieving SAA’s overall plan of work.
  •     Provide programmatic oversight of the SAA personnel, assets and finances relative to crop production extension. Together with the MD, the TD-CPE will review and approve proposed country programme budgets pertaining to crop production extension and, when deemed necessary, advocate for changes in proposed SAA investments.
  •     Work closely with CDs and their national staff to ensure that country programme goals, objectives and activities are properly aligned with the overall SAA plan of work, and that appropriate expertise is brought to bear in timely ways to strengthen the efforts of country staff to successfully implement the SAA programme.
  •     Backstop CDs in motivating country staff to reach higher standards of performance, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, and support CDs’ efforts to monitor staff performance and provide constructive feedback.
  •     Contribute to the formation of innovative and mutually beneficial partnerships that will increase the impact of SAA interventions.
  •     Promote and ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of programme activities in collaboration with the MELS Thematic Director, and utilise relevant monitoring information to make appropriate and timely adjustments in programme activities (in consultation with the MD, the CDs, and others in the organisation.)
  •     Ensure that technical, financial and other required reports in the area of crop production extension are produced in a timely manner and to high qualitystandards.
  •     Train extension, development agents and farmers on appropriate crop technologies, and prepare, publish and distribute crop production and utilisation manuals.

The successful candidate will have:

  •     A strong technical background in crop husbandry, superior interpersonal skills, and the ability to prepare realistic and fully costed activity plans with clear and measurable output targets;
  •     A minimum of 8-10 years of crop production and extension experience in Africa;
  •     A PhD in agriculture science – preferably specialising in crop production, agronomy, or similar discipline;
  •     A proven ability to support crop technology demonstrationson smallholder farmers’ fields;
  •     A strong desire to assist African countries with the provision of improved and demonstrably profitable crop production technologies that meet the needs of smallholder farmers, especially women farmers and very poor rural households;
  •     An ability and willingness to travel within the country of assignment (Ethiopia), as well as internationally in Africa and elsewhere; and
  •     Fluency in English, the working language of Sasakawa Africa Association; French is an asset.

How to apply

Email an up-to-date CV and cover letter describing why you are interested and why you feel you are well qualified for the position of Crop Productivity Enhancement Theme Director to:

Ms Karen Bromham (

NOTE: SAA provides an internationally competitive salary package, is an equal opportunity employer, and strongly encourages women applicants.

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