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Chief Executive Officer - FSD Ethiopia

FSD Africa
Full time
Apply by 26 January 2021

Job description

About FSD Africa 

FSD Africa works to reduce poverty by strengthening Africa’s financial markets. Established in 2012 and supported by UK Aid, FSD Africa is a specialist development agency working to build and strengthen financial markets across sub-Saharan Africa. They work to reduce poverty through a ‘market systems development’ approach, which means they aim to address the structural, underlying causes of poverty by improving how financial market systems function.

They believe that investing in building a financial system that is transparent, stable and accessible creates the conditions for a fair and sustainable future, where inequality is reduced, corruption is tackled, and where individuals, businesses and governments alike are able to prepare for future challenges, from climate change to political instability.

From their headquarters in Nairobi, their team of financial sector experts work alongside governments, business leaders, regulators and policymakers to design and build ambitious programmes that make financial markets work better for everyone. Depending on the project, they can provide a combination of grants, investment capital, market insights or technical assistance to ensure they achieve their objectives.

They focus their work where the need is greatest, and where they believe the potential for impact is the most significant. FSDA has a specific mandate to invest in breakthrough, innovative ideas that they believe can have transformative impact. By sharing risk with key partners, they’re able to address more difficult, persistent, or higher-risk challenges, in more unstable or fragile geographies, than traditional development finance organisations.

About FSD Ethiopia

FSD Africa is facilitating the establishment of a new FSD entity in Ethiopia. The new FSD Ethiopia is supported by UK Aid to facilitate the development of the financial sector in Ethiopia.

In January 2020, the UK Government Department for International Development (DFID) (now the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)) announced a £90m commitment from UK Aid, to set-up and scale new financial sector development programmes in high-priority markets in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia. To deliver this, the establishment of a local financial sector development programme, FSD Ethiopia is proposed. Although other funders are expected to come on board, the new FSD Ethiopia currently has a budget of £25m over a five-year period (2020-2024), funded from a centrally-managed programme – the UK Financial Sector Deepening Platform. 

FSD Ethiopia will build on the foundations laid by the previous DFID’s Private Enterprise Programme(PEPE). FSD Ethiopia will be incubated by FSD Africa to reduce inception timelines. An inception phase from April 2020 to December 2020 will create the conditions for the establishment of an in-country FSD Ethiopia to be launched in early 2021.

About the role

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) has overall responsibility for leading FSD Ethiopia to achieve its goal of generating sustainable improvements in the livelihoods of lower-income people in Ethiopia, through the development of a financial system which delivers real value. They will lead the development of FSD Ethiopia’s vision, mission, and strategy; and bear the ultimate responsibility for ensuring the organisation’s long-term success and sustainability. The role holder will have authority to shape the vision of FSD Ethiopia, ensuring alignment with UK Aid’s and the FSD Network’s strategic priorities, as well as those of funding partners.

Reporting to the Board, the CEO will oversee the organisation’s operations, ensuring that appropriate fiduciary oversight is maintained, and that the organisation is fully accountable to the Board, Funders, and key stakeholders. Additionally, they will also have the opportunity to participate in the FSD Network Council which is the senior governance body of the FSD Network.

The CEO will be responsible in ensuring that FSD Ethiopia is structured, organised, managed, and controlled in such a way as to enable achievement of its vision and delivery against set targets. They will lead policy dialogue, engaging with national policymakers, regulators, the private sector and other key development players, on project design, review, and analysis. 

The CEO will provide direction and advice to the FSD Ethiopia team and key partners in the financial sector, supported by local operational and programmatic teams, focused on internal management and ensuring that the organisation is delivering on programmatic objectives.


The CEO will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with frequent national and international travel. Additionally, they are expected to play an active role in the pan-African FSD Network comprising, at present, nine sister organisations across the region.

Key Responsibilities: 

Strategic Leadership

  • Lead the development of a whole country strategy and balanced portfolio of projects staying true to market system development principles and ensuring alignment with the FSD 2.0 strategy.
  • Lead the implementation of FSD Ethiopia initiatives based on new thinking across the field through engagement with the international financial sector development community to bring global best practices and key innovations back to FSD Ethiopia.
  • Review learning from FSD Ethiopia, its partners and larger FSD Network, and use the insights gained to identify opportunities for FSD Ethiopia and develop theories of change
  • Proactively engage with key stakeholders, including the Board, team members, major donors and senior government policy makers in order to incorporate their perspectives and priorities in FSD Ethiopia strategies.
  • Lead and provide support to key staff in the development of FSD Ethiopia’s annual operations and business planning process, ensuring all activities are planned, budgeted, and align with strategy.
  • Actively contribute to the FSD Network through the FSD Network Council and various collaborative efforts.

.Leadership & Empowerment of the Team 

  • Ensure the organisation has a fit-for-purpose structure in place, and an appropriate complement of qualified, competent and motivated staff for the achievement of FSD Ethiopia’s agreed plans.
  • Build an effective and coordinated team that is aligned to shared strategies and values as well as troubleshoot any team challenges, conflicts or performance bottlenecks.
  • Manage the team towards high performance standards through clear roles & responsibilities and provision of appropriate support and proactively address performance issues through timely constructive feedback, coaching and appropriate corrective action.
  • Build talent and maximise the use of available talent through on-going staff development, succession planning, career management and utilisation of a leadership style that will drive employee engagement.
  • Lead the development and implementation of policies and ways-of-working that celebrate diversity and the provision of equal opportunities.
  • Ensure that staff are managed in accordance with good HR Management Practice and provided with a safe and conducive working environment, including ensuring that all legal and statutory obligations are fulfilled.

Strategic Relationship Management

  • Build relationships with key actors and ensure the development and implementation of influencing strategies and interventions that drive mindset change and widespread uptake of pro-poor and pro-development financial practices.
  • Act as a figurehead for the organisation, positioning FSD Ethiopia as a well-respected thought leader in finance sector development, particularly as it pertains to influencing the direction of the financial sector in Ethiopia while also leveraging personal networks to optimise programme impact..
  • Lead the process of stakeholder analysis to determine key players who have the potential to contribute to the achievement of FSD Ethiopia’s strategic goals as well as establish and actively sustain productive relationships with key individuals.
  • Establish a robust research agenda that builds a relevant fact-base to influence behaviour within government agencies, market leaders (public and private), and other key stakeholders.
  • Lead the development and implementation of a comprehensive advocacy and communications strategy that will result in transformative change.
  • Personally contribute to the implementation of the advocacy and communications strategy by:
  • Publishing papers and articles in relevant journals
  • Engaging in conferences and high-profile forums
  • Liaising with major institutions and government departments; especially national policymakers and implementers.organisations
  • Acting in an advisory role to national and international (strategic level) partner
  • Liaising with the communications offices of funders
  • Liaising and harmonising with other key development players

Governance of FSD Ethiopia

  • Work with the FSD Ethiopia Board to develop and implement effective governance for FSD Ethiopia as well as lead the development of appropriate policies, procedure, structures & systems.
  • Support effective governance by developing and implementing a framework for reporting and facilitating Board decision making to enable the Board to fulfil its governance functions, in accordance with statutory requirements.
  • In collaboration with the Board, lead the development, refinement, and monitoring of policies, to ensure consistency with funder requirements and alignment with best practice, along with relevance and responsiveness to the market and key external stakeholders.
  • Ensure that systems, procedures and action plans that are aligned with Board directives are developed and consistently followed by team members while holding account to the Board for the success of the investment process and achievement of results.
  • Take the lead in identifying and advising the Board of risks; bearing accountability for ensuring that appropriate action is taken to mitigate all identified risks in accordance with risk management framework and policies.
  • Oversee the development, review and execution of agreements / contracts; bearing ultimate responsibility for managing FSD Ethiopia’s exposure to risk.

 Ensuring Impactful Interventions

  • Lead the team to achieve operational goals and effectively manage learning while also ensuring that quality of performance meets the standards and expectations of the strategic plan and key stakeholders (Board and funders).
  • Ensure that investments are chosen to maximise progress towards the achievement of FSD Ethiopia’s mission and optimise value for money with an aim to increase effectiveness over time and preferentially deploy limited resources on activities with the greatest impact.
  • Assume overall accountability for programme and project design and delivery, from inception to implementation as well as lead the team in the pursuit of impact and excellence.
  • Ensure the development of FSD Ethiopia’s Theory of Change and Monitoring and Results Measurement Frameworks aligned to the FSD Network Theory of Change.
  • Ensure that systems, tools and ways-of-working are in place to continually monitor and manage impact and ensure timely, quality delivery against annual work plans. Additionally, ensure that learning is fed back into the development of future strategy and foster a culture of academic integrity and learning with adherence to the results reporting requirements of funders.
  • Proactively liaise with funders and partners to jointly strategize and co-design impactful projects and interventions not to mention continuously engage with stakeholders to determine their level of satisfaction with FSD Ethiopia’s performance, impact and contribution
  • Provide implementation support and technical advice to the FSD team and key partners

Financial Viability, Risk and Resource Management

  • Ensure the financial viability and sustainability of FSD Ethiopia through effective resource mobilisation and management by ensuring that risks are identified and adequately managed.
  • Drive the development of FSD Ethiopia’s funding base, ensuring that there is a variety of donor funding and building strong relationships of mutual trust.
  • Monitor the financial performance of FSD Ethiopia ensuring that planned strategic and operational activities are implemented in a timely manner and that all funds are fully accounted for.
  • Ensure that FSD Ethiopia’s financial management complies with national and international financial regulations and that financial record keeping will support effective auditing and timely reporting to both the funders and the Board.
  • Develop and maintain a risk management framework and effective policies for FSD Ethiopia as well as clearly define FSD Ethiopia’s risk appetite including the level and type of risks FSD Ethiopia is willing to take in achieving its strategic objectives.
  • Support the CFO/COO to strategically manage the resources of the organisation (finances, people, assets, procurements & vendor management) while also ensuring compliance with FSD Ethiopia’s and funders’ policies and reporting requirements (including those of FCDO’s Financial Sector Deepening Platform) and with international good practice in resource management.

Does this sound like you?

  • Minimum 15 years’ experience, with at least 5 years at a senior management level within a financial (or other relevant sector) institution.
  • Deep experience/exposure to programmes that require high level political engagement with senior policy/decision makers.
  • Solid background in inclusive finance along with thought leadership at the cutting edge, rather than competence in financial inclusion.
  • Demonstrated experience in formulating, developing, and implementing new strategies as well as strong analytical skills with experience utilising data to define organisational strategy.
  • A successful track record working in a complex or pioneering environment and in managing change, and creating opportunities for growth.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead, manage and develop a high performing organisation.
  • Strong relationship management experience with the ability to effectively engage with, and influence a diverse range of stakeholders at the highest levels.
  • Experience managing technical and operational staff, with experience managing teams of at least 12 people.
  • Significant professional experience of working in Ethiopia and a strong grasp of other emerging economies.
  • Excellent skills in written and spoken English, Amharic and other local languages.

Personal attributes:

  • Commitment to the inclusive finance agenda.
  • Commitment to delivering high quality results, with cost-effective use of resources.
  • Highly professional, organised and efficient; able to multitask effectively and prioritise work based on minimal direction and multiple competing priorities.
  • Integrity and high personal ethical standards; values-driven.
  • Can-do approach; a driven self-starter with high levels of initiative.
  • Innovative and enterprising approach that is quick to search out alternative solutions to needs or problems.
  • Highly attentive to detail, whilst able to hold the bigger picture.
  • Positive, flexible, supportive attitude to work.
  • Exhibits a helpful behaviour beyond strict job requirements.
  • Discreet and respects confidentiality.

Nice to have:

  • Postgraduate Degree.
  • Experience of working in a multicultural environment.
  • Previous experience of working on UK Aid-funded projects.

Persons of all gender, race, sex, orientation, age, and identity are encouraged to apply.

About FSD Africa

FSD Africa is a non-profit company, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, which promotes financial sector development across sub-Saharan Africa.

FSD Africa sees itself as a catalyst for change, working with partners to build financial markets that are robust, efficient and, above all, inclusive. It uses funding, research and technical expertise to identify market failures and strengthen the capacity of its partners to improve access to financial services and drive economic growth.

FSD Africa is also a regional platform. It fosters collaboration, best practice transfer, economies of scale and coherence between development agencies, donors, financial institutions, practitioners and government entities with a role in financial market development in sub-Saharan Africa. In particular, FSD Africa provides strategic and operational support to the FSD Network.

FSD Africa believes strong and responsive financial markets will be central to Africa’s emerging growth story and the prosperity of its people.

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