Full Time Sector Specialist: Green Economy – Department for International Trade
The UK Department for International Trade has a committed and growing presence across 23 of Africa’s nations. As the UK Government Department promoting free trade and overseas investment, we want to support the development of strong, prosperous and peaceful African nations, through modern, dynamic and long-term partnerships that deliver mutual benefit for the UK and Africa.
The UK believes that by understanding and supporting African-led ambitions, we can help Africa create sustainable trade, prosperity, jobs and livelihoods. That in turn will be of benefit to the UK and the wider global community. We aspire to help tackle business environment issues, help introduce commercial solutions to meet African needs, and attract foreign investment to support sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
In the year ahead of the UK hosting COP26, and after the UK’s commitment to carbon zero by 2050, the UK wants to show continued global leadership on energy transition and climate action. Africa is set to be the most affected by climate change having contributed the least towards it. We are supporting on adaptaton and mitigation. And Africa can be a leader too on transition, leapfrogging now discredited phases of industrialisation and embracing some of the low carbon technologies that might also promote sustainable and inclusive growth. This role is ODA funded and will offer the jobholder the opportunity to ensure that UK decisions across our sectors respect and further a low carbon agenda.
The Sector Specialist will join a dynamic network of committed trade officers working to support Africa’s exciting economic growth and position at the heart of the future world economy. This is an exciting time to join DIT Africa, as we continue to expand our resources to deliver on the ambition of our current Government to be Africa’s trade and investment partner of choice.
Roles and responsibilities of the Sector Specialist:
- The Department for International Trade in Africa wants to mainstream a ‘Green Economy’ approach into all its work across Africa. This means supporting in all our priority sectors of activity the commercial, regulatory and investment solutions for Africa that help to reduce the contribution of carbon in their economies.
- You will support our Green Economy Sector Director in Ghana with the development of a plan to guide the DIT network across the continent. That support will contribute your expert understanding of how low carbon interventions can be made in each economic sector and how they might be applied in an African context.
- You will also closely vet DIT’s other sector plans and work with the Sector Directors to ensure that planned activity in Africa is contributing the most it can to low carbon transition and green growth. You will advise on technologies, on regulatory frameworks, and on financing structures (like Green Finance) to support change and improvement.
- At the core of your role you will develop close understanding for African needs and the viability of different approaches to carbon reduction. You will bring a commercial perspective to this work trying to find the areas where commercial, investment or regulatory intervention could help. This will be in complement to other actors for the British Government, with whom you will forge close working relationships, whose primary interests in e.g. climate resilience and/or emissions reductions will align. You will work to understand the contribution of International Climate Finance, DFID and other programmes, so that DIT can support while also adding value in its commercial and trade policy sphere.
- You will forge close relationships with African regulators, developers and companies such that you can interpret their needs and develop solutions with and for them. You will then be able to translate those to officials less familiar with the sector and possibly to UK and international companies too. You will look for all opportunities to encourage transition to low carbon technologies, and will seek to help Africa find the regulatory and tariff structures to incentivise that change. You will seek, first and foremost, to progress their plans and assist in their capability, but you will have a good knowledge of international best practice to contribute.
- Your aim will be to help African energy decision makers understand where a commercial green economy application could deliver on or raise their ambition. You will not be so concerned with aligning African plans to UK solutions, but it would help to understand UK capabilities, public and private, especially in the area of research and innovation. For this you would make connections to the UK’s innovation centres and support work that could have mutual benefit in bringing ground-breaking techniques to Africa.
- Your role will be advisory, but you would be expected to show a clear contribution to relationship development with African developers, to a ‘greening’ of our plans in every sector, and to the upskilling of our network as they better understand how to target solutions for African needs.
Essential qualifications, skills and experience
- Postgraduate degree or undergraduate degree and other relevant professional qualification or experience.
- At least six years’ experience working in the renewable energy, green economy or related fields
- Experience of working in or with government departments, NGOs, and similar institutions
- Proven track record of cross-team collaboration
- A positive, resilient, flexible and adaptable “can-do” attitude that can see way through challenges.
- Knowledge of, and a keen interest in the green economy and its applicability to Africa
- Knowledge of African markets and/or African sustainable development.
- Language: Fluent English.
Desirable qualifications, skills and experience
- Understanding of UK Export Finance and Development Finance, although training will be provided.
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Learning and development opportunities (and any specific training courses to be completed):
- This role provides enormous opportunities to grow and develop given its pan-Africa leadership role.
- You will have access to the full suite of DIT and FCO learning and development opportunities including the FCO’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 FCO’s pan-African Emerging Leadership Programme.
- The successful applicant will be expected to complete the Certificate in UK Export Finance within the first three months of the role.
- All applicants must be legally able to work in Ghana with the correct visa/status or work permit.
- The successful applicant will demonstrate that they meet the requirements under Ghanaian law to work in Ghana.
- The British High Commission in Accra is an equal opportunities employer, dedicated to inclusivity, a diverse workforce and valuing difference.
- Staff recruited locally by the British High Commission in Accra is subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local Ghanaian employment law.
- Reference checking and security clearances will be conducted.
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