The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) is the apex continental organization responsible for coordinating and advocating for agricultural research for development (AR4D). FARA serves as the technical arm of the Africa Union Commission and the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD on matters concerning agriculture science, technology, and innovation.  In this capacity, FARA served as the lead institution for the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) workstream on agriculture research, technology dissemination and adoption (Pillar IV). FARA currently serves as convenor of CAADP’s technical network on research and extension and coordinates the operationalization of the Science Agenda for Agriculture in Africa. Established in 2002 and headquartered in Accra, Ghana, FARA provides a platform for stakeholders in Africa’s agricultural research and innovation to dialogue, network, form partnerships, and engage in collective actions, to respond to opportunities and challenges confronting the continent’s agriculture and food systems. In addition, FARA articulates Africa’s position in global agriculture research and innovation forums such as the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) and other related fora such as the UNFSS, COP etc.  


The objective of this assignment is to engage an individual who will provide strategic leadership and management to achieve FARA’s mission. He/she will develop and maintain strategic relationships with a diverse range of stakeholders (policymakers, National Agricultural Research and Extension Institutions, farmers, private sector, NGOs, universities, sub-regional organizations, CGIAR, development partners, etc.) that FARA partners with and relies on to achieve its goals. 


Lead the development and implementation of the Forum’s strategyProvide vision and leadership in strategic and operational planning and implementation. Lead the identification of key strategic objectives and long-range strategic plans/objectives for FARA (the forum)Develop key performance indicators (KPI) and milestones to measure the progress and delivery of identified strategies and objectives.Direct and provide guidance on the FARA secretariat’s day to day operations.Oversee implementation of the secretariat’s risk management strategy, ensuring that institutional and operational risks are identified, managed, and mitigated.Ensure zero tolerance for corruption, financial mismanagement, and other forms of misconduct. Promote a work culture that is aligned with FARA’s value proposition and strategic direction. Develop, review, and oversee the implementation of FARA’s strategic plan and deploy sound procedures for change and growth. Conceptualize and deliver approaches for maintaining the apex role of FARA on the continent.Build and enhance strategic partnerships, as well as ensure FARA’s visibility and competitive positioning within relevant sectors. Serve as an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors 

Oversee the operational and human resource management of the FARA secretariat keeping with the institutional policy and procedureSupervise the Senior Management TeamEnsure that the secretariat has the right talent for current and emerging needs, through effective recruitment and selection processesEnsure compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and agreements. Ensure high staff morale and staff equity and efficiency through regular review of terms of employment, incentives, staff policies and procedures and upgrading of skills as requiredOversee the preparation of progress reports on the implementation of FARA’s programs for presentation to the Board of Directors. Ensure standards operational practices are in place and reviewed on a regular basis to improve the overall performance of the Institution.Ensure the compliance with Board approved rules and regulations for management of the secretariat.Ensure effective communication between management and staff for promoting a service orientation culture within the secretariat.Create an accountability framework for staff and be ultimately responsible to the Board for the general performance of the secretariat.

Act as a liaison between the FARA secretariat and the Board of Directors.Provide, as the chief spokesperson on continental issues of agricultural research and development, support to the chairperson of the Board of Directors.Organize, plan, and manage all the meetings of the FARA secretariat, in consultation with the Chair of the Board.Ensure that sufficient information is provided to the Board for it to make appropriate decisions. Provide leadership in the implementation of Board decisions.Regularly appraise the Board on the Secretariat’s risk management efforts, including strategic and operational risks.Act as the secretary for the Board of Directors. ii). Keep the Board informed of the progress in managing the affairs and implementation of the mandate. iii). Provide administrative and technical support to the Chairperson and the Board. As Secretary to the Board, Support the Chairperson of the Board of Directors to formulate and circulate the agenda for the meetings of the Board of Directors. 

Provide leadership in the management of the Secretariat’s financial resources to ensure a sustainability of the institution. Ensure that the expenditures of FARA are within the Board approved annual budget.Oversee the preparation of annual work-plans, budgets, and financial statements of FARA for presentation to and approval by the Board of Directors.Oversee assessment of the principal risks of FARA and ensure that these risks are being monitored and managed. Ensure that effective internal financial control and management information systems are in place. Ensure that FARA has appropriate systems to enable it to conduct its activities both lawfully and ethically.Ensure that accurate, timely and well‐supported financial reports are produced and distributed in accordance with existing financial and administrative policies and procedures. Ensure that the FARA’s accounts are properly audited, as stipulated by the by‐laws and financial procedures.Ensure that FARA reliably achieves its objectives, addresses ambiguity, acts with integrity in line with policies and processes and ensure adherence to the hosting agreements.Identify and mitigate or exploit risks that could hinder or benefit FARA in achieving its objectives. 

Serve as the principal interlocutor for FARA in continental, sub-regional, regional economic communities (RECs) and other international fora, to increase its visibility and collective action, more broadly. Promote and nurture partnership with relevant institutions involved in agricultural research and innovation programs in the AR4D landscape and at sub-regional, continental, and global levels. Undertake frequent travels to represent FARA in relevant fora and bilateral meetings. 

Mobilize and leverage the power of relationships and networks across both public and private sectors, to elevate FARA’s impact and brand. Oversee the design and rolling out of fundraising strategies to support the delivery of FARA’s mission.

Ensure that appropriate strategic and operational responsibilities are designed for FARA staff, finances, and systems, which support the growth of programs and ensure efficiencies. Ensure the establishment of effective systems to track and evaluate FARA’s performance and provide direction to ensure the institutional visibility, viability, financial and operational health of the organization. Oversee the maintenance of a healthy, productive, and supportive work environment and culture that mentors, nurtures, and enables staff to reach their potential.

The Executive Director of FARA is appointed by the FARA General Assembly upon recommendation of the Board, following a competitive world-wide international recruitment and selection procedure. Appointment will be based on a fixed-term contract, not to exceed five (5) years, with the option for one renewal, also not to exceed five (5) years. 

The Executive Director will be located at the FARA secretariat in Accra-Ghana 

The Executive Director position reports to the Board through the Board chair.  

The individual will be required to possess the following:


Post graduate qualification in agricultural, biological, social and economic sciences, or related fields from a recognized university. 

Relevant Experience

PhD and or MBA is an added advantageAt least fifteen (15) years of demonstrable leadership experience in technical agricultural research for development, ten (10) of which should be in a senior leadership, organisational/ people management, and coordination role, in a similar or aligned organization.Experience in a similar position at continental level is preferred. Proven understanding of FARA’s programmes and projects, strategic direction and mandateGood understanding of the dynamics between FARA, the SROs, AFAAS and other institutions in the African AR&D ecosystemDemonstrated strong understanding of agricultural research for development issues in Africa. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and ability to build consensus and manage conflict. A strong record and evidence of fundraising experience especially with African partners and the international communityDemonstrated ability to build and sustain partnerships. 

Required Competencies

To succeed in this role, the candidate will demonstrate:Ability to define clear goals and inspire people to achieve them.Exceptional interpersonal and team-working skills, with a proven ability to motivate, earn trust and enthuse whilst delegating appropriately to focus on strategic issuesProfound knowledge of and commitment to the CAADP- Malabo Commitments within the context of the AR4D fraternity and understanding of broader CAADP XP4.Innovative Finance and Resource Mobilization skills and ability that can drive to seek new revenue streams and business modelsLeadership , strategic thinking, and People management skillsPlanning and coordination skillsNetworking, negotiation, and diplomatic skills Financial management skillsEffective presentation and report-writing skillsResult‐oriented, professional, accountable, and proactive.Ability to influence and manage expectations with senior leadership. Ability to work effectively and efficiently individually and with multi‐disciplinary teams in diverse cultural environments and drive action to accomplish goals for collective success.Strong interpersonal skills, tact, and patienceWillingness and ability to work under stress and ability to travel extensively.Credibility and influence with donors, investors, national stakeholders, and partner organizations.Sound operational, financial and risk management 

Skills and control responsibility.
Proven ability to translate vision into effective strategy.Ability to multi‐task and prioritize work amidst competing demands.Working knowledge of AU languages (French, English, Arabic)  is an added advantage. 

Applicants are invited to send a letter of motivation illustrating their suitability in relation to the qualifications listed and their detailed curriculum vitae, , together with the names, addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers of three referees to the following address:
The Chair
Recruitment Advisory Committee
PMB CT 173, Cantonment, Accra,

The deadline for submission of applications is 30th July 2022.Only shortlisted candidates who meet the above requirements will be contacted.
We invite you to learn more about FARA by accessing our web site:

We offer a collegial, diverse and gender-sensitive working environment, and we particularly encourage applications from qualified women and underrepresented communities. The salary is commensurate with the seniority of the appointment.