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East Africa Government Relations Senior Manager at One Acre Fund

One Acre Fund is a nonprofit organization that supplies smallholder farmers in East Africa with asset-based financing and agriculture training services to reduce hunger and poverty.

Job Description

The Government Relations and Policy team works with governments at local and national levels to advocate on behalf of One Acre Fund clients. The team builds relationships with government officials to keep them informed about our work, ensures we comply with all laws related to our field work, and creates opportunities to better serve our clients. The team also advocates for improved laws and policies that benefit smallholder farmers.

Another key goal of this team is to scope out partnerships and collaboration opportunities with the government to maximize impact and unlock growth. The senior government relations manager will directly lead a team in Kenya and Tanzania to support the growth of One Acre Fund in both countries, and support the department director through key, cross-country leadership functions.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Kenya and Tanzania government relations management

  • Manage a team of 18+ Government Relations (GR) team members with relationship management and compliance portfolios at local and national levels, and directly manage two high capacity government relations analysts in Kenya and Tanzania respectively
  • Set and drive forward an ambitious GR strategy in Kenya and Tanzania with sophisticated project management tools
  • Own highest level external relations and uses them to advocate for One Acre Fund strategic interests
  • Oversee organizational risk management on key issues related to political and bureaucratic trends, and work closely with several government and parliamentary consultants towards this objective
  • Invest in the growth of individual team members to become stronger leaders and more effective GR professionals
  • Lead the execution of innovative strategies to build and maintain influential networks; identify new opportunities to work with highest level political and executive leadership, and cultivate partnership opportunities with government
  • Provide clear analysis and recommendations to One Acre Fund field leadership on core programmatic tasks like expansion planning, trials, research, and repayment
  • Ensure all required licenses and regulatory approvals are secured for the complete portfolio of products, including pilot programs like nutrition and direct giving

Strategic organisational leadership

  • Advance team and organisational priorities through the global GR/P steering committee to coordinate on overall GR strategy, provide thought-partnership on resolving priority GR challenges across all One Acre Fund countries, and drive key communications through the team
  • Support the HR immigration lead to secure all necessary work permits through refreshing country immigration strategies, influencing decisions on how global staff are placed, maintaining alignment with in-country leadership on immigration needs, and negotiating solutions to work permit approval challenges directly with senior government officials.
  • Occasional short-term support to the department director on key GR priorities in country programs with dotted/advisory lines into the global GRP department (currently Burundi, Rwanda, and Ethiopia).

Career Growth and Development

We have a strong culture of constant learning and we invest in developing our people. You’ll have weekly check-ins with your manager, access to mentorship and training programs, and regular feedback on your performance. We hold career reviews every six months, and set aside time to discuss your aspirations and career goals. You’ll have the opportunity to shape a growing organization and build a rewarding long-term career.


We are seeking an exceptional professional with 8+ year(s) of work experience and a demonstrated passion for our mission. Candidates who fit the following criteria are strongly encouraged to apply:

Government relations management

  • Significant relevant experience doing advocacy with governments, with an understanding of power and politics in East Africa, and a deep understanding of how government in Kenya and Tanzania operates
  • Strong external relationship management experience including negotiation skills and rapport building
  • Public representation, and ideally someone with experience doing media and other high profile events

Strategic organisational leadership

  • Experienced people manager with a particular expertise in remote management and experience building teams
  • Leadership skills that demonstrate a strong vision for work and an ability to inspire and align staff
  • Experience working in complex environments navigating complicated issues involving multiple internal stakeholders
  • Effective communicator able to synthesize complex messages and tailor messages to audiences
  • Strong strategic thinker with strategic and tactical skills and an ability to visualize multiple connections, inter-dependencies, and map out critical paths to achieve objectives
  • Ideally someone with experience working in international/multicultural settings
  • Language: English and Swahili required

Preferred Start Date

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, start dates can vary significantly by role. We are adapting rapidly to Covid-19 and most of our team is now working remotely. Given the changing environment, we will appreciate your flexibility in confirming a start date.

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