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Executive Director, Fairtrade Africa

Client: Executive Director, Fairtrade Africa (  )

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

About the Fairtrade Africa

Established in 2005, Fairtrade Africa (FTA) is the independent non-profit umbrella organisation representing all Fairtrade certified producers in Africa. Fairtrade Africa is owned by its members, who are African producer organisations certified against international Fairtrade standards producing traditional export commodities such as coffee, cocoa, tea, cotton, bananas, mango and non-traditional commodities including shea butter and rooibos tea. Currently, the organisation represents over 1,050,000 producers across 33 countries in Africa.

Fairtrade Africa is a membership-based organisation. The General Assembly (GA) held every two years is the highest decision making body. All members have the right to participate and vote for the election of the Fairtrade Africa Board through their regional representatives at the GA.

We work through primary structures such as product groups, country partnerships and regional networks which enable members to have a strong voice in the governance and management of the organisation. We operate four regional networks: Eastern and Central Africa Network (FTA-ECAN) based in Nairobi, Kenya; West Africa Network (FTA-WAN) based in Accra, Ghana and Southern Africa Network (FTA-SAN) based in Cape Town, South Africa. We also have a new network in Middle East and North Africa region whose regional office is soon to be established. The Fairtrade Africa secretariat is located in Nairobi, Kenya. Fairtrade Africa has 50% ownership of the Fairtrade system.

Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers.

It’s about supporting the development of thriving farming and worker communities that have more control over their futures and protecting the environment in which they live and work.

And it’s your opportunity to connect with the people who grow the produce that we all depend on.

You can find further details on their website:

Executive Director Role Profile

Reporting to the FTA Board and working with the Commercial Director, Finance and Administration Director, Programmes Director, Strategy and Impact Director, Executive Assistant, and External Communications Coordinator, the Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the FTA with broad responsibilities for the implementation of FTA’s strategic goals and the management of its resources. The Executive Director is broadly responsible for the following:

  • Providing clear leadership to FTA ensuring financial sustainability and strategic growth

  • Developing FTA presence and profile in Africa by increasing membership and enhancing services to members though strategic and operational delivery of the strategic plan

  • Acting as an ambassador for FTA and champion the commercial needs of members and producers

  • Working closely with board of directors and committees, informing, assessing, and addressing issues that affect the organization

  • Overseeing the daily operations of the organization, providing executive direction of all program strategy, compliance, quality assurance, and program efficiency

  • Identifying and implement staffing requirements for efficient operations, maintaining a strong culture and work climate that attracts and retains staff, and drives the organization’s mission

  • Representing the organization and increase awareness by being the spokesperson and liaison with local media

  • Developing an actionable plan for fundraising and managing monthly cash flow

  • Complying with all respective regional states, and local legislation

Duties and Responsibilities

The Executive Director will have the following key duties and responsibilities:


  • Advise the Board on strategy, formulate a strategic plan and manage its progress

  • Develop an income strategy in conjunction with the Board to secure funding from a variety of sources

  • Develop and implement a long-term development strategy for sustainability and dynamic growth of the organisation's programme activities and capacity

  • Establish the key risks for the organisation and monitor and take appropriate steps to manage risk

  • Establish key performance indicators for the organisation, monitor and take appropriate steps to manage underperformance

Governance and Legal

  • Maintain a proactive relationship with the Board Chair and Regional Boards working with them to fulfill their duties and legal and other responsibilities for the proper governance of FTA

  • Ensure that the organization has the right management systems and structures in place to carry out its work effectively, accountably and safely, and that professional standards are met

  • Ensure the organisation fulfils its statutory and legal obligations

  • Oversees and report the organization’s results to board of directors.

  • Responsible for planning, organization, and direction of the organization’s operations and programs in consultation with the board of Directors

Leadership / Management

  • Build and lead an effective team dedicated to fulfilling the organization’s mission through highly successful program implementation, community engagement, and fundraising targets

  • Manage a culturally diverse staff, clientele and community whose skills, cultures and spoken languages reflect the communities Fairtrade Africa serves

  • Ensure the existence of a comprehensive human resources strategy and effective systems for the recruitment, induction, probation, training, development, and ongoing performance management of FTA staff.

  • Role model effective people management behaviours, emphasising their importance to line managers and hold them accountable.

  • Support direct reports to develop their leadership capabilities, providing direct and honest feedback and ensuring relevant support.

Stakeholder Engagement

  • Provide leadership, motivation, support and guidance to the senior team and build a culture of high performance, continual learning and listening and accountability throughout the organisation

  • Establish a mechanism for young people/beneficiaries to feed into the senior management team and trustee board and be involved in decision-making

  • Provide leadership to the regional teams to empower them to develop their work locally and develop a producer led culture.

  • Develop effective partnerships with funders, Fairtrade international and national buyers’ networks, implementing partners.

  • Develop and maintain strategic relationships with other NGOs, governments, civil society and other relevant stakeholders

External Communications

  • Serve as the face of the organization and actively participate in external events, both increasing visibility, credibility, and brand in the market, and developing strategic partnerships in order to increase community awareness of FTA brand.

  • Work with staff and board on annual benefit and oversee all external communication materials including, website, marketing materials, newsletters and social media content.

  • Ensure the development of and drive the implementation of the overall communications strategy and a range of messaging for key audiences.

  • Ensure the needs of members and producers are reflected both internally and externally.

  • Act as a spokesperson for FTA, representing producer’s needs.

Financial Management

  • Ensure the overall financial health of the organisation in conjunction with the Board.

  • Ensure the production of an annual budget with the Head of Finance and Administration ensure the sound financial management of FTA within that budget.

  • Ensure full and accurate reporting including the preparation of an annual report and financial accounts

  • Ensure conformity to partner/donor financial reporting requirements.

  • Develops and implements consistent inventory and cost accounting policies, procedures, and operational reporting/metrics.

  • Coordinate and lead annual budget reviews, monthly and quarterly reviews, and periodic forecast updates with operational and senior management for all locations.


  • Set and meet aggressive annual fundraising goals, in partnership with board of directors, to secure financial support from foundations, corporations, Fairtrade Africa members, and government funding sources.

  • Lead and develop the fundraising strategy, identifying new income streams and products.

  • Ensure the development of proposals in response to major bids and contracts.

  • Build strong relationships with a range of potential funders and develop opportunities to identify and cultivate fundraising opportunities with high value donors.

  • Prepare accurate and timely analyses that capture and communicate fundraising results, variances, and performance trends.

  • Ensures that services and funding relationships are robust enough to meet or exceed strategic goals and objectives.

Programme Management

  • Ensure the monitoring and evaluation of FTA programmes

  • Provide leadership and management oversight of FTA fiscal and programmatic operations

  • Encourage a culture of self-evaluation, monitoring and continuous learning

  • Ensure coherence in the implementation of programme activity

Qualifications and Experience


  • Master’s Degree in Agricultural Development/Economics, Rural Development, Development Studies or related studies

Experience and Knowledge

  • A minimum of 12 years’ senior level management experience at a non-profit international organisation with Board level interface
  • Experience in fundraising raising, presenting to and engaging with a wide range of stakeholders in a variety of formats; being the ‘public face’ of an organization
  • Experience of building and maintaining positive relationships with staff, funders, statutory agencies and other key stakeholders.
  • Experience in lobbying on behalf agricultural and horticultural producers for access to regional and international markets.
  • Experience in working with small scale farming communities and advocating for their needs at policy level with governments and other policy and regulatory bodies.
  • Knowledge of charity budgeting and principles of financial and management accounting; understanding of accounting principles for different funding sources


  • Ability to think strategically
  • Leadership skills
  • Outstanding communication skills, both oral, written and online to both internal and external audiences
  • Excellent presentation and persuasion skills
  • Influencing, negotiation and networking skills
  • Charismatic speaker; well respected in the sector.

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position with the successful candidate being contracted on a three-year basis with the possibility of renewal based on funding and performance.

Please note: This job description is intended as a guide and should not be viewed as an inflexible specification as it may be varied from time to time in the light of strategic developments following discussion with the post holder. The post holder will be expected to work to agreed objectives, which should facilitate achievements of the key responsibilities in accordance with the Performance Review Process.

How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please forward a copy of your CV in Microsoft Word format, along with any relevant documentation to OR use the Application Form below on or before 27 April 2020. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence as we pride ourselves on our professional service. We will revert to you as soon as feasible when we have reviewed your application.

SRI Executive is exclusively retained by Fairtrade Africa to undertake this assignment.