Established in 1944, the WBG is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for development solutions. In fiscal year 2017, the WBG committed $59 billion in loans, grants, equity investments and guarantees to its members and private businesses, of which $19 billion was concessional finance to its poorest members. It is governed by 188 member countries and delivers services out of 120 offices with nearly 15,000 staff located globally. For more information, please visit www.worldbank.org.
Agriculture is an essential pathway to meeting the World Bank Group’s (WBG) twin goals—eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity. Food production must increase by at least 35 percent to meet the needs of the rising global population. Thus, ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity cannot be achieved without more and better investment in agriculture, food security, and nutrition. Meeting today’s challenges on the food and agriculture agenda will require major strides in agricultural innovation and climate smart agriculture, efficiency in food production and distribution systems, promoting environmentally and socially sustainable production practices, strengthening agricultural policy and institutions, supporting agribusiness value chains, and joint private- and public- sector action. The Agriculture Global Practice (GP) of the WBG, working closely with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), supports a Global Vision for Food and Agriculture with agriculture able to feed every person, every day, in every country with a safe, nutritious and affordable diet, and where jobs and income gains in the food system are sufficient to meet poverty reduction targets.
To help the achievement of the twin goals, the strategic focus of the Agriculture GP, as reflected in the Agriculture Action Plan, is to help client countries on the issues mentioned above. Our current work program (150+ operations) consists of engagement in policy dialogue, investment, and forging partnerships across the globe seeking to (i) raise agricultural productivity, (ii) link farmers to markets and strengthen value chains, (iii) support rural non-farm income, (iv) reduce risk, vulnerability, and gender inequality, and (v) enhance environmental services and sustainability.
The Agriculture GP is led by a Senior Director, who has overall responsibility for the GP. The Senior Director is assisted by two Directors, who serve as the Chief Operating Officers of the Practice. The Agriculture GP Management Team, which is the group that leads and manages the GP, consists of the Directors mentioned above and nine Agriculture Practice Managers, who manage the roughly 280 staff working on Agriculture in all six Regions and on global programs. About a third of the staff are located in Country Offices.
The Agriculture GP works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that agriculture outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the Practice, and the GP actively contributes to work managed by other Global Practices. Accordingly, a capacity to work across GP boundaries, forge coalitions and influence multi-practice solutions is essential for achieving the major objectives of improving agriculture outcomes.
In Benin, agriculture accounts for approximately 32 percent of GDP. Agriculture remains the most important sector for jobs and livelihoods, providing approximately 70 percent of jobs. Benin’s agricultural sector growth has averaged around 4 percent recent years, significantly below the target growth rate of 6 percent, the African Union’s Comprehensive Agricultural Development Program (CAADP)’s target. However, agriculture remains the sector with the highest potential for growth and job creation. The Bank’s recently approved Country Partnership Framework (CPF) program proposes deploying a range of the WBG’s instruments to help the government achieve its goal of transforming agriculture from low-productivity and largely subsistence based to meeting its potential for high-growth, more export-oriented production that contributes far more than at present to overall economic growth and produces new jobs for a rapidly growing labor force. The Bank is also providing assistance to Benin through policy dialogue.
Duties and Accountabilities:
The primary responsibility of the Agriculture Economist will be to contribute to the development and implementation of the Agriculture GP’s work program in Benin.
The Agriculture Economist will report to the Practice Manager in charge of West Africa, who is based at World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC, and assist him/her in the delivery of the work program, assurance of quality, interaction with internal and external clients, including the government and private sector, and strategic partnerships.
In addition, the Agriculture Economist will work under the regular oversight of the Country Manager, who is based in Cotonou.
In particular, the Agriculture Economist will:
• Contribute as core team member to the preparation and implementation of selected operations, both in agriculture and multi-sectoral ones, as well as those led by other GPs (e.g. DPOs) assuring quality in all stages of the project cycle;
• Serve as the focal point for liaison with key counterparts and other partners for colleagues working with the Benin program, providing them with advice and support as needed;
• Work with the relevant Program Leaders and staff of the Agriculture GP and other GPs to identify opportunities for addressing agricultural issues in Benin as part of the World Bank’s Systematic Country Diagnostic, Country Partnership Framework, country policy dialogue, sector investment operations, budget support operations, and other multi-sectoral projects;
• Stay abreast of relevant developments for Benin’s agri-food sector and effectively communicate them to the country team;
• Identify innovative opportunities or ways to address existing needs in the agri-food sector;
• Remain current with relevant major pieces of analytical work in the profession. Participate in strategic analytical work in Benin and/or on a sub-regional level, and work with teams engaged in analytical work relevant to the Agriculture GP’s work program in Benin;
• Represent the World Bank in fora involving the community of development partners. Provide support, either explicit or implicit, to the work of the development partners in the sector;
• As necessary, represent the World Bank and the Agriculture GP’s management at events with sectoral focus that take place in the field;
• Develop strong client relations and partnership, including with the International Finance Corporation, on operational matters and policy dialogue;
• Work with other Global Practices in representing Benin specific issues in regional and corporate strategies;
• Initiate and maintain a high level and quality of engagement and dialogue with key stakeholders, including government, civil society, private sector and research/academic community on strategic and policy issues concerning the agri-food sector in Benin;
The selected candidate will report to the Agriculture GP’s Practice Manager for West Africa. S/he will coordinate closely with the AFMBJ Country Management Unit, and with the Sustainable Development Program Leader for AFCF2.
• Masters, MBA or PhD in Agricultural Economics, Economics, or in a relevant discipline;
• At least five years of experience on agricultural development issues (three years if PhD);
• Strong technical and analytical skills in the range of issue of relevance to agriculture;
• Familiarity with the institutional context of African agricultural development would be an advantage;
• Team player able to function in a fast-paced, multi-sectoral and multi-cultural environment;
• Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving and team skills with ability to find balanced, pragmatic and implementable solutions also in a multi-disciplinary context;
• High level of energy, ability to work under pressure, and willingness to travel and work under challenging conditions;
• Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and in French, including the ability to present complex issues to World Bank management and senior Government representatives, as well as to non-specialist audiences.
• Knowledge and Experience in Development Arena - Translates technical and cross-country knowledge into practical applications and contributions to country and sector strategies; interacts with clients at the policy level.
• Policy Dialogue Skills - Anticipates needs and requests in the field and conducts independent policy discussions with representatives of the government and non-government partners.
• Integrative Skills - Understands relevant cross-sectoral areas how they are interrelated; able to undertake cross-sectoral work in lending and non-lending operations.
• Agricultural economics - Deep understanding of concepts used in agricultural economics, with significant experience.
• Agriculture Policy, Strategy and Institutions - Solid understanding of agriculture policies, strategies, institutions, and regulations.
• Project Design for Impact and Sustainability - Contributes to the design of projects and programs based on an understanding of the country and sector context.
• Sector Dialogue - Able to conduct a dialogue with the client including on complex issues, based on a solid understanding of the sector.
• Client Orientation - Maintains client relationships in the face of conflicting demands or directions, and provides evidence-based advice and solutions based on sound diagnosis and knowledge.
• Drive for Results - Identifies the needed resources to accomplish results involving multiple stakeholders and finds solutions to obstacles affecting key deliverables.
• Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Shows leadership in ensuring the team stays organized and focused, and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches.
• Knowledge, Learning, and Communication - Leads in the sharing of best practice, trends, knowledge and lessons learned across units and with clients and partners, articulating ideas verbally and in writing in a clear and compelling way across audiences of varied levels.
• Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Gathers inputs, assesses risk, considers impact and articulates benefits of decisions for internal and external stakeholders over the long term.
The World Bank Group values diversity and encourages all qualified candidates who are nationals of World Bank Group member countries to apply, regardless of gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. Sub-Saharan African nationals, Caribbean nationals, and female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.