Engagement Manager - Clean Energy Transition, Africa

Program Management Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

This position can be based in Ethiopia, Kenya, DRC, Madagascar.

Job Summary

WRI Africa is seeking to strengthen African voice and leadership toward an inclusive, trust based COP26 Energy Transition Council (ETC) and energy architecture for and beyond Glasgow into COP27, to drive ambition and action towards just, equitable and sustainable energy transition. We plan to achieve this through strategic engagements with the Africa’s representatives to the council, as well as key Pan-African institutions and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that are centrally involved in energy transition agenda across the continent in order to help shape a shared vision and position for Africa’s energy transition and pathways.

In this role, you will be responsible for coordinating and leading engagements with targeted key institutions, as well as senior government officials from Ministries and/or departments responsible for Energy, environment, and climate change from select African countries that are key to Africa’s energy transition discourse. Additionally, you will work closely with other energy and research colleagues from the global and Africa teams to develop technical briefs that will inform a shared position and vision on Africa’s clean energy transition. You will be part of the growing WRI Africa Energy team, working to build and disseminate the narrative that highlights the momentum and economic opportunities of clean energy transition for the region.

This is a limited term position ending 2 August 2022. Extension is possible dependent on funding. 

Job Responsibilities

Communication & Engagement (60%):

  • Work closely with WRI Africa’s energy and research teams to fine-tune work plan and timeline for in-depth engagement and convening of the COP26 Energy Transition Council Africa representatives, along with the key country, institutional and civil society stakeholders
  • Lead engagement with inside track representatives of the Energy Transition Council (ETC) to facilitate meaningful dialogue around critical energy transition issues
  • Facilitate COP26 ETC’s engagement with broader representation of relevant African stakeholders, including a spectrum of country representatives, regional bodies and institutions, as well as key CSOs involved in energy access and transition discourse
  • Through direct engagement, both individually and collectively, facilitate discussion with COP26 ETC members towards aligned African positions on key themes including low-carbon pathways, “Race to Zero vs Race to Access”, and investment finance
  • Work closely with Africa’s representative to the COP26 Energy Transition Council (ETC) to secure Africa’s clean energy finance through developing consensus on solutions for de-risking investments and facilitating “close to the field” donor collaboration
  • Help to strengthen engagement with EU, Asian, and other strategic Council members, to proactively bring the African perspective to key international institutions that are interested in engagement
  • Leverage the efforts of key platforms such as Allied for Climate Transformation by 2025 (ACT25) to identify the necessary elements for designing a strong ambition, solidarity, and prosperity package for future COPs, starting with COP26 in Glasgow and COP27 in Africa, till COP30
Research & Publication (40%)
  • Work closely with WRI Africa’s energy and research teams to synthesize existing knowledge into short, sharp, digestible insights or briefing notes to help frame Africa’s energy transition issues
  • Work closely with the communications team to develop a communications strategy for the release and sharing of insights/briefs, co-authored op-eds, and other key thought leadership content
  • Work closely with aligned partners such as the African Climate Foundation (ACF) to advance consortia building efforts
  • Contribute to WRI’s institutional conversation geared towards clarifying pathways for Africa’s clean energy transition
Job Qualifications
  • Master's degree in environmental policy, energy policy, economics, international development, public policy or related field (or bachelor's degree with 2 additional years of experience)
  • Minimum of 7 years of relevant experience in energy field, and preferably with a focus on regional/global negotiations processes
  • Strong knowledge of energy policy with a track record of working with energy sector stakeholders around energy policy development in Africa
  • Demonstrable expertise in engaging with national governments, as well as regional and international institutions and CSOs involved in energy work in Africa
  • Experience in conducting and publishing research on energy, sustainable development, environment, or related fields in Africa
  • Superb interpersonal and networking skills and demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with others as well as independently and with the highest standards of integrity
  • Experience working with international stakeholders and facilitating high-level engagement
  • Extensive professional engagement and relationship cultivation, public relations, and/or political experience, including liaising with senior government and corporate leaders
  • Proven ability to lead on the coordination and delivery of major events, influence strategies, and international programs
  • Ability to manage multiple priorities and work under pressure with tight deadlines with minimal direction and supervision
  • Polished and professional communication skills for external correspondence with partners, funders, and commissioners
  • Commitment to WRI-Africa mission of inclusive green growth and partnership
  • Deep understanding of Africa’s development opportunities, the political economy of the African continent, and development partners
How to Apply: Please submit a resume with cover letter. Applicants must apply through the WRI Careers portal to be considered. Deadline for applications 22 June 2021.

Program Overview

Energy is more than electricity. Access to clean, affordable and reliable power is essential for human health, education and economic prosperity - in addition to reducing emissions. Yet energy systems around the world are in desperate need of modernization. Of the 770 million people who lacked access to electricity globally in 2019, 75 percent are in Sub-Saharan Africa. This lack of access to affordable and reliable electricity stifles the region’s economic and social development. Further, with the significant growth in the continent’s population, coupled with rising urbanization and the need to grow its industrial sector, this will lead to an increase in energy demand. While Africa is rich with renewable energy resources including solar, wind and geothermal - among others, the recent discovery of natural gas across different countries will have future environmental, as well as economic implications. As such, how Africa meets its energy needs is critical for the future of its economic and industrialization but will also have global consequences. WRI’s Energy Program collaborates with policymakers, cities, companies, utilities, regulators and development institutions to secure a clean energy future for everyone. In Africa, our energy access work has sought to build demand for electricity in the development sector – particularly in the health and livelihoods/agriculture sectors. We work closely with utilities, regulators and energy planners at national and sub-national levels as well as development organizations to integrate clean energy in development sectors. Our data tools and analysis track communities most in need of electricity and identify places where clean energy is the most affordable and reliable solution. Following recent refresh of our WRI Africa strategy, we are growing our energy work to provide needed capacity and technical support in the clean energy transition. We will continue our collaborations with utilities and policy makers across the region, providing much-needed data and analysis to influence increased investments in the clean energy space.

WRI Overview

World Resources Institute  (WRI) is an independent, nonprofit global research organization that turns big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. We are working to address seven critical challenges that the world must overcome this decade in order to secure a sustainable future for people and the planet: climate change, energy, food, forests, water, sustainable cities, and the ocean.

We are passionate. We value our diversity of interests, skills and backgrounds. We have a flexible work environment. And we share a common goal to catalyze change that will improve the lives of people. Our shared ideals are at the core of our approach. They include: integrity, innovation, urgency, independence and respect.

The foundation of our work is delivering high-quality research, data, maps and analysis to solve the world’s greatest environment and international development challenges , and improve people’s lives. We work with leaders in government, business and civil society to drive ambitious action and create change on the ground. Equally important, we bring together partners to develop breakthrough ideas and scale-up solutions for far-reaching, enduring impact.
We have been growing rapidly: our staff has doubled in size over the past 5 years and our operating budget is now $150 million. Founded in 1982, WRI has a global staff of 1,000+ people with work spanning 60 countries. We have offices in Africa ,  Brazil , China  ,  Europe  ,  India  ,  Indonesia  ,  Mexico and the  United States as well as a growing presence in other countries and regions.  

WRI is committed to advancing gender and social equity for human well-being in our mission and applies this principle to our organizational and programmatic practices.