Head of Informations Unit - African Cashew Initiative

The African Cashew initiative has announced an opening for the position of Head of Information unit. Please find further details below

African Cashew Initiative

Terms of reference for Head of Unit for Cashew Sector Informations


Project description – The African cashew initiative

About 1.5 million cashew farmers in Africa produce nearly 40 % of the global cashew crop. Cashews therefore contribute about 20 % to farmer household income. Nevertheless, 90 % of these small-hold cashew farmers living in deprived areas receive an annual income of only 120-450 USD. In order to compete on the international market and to increase farmer’s annual income, Africa’s cashew industry has had to restructure and achieve an international standard of competitiveness.

Therefore the African Cashew initiative (ACi) aims at boosting the competitiveness of the cashew value chain and achieving a sustainable reduction of poverty in the five project countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Mozambique. The main tasks of the project are: (1) to increase efficiency, quantity and quality of primary production, (2) to enhance the cashew processing in cooperation with actors of the international private sector, (3) to improve the market linkages along the cashew value chain and promote African cashews, and (4) to establish an protected environment for investments and value addition along the cashew value chain.

 ACi has now completed its first phase with 4 years of implementation, and is entering its second phase. Through a combination of strategies, the initiative has already trained more than 240.000 farmers in cultivation methods, good agricultural practices and entrepreneurial skills. On the processing side, 20 small and medium-sized cashew processing plants with a current capacity of over 29,000 tons annually were established, thus creating additional jobs for over 3,500 people – 74 % of them being women. Farmers organized in associations experienced a rise of about 10 % in the price for cashew nuts, thanks to a better bargaining power with dealers and their linkage to local processors. As the African cashew industry developed, it is also increasingly important on the political level. So far, four of the five project countries badge funding for developing the cashew sector in their annual budget and cashews are included in their agricultural investment funds.

The African Cashew initiative is based on a co-financing agreement with international private companies and public partners, accounting for cash and in-kind contributions. Major Private and Public Partners include Kraft Foods, Intersnack and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Ghana, whose contributions are topped up by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). On the ground ACi is supported by four strong partners: GIZ, the German Development Cooperation is the lead agency and partners for example with the US-based NGO TechnoServe, the Dutch-based NGO FairMatchSupport and the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), an association of African and international businesses with an interest in promoting a globally competitive African cashew industry.

As part of the second phase a Cashew Matching Grant Fund was established to accelerate private sector driven development of the cashew industry. Private partners will be able to design and implement projects regarding farmer linkages and improved planting material, benefiting farmer’s productivity and income.


Description of tasks

The head of unit for cashew sector information will be coordinating and advising in order to achieve outputs and activities of the component 4 “Strengthen the organization of the cashew sector” within the African Cashew initiative. This component aims at organizing key stakeholders at the national level around common goals, an effectively represented processing industry by a professional industry association, and various donor programs supporting the sector operating in alignment.

The senior expert is coordinating and leading the planning and steering of this component, including content organization and methodological approaches, as well as the financial management. She/he manages few technical staff and collaborates intensively with the larger advisory team of ACi. A close collaboration and advisory input for the information manager and communication team of the African Cashew Alliance is part of the senior experts’ task. 

She/he cooperates, advises and negotiates with national project partners – agric ministries and research organizations, and donor and NGO funded projects regarding activities in support of the cashew value chains

The senior expert will be supervised by the Executive Director of ACi.


You have a university degree in economics, agriculture, trade or related fields. You have a 10 years experience in agricultural and/or agribusiness support programmes, as well as 5 years in project management. Experience and demonstrated ability to negotiate partnerships and cooperation amongst various organizations, which are financing and implementing programmes in the production, agribusiness and marketing aspects in the value chain management of agricultural commodities are enclosed in your CV. Ideally you dispose of a specific knowledge and experience about the African cashew value chains. Furthermore, you have a good understanding and knowledge of trade and agribusiness policies, policy and regulatory framework and the involved organizations.

You are a strong team player, networker, consensus builder and you have significant interpersonal and communication skills. You are ready for high regional travel intensity. Strong analytical skills and strategic capacities combined with fluent English and French skills complete your profile. German and Portuguese language skills are of advantage.


Location:        Accra, Ghana

Period:            Starting December 2012, for 2 years, with option to extend for one further year.

Our offer:       Level 5 of GIZ salary grid (Accra) + fringe benefits

Losing Date:    19th November 2012

Email: -             hr-ghana@giz.de


Expiry date: 
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 - 12:00