Jobs & Fellowships

CARI Programme Manager

August 1, 2017
Position TitleProgramme Manager – CARI
Reporting toAESA Director
Position LocationNairobi, Kenya
Duration2 Years Renewable
Closing date22 August 2017

Organisation overview

The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) is a pan-African organisation headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, which aims to drive sustainable development in Africa through science, technology and innovation. It has a tripartite mandate of pursuing excellence by recognising scholars and achievers; providing advisory and think tank functions for shaping the continent’s strategies and policies; and implementing key Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) programmes that create impact on developmental challenges through the new agenda-setting and funding platform, the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AESA).

An emerging new initiative “Coalition for African Research & Innovation (CARI)” is being led by AESA in partnership with leading African and global organisations with the aim of building a highly coordinated, well-funded and African-led African innovation enterprise. CARI is an initiative to bring new resources and better connect existing investments to support research and development in Africa. The coalition will mobilise public, private and philanthropic partnerships and will capitalise on a moment when funders, private sector and many African governments are seeing the potential of Science, Technology and Innovation to drive economic and social development in Africa. The final form of CARI is to be developed in 2017 under the stewardship of the CARI Steering Group, made up of AAS/AESA, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome Trust, New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and the National Institutes of Health of the USA. The CARI Steering Group is currently executing various inputs for developing CARI gathered at two consultative meetings held in 2017 at the World Economic Forum Davos, and WEF Africa in Durban.

Position overview

The AAS is seeking to recruit a highly dynamic manager who will be responsible for supporting incubation of the Coalition for Africa Research and Innovation (CARI) initiative and will be tasked with leadership and management roles.

Principal duties and responsibilities

  • Develop with the support of the partners in the Steering Group, a business case for CARI that will notably clarify the vision, road map, important case profiles, and economic return of investment of right sized investment in African research and the nature of the investment
  • Explore the funding mechanisms required to bring the business case to reality, including but not limited to in-kind contributions, hybrid financing, impact financing, governments and philanthropic donors’ contributions
  • Develop and implement the resource mobilisation strategy for the financial contributions to be gathered
  • Clarify the governance structure and the legal framework for the new mechanism
  • Coordinate the management activities that support the development of CARI, giving the Steering Committee a central and sharp point of focus
  • Coordinate and provide support to the CARI Leadership Group currently made up of high ranking leaders in government, global funders, private sector and academia
  • Coordinate and monitor the task teams established to drive forward CARI activities (up to five task teams with distributed leadership)
  • Establish a mile-stoned road-map which takes advantage of existing events, notably the Grand Challenges, the Science Forum, the World Economic Forum, NEPAD and others
  • Maintain a relationship management tool and coordinate relationships with, and calls/meetings with partners and the internal review team at AESA
  • Support the AESA Director, the CARI Steering Group and CARI Leadership Group to present the CARI agenda to specific and broad audiences in Africa and globally.

Responsibilities in specific areas

  1. Work with the CARI Steering Group made up of representatives from AESA, BMGF, Wellcome Trust and NIH to develop a road map, business plan and implementation plans for CARI activities in 2017 and beyond
  2. Analyse, implement and monitor new growth potentials by introducing new fundraising channels, up scaling existing activities and introducing innovative activities for fundraising based on identified and new funding pipelines
  3. Proactively network and collaborate with a range of stakeholders with a key focus on Governments, Foundations and Trusts, private/industry partners including big pharmaceutical companies to synergize broader development efforts, build relevant partnerships and enhance opportunities for African scientists to access resources, leading roles, mentorship and support
  4. Develop a robust communications strategy for CARI in partnership with the AAS communications office and the funding partners
  5.  Undertake the stepwise implementation of the final business case/plan after its development and final approval by the CARI Leadership Group
  6. Plan the detailed implementation of various milestones and events including the CARI launch event in early to mid-2018
  7.  Attend meetings with partners as required to present, negotiate, and review on CARI activities and development plans
  8. Develop clear timelines for delivery of CARI foundation documents, business plan, communication strategy, launch strategy, fund-raising strategy and related.



Professional and Experience

  • Must hold senior management or leadership position in organizations or business environments with responsibilities for overseeing global business development and fund-raising strategies
  • Must have knowledge of and experience with the funding relationships between governments, international funders and major grant recipients
  • Must have worked inside, or advised one or more of the following; governments, international funders, global pharma/industry or major grants recipients
  • Must have credible hands-on management experience. Advisory experience is useful but insufficient on its own because there is a complex management challenges
  • Will have substantial experience of working on the African continent, not necessarily currently residing in Africa, but must be prepared to relocate to work from the AAS/AESA offices in Nairobi
  • Will have the experience and gravitas to work with senior levels of the CARI/AESA/AAS partner organisations
  • Will have developed a multi-stakeholder business plan, or demonstrate credible contributions and/or access to that level of experience.

 Behavioral and Personal qualities

  • Excellent inter-personal skills and the ability to work with people from varied backgrounds, at all management levels
  • Resilience – maintaining composure and dealing effectively under pressure
  • Methodical and systematic, with a strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Action-oriented, confident and able to demonstrate initiative
  • Operate at the highest levels of integrity and ethics
  • Quality delivery and always conscious of tight deadlines
  • Able to foster team work
  • Cool composed demeanour that is unfased by regular dealings with top government and corporate leaders.


The position is open to qualified candidates from Africa and globally who can work in Kenya.

Applicants must email a completed application form from the AAS website, a detailed curriculum vitae and cover letter to, with the Position and Vacancy Number as the Subject by 22 August 2017. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

More info – AAS Website