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Access to Finance Specialist

Job Summary

The Access to Finance Specialist will support the Cross-Border Trade and Market Systems Lead in building more effective cross-border market systems that take full advantage of new and existing international market opportunities.

  • Minimum Qualification: Bachelor
  • Experience Level: Mid level
  • Experience Length: 7 years

Job Description

Company Profile

Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact - the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value. We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits. 

For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved - and is committed to continuing to improve - economies, societies and most importantly, people's lives. 

Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status. 


Activity Overview and Role

Palladium seeks an Access to Finance Specialist to support Objective 1 of the Regional Agriculture and Market Systems (RAMS) activity, a 5-year, $23 million task order under USAID’s Regional Integration and Stronger Economics (RISE) IDIQ mechanism. RAMS is designed to promote increased agricultural production, trade, improved policies, finance and investment, and resilience to shocks and stresses in the East Africa region by addressing agricultural issues that can only be solved on a regional basis. RAMS will collaborate closely with USAID/Kenya and East Africa’s regional intergovernmental partners, including the East African Community (EAC), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region. The Activity is organized under four objectives: 1) Strengthening cross-border agricultural market systems, 2) Accessing and scaling technologies, 3) Strengthening regional resilience, and 4) Strengthening the regional agriculture policy and regulatory environment. The RAMS geographic area of focus includes the East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and Zambia.

The Access to Finance Specialistwill support the Cross-Border Trade and Market Systems Lead in building more effective cross-border market systems that take full advantage of new and existing international market opportunities. S/he will concentrate on financial facilitation and trade financing in order to support cross-border value chain development and increase trade. S/he will report directly to the Cross-Border Trade and Market Systems Lead and will be the primary contact for subcontractors working on.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Strengthen cross-border financial facilitation and trade financing to operationalize alliances and partnerships in target value chains. Focus value chains include but are not limited to livestock, climate resilient staple crops, and horticulture.
  • Develop strategies utilizing a combination of grants, TA, and performance-based incentives, to spur increased financing for regional trade.
  • Assist in identifying new regional cross-border trade opportunities, and facilitate medium to long-term private sector investment in value chain systems.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for subcontractors and grantees working on financial facilitation.
  • Identify capacity or product/service gaps of financial institutions to meet the finance needs of potential clients in the target value chains.
  • Identify specific needs required for inclusive lending, ensuring that where applicable, tailored products, targeted marketing, and asset-based lending increase access to finance for women and women-owned businesses.
  • Support the identification and expansion of appropriate risk mitigation tools to de-risk cross-border trade financing.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, economics, international trade, or related field. MBA preferred.
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience working in the financial sector, preferably across multiple countries in East Africa.
  • Experience supporting East African enterprises to access trade financing and financing/investment in productivity enhancement and business expansion.
  • Ability to identify and analyze financial opportunities, and experience in deal origination, structuring, and closure.
  • Well-networked among financial institutions, fund managers, and other types of potential investors in the region.
  • Ability to effectively communicate with partners and stakeholders.
  • Strong preference for Kenyan and East African citizens.

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