Apply now »

Division Manager, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Business Development


Abidjan, CI

  • Grade : PL2 
  • Position No. : 50105389 
  • Posting Date: 05/22/2024 
  • Closing Date : 06/21/2024 




Established in 1964, the African Development Bank is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 81 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries). The Bank’s development agenda consists of delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Ten-Year Strategy (2023 – 2032) and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas (High 5s) have been identified for scaling up, namely, energy, agri-business, industrialization, regional integration, and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa. The Bank is seeking to build a management team that will lead the successful implementation of this vision.



The Vice Presidency for Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization is central to the Bank’s mission of developing the private sector, improving infrastructure, and accelerating industrialization. The complex main functions are to (i) strengthen the enabling environment for private sector [and financial sector] development, conducive to inclusive growth and sustainable development, (ii) support the development of reliable and sustainable infrastructure, including cities and urban development, (iii) place renewed emphasis on industrial and trade value chain performance in support of structural transformation across Africa (iv) and support the development of youth- and women-owned small and medium-size enterprises. The Complex leverages knowledge, co-financing, and partnerships to attract private capital and work with governments to implement the Bank’s development agenda.



The Private Sector Development Department (PISD), in collaboration with other Departments in the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization Complex and with departments in other complexes contributes to the implementation of the Bank Group’s Private Sector Development Strategy (PSDS). The PISD department is specifically tasked with coordinating the work of the Vice Presidency, with the support of all Sector Vice Presidents and Non-Sovereign Operation (NSO) Origination Directors, in leading the Bank's efforts for rapid, systematic, and strategic engagement with the private sector, particularly with strategic clients, to drive investment and economic growth in Africa. It also supervises the Regional NSO Leads and NSO Industry Specialists, oversees the new SME division, while ensuring compliance with relevant Bank policies and initiatives.



The SME Business Development Division’s role is to coordinate and implement the SMEs development agenda across the Bank. The overall ambition of the division is to develop a set of activities that are complementary to the Bank’s regular operations and programs targeting SMEs. Its medium to long-term goal is to develop a set of advisory services that will improve the capacities of SMEs and those of the intermediaries supporting their development including financial intermediaries. The Division will play a leadership role in coordinating, communicating, and creating synergies in the Bank’s activities supporting SMEs.



Under the direction and supervision of the PISD Director, the Manager of the SME Business Development Division will oversee and manage a team of professional SME specialists that will coordinate with other Bank’s units to scale up the Bank’s support to SMEs in Africa. The division will:

  • Provide strategic orientation for the Bank’s SME support outlined in an action plan.
  • Undertake the development and implementation of SME support programs.
  • Facilitate collaboration and synergies across SME support activities in the Bank.
  • Support the design and implementation of SME projects undertaken by other units of the Bank.
  • Support NSO teams to increase the reach and impact of their projects on SMEs.
  • Lead the monitoring and reporting of the Bank’s SME activities.
  • Lead fundraising efforts to support SME activities.
  • Support the design of tailored SME instruments.
  • Develop internal capacities to deliver directly know how to SMEs through advisory services – at scale - through the creation of a country by country based local consultancy network that is managed, trained, and certified to work directly with SMEs under different AfDB SME programs and through the development of a database of experts with the appropriate skills to mobilize these into more technical and managerial aspects of SME needs.
  • Develop a set of digital learning products that meet the needs of partner financial institutions to reach many SMEs and designed to accompany other Bank divisions’ efforts to provide SME credit lines to the financial sector.
  • Build a competence to develop and design new SME products that capitalize on the resources available from the PISD1 with the aim of complementing and adding value to the Bank’s overall SME offering along with building a donor network that is supportive of these activities.


Under the direction and supervision of the PISD Director, the manager of the SME Business Development Division will supervise and manage the quality of the following functions:


 Technical Leadership and Implementation Oversight of AfDB SMEs Development Agenda

  1. Design and develop an effective Quality Assurance system to manage the deployment of services and resources targeted to SMEs to ensure a clear approval process and project management process.
  2. Oversee the overall management and implementation of both existing and pipeline programs that are part of PISD1 mandate and, in the medium term, providing other units of the Bank with functional expertise for the design, implementation, and supervision of SME Development programs; after building division capabilities.
  3. Design and develop new Programs that expand the reach of PISD1 into the SME space.
  4. Play an active part in contributing to the work of other departments to ensure a constant flow of donor funds.
  5. Play an active part in collaborating with transaction teams (esp. NSO leads and sector experts and RMCs) to ensure that a strong line of communication and mutual support is being established to maximize impact of PISD1’s work.
  6. Facilitate synergies and collaboration between the Bank non-sovereign and sovereign operations to deliver effective SME support interventions in RMCs by liaising with thematic teams and country and regional program officers.
  7. Catalyze global, regional, and local partnerships to support local ecosystems through mentorship, coaching, knowledge sharing, business partnerships and alliances, information hubs and online networks.
  8. Provide technical leadership in supervising projects appraisal reports and relevant Board documents and coordinating the work products of the division with that of various complexes of the Bank.
  9. Build SME local consultancy networks and their capacities at a country level to fit sectoral and technical requirements from programs.
  10. Build international consultancy networks sourced globally to fit sectoral and technical requirements from programs.
  11. Develop strong thought leadership on SME matters in Africa, develop the influence of the Bank within the SME ecosystem with key stakeholder and shapers, and mobilize relevant key partnerships with other SME development leaders.
  12. Assist the PSD Strategy Team in the development of the SME strategy component.
  13. Contribute to Bank wide efforts in supporting SME policy reforms.
  14. Create an effective presence in the SME development ecosystem through membership and representation of key agencies, organizations, and initiatives relevant to the SME sector in Africa.
  15. Develop and manage a strong monitoring and evaluation system that allows for outcome and impact and effective deployment of services and programs to be tracked and analyzed.


Division Management and Team Leadership


  1. Developing the Division strategic priorities, work program, and budget in consultation with the Director.
  2. Ensuring quality control of the Division and managing a team of professional level and support staff in providing efficient and high-quality services.
  3. Building expertise and capacities of staff and consultants to create a center of excellence in the SME space.
  4. Establishing financial management controls to ensure accountability on the flows of funds.
  5. Developing procurement approaches that allow for the scalable hiring of consultants to serve the programs in an efficient and timely manner.
  6. Build internal management systems to ensure that projects and programs are effectively and efficiently processed (design, approval, disbursement, contracting and closure)
  7. Ensuring that a system for reporting to donors is established and functions efficiently and effectively,
  8. Managing efficient use of human and financial resources and monitoring and enforcing efficiency targets.
  9. Ensuring effective communication between staff and PISD department management, effective communication with other departments and complexes, and effective communication externally with authorities of member countries as well as private sector stakeholders.
  10. Participating effectively in NSO coordination meetings and technical assistance trust funds meetings.
  11. Setting realistic performance goals and motivate team members to meet them, both for individual staff and for the team as whole.
  12. Monitoring and evaluating staff performance and recommending personnel actions to the Director.
  13. Ensuring staff capacity building, career development, and growth plans are developed and achieved.
  14. Resolving conflicts that may arise amongst staff. 
  15. Serving as a role model, leading by example, building alignment and commitment, and promoting collaboration and facilitating teamwork.
  16. Collaborating effectively with the department management team, contributing, and sharing expertise, and fostering a collegial working environment.
  17. Maintaining high standards of professional integrity, treating individuals fairly and respectively, and being sensitive to differences across culture, nationalities, and gender.
  18. Carries out such other duties as may be assigned by the Director.


THE CANDIDATE COMPETENCIES (skills, experience, and knowledge)

  1. Holding a master’s degree in business, Finance, Economics, and/or International Development or related field.
  2. Minimum eight (8) years of relevant experience (of which three (3) must have involved managing and/or supervising teams) with extensive and in-depth experience in private sector development and a track record of managing large and diverse technical teams.
  3. Experience developing and implementing SMEs and entrepreneurship development programs (preferably in Africa with a development finance institution and in low-income countries and transitions contexts in Africa).
  4. Experience developing strategies and/or analytical work related to private sector development in Africa
  5. Experience working with various stakeholders including policy makers, private sector representatives, and civil society organizations is preferred.
  6. A track record of working and collaborating with multilateral development partners and designing and implementing joint SME and entrepreneurship development programs is preferred.
  7. In depth awareness of the latest trends in developments finance, MDBs Evolution Agenda, and SDGs.
  8. Demonstrated leadership in developing new initiatives, track record in supporting resource mobilization and co-financing initiatives, and a proven track record in building and maintaining successful partnerships.
  9. Proven ability to effectively plan, direct, organize, and administer diverse activities to ensure effective delivery of Division work program.
  10. Ability to identify and create meaningful linkages across sectors and programs to drive development impact at a country and regional levels.
  11. Knowledge and understanding of the elements essential for the effective delivery and measurement of development impacts through projects and programs (preferably in Africa).
  12. Highly developed strategic thinking skills allied with an ability to translate strategic concepts and directions into the implementation of workable and sustainable projects and programs.
  13. Demonstrated leadership skills, teamwork, and communications skills in a highly diverse environment with experience managing multi-disciplinary multi-cultural teams.
  14. Excellent people management skills demonstrated by track record of managing large and diverse technical teams coupled with openness to feedback and new ideas and an ability to guide staff to resolve problems.
  15. Ability to plan and manage staff to achieve high quality results and encouraging innovation in an open team-based environment, inspiring trust, and influencing and resolving differences across organizational boundaries.
  16. Experience in change management and proactively serving as a role model for transformation and adoption of change.
  17. Ability to communicate orally and in writing effectively in English or French, with a good working knowledge of the other language.
  18. Use of Bank standard software (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint).




Applicants who fully meet the Bank's requirements and are considered for further assessment will be contacted. Applicants should submit a concise Curriculum Vitae (CV) and any additional documents that may be stated as required. The President of the African Development Bank reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level.  The African Development Bank is an equal opportunities employer. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.


The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) does not ask for payments of any kind from applicants throughout the recruitment process (job application, CV review, interview meeting, and final processing of applications). In addition, the Bank does not request information on applicants’ bank accounts. The African Development Bank Group declines all responsibility for the fraudulent publications of job offers in its name or, in general, for the fraudulent use of its name in any way whatsoever 


“Please note that the Bank does not accept dual nationality. Therefore, you are required to declare the nationality you would like to be considered by the Bank throughout your career, if hired. Please upload supporting Government issued IDs such as passport, National Identity Card or Certificate etc.”

Apply now »