About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.
Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004, working in rural, peri-urban and urban areas in five regional states - Somali, Oromia, Afar, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples, Amhara - and the capital city of Addis Ababa. We engage in both development and humanitarian work, and seek to integrate approaches, programs and geographies as much as possible. Our partners include government, academic institutions, development and private sector actors, civil societies and communities.
Powering infrastructure in relief settings, where clinics, offices, communications towers, water pumping stations and other necessary services are commonly fueled by diesel generators, represents a substantial economic burden for humanitarian agencies & for the businesses and households located in refugee settlements and host communities. The expansion of off-grid electricity services above household scale in humanitarian settings is limited by a lack of reliable ‘anchor’ customers upon which bankable business models can be based. The application of renewable energy in the humanitarian sector is hampered by the initial higher upfront cost of solar and other renewable installations compared with diesel generators, and the perception that any investments must be short-term due to the outdated nature of humanitarian response funding cycles.
Mercy Corps has conducted a baseline study on energy access in Jijiga, Somali Region, which has resulted in the development of a scalable, replicable model for integrated renewable electrification that would improve operational sustainability for humanitarian organizations while enabling better service delivery for people living in refugee settlements and host communities. Mercy Corps, through the Enter Energy Ethiopia program will undertake this effort in collaboration with private sector actors to ensure sustainability of the business model proposed and with the aim to reach scale for access to energy in displacement settings for all segments of the population.
About Enter Energy Ethiopia
Together with its national and international partners, Mercy Corps has developed the Enter Energy - Ethiopia (EE-E) program, which aims at developing a scalable, sustainable and market-based model for clean energy access that improves living conditions and livelihoods for refugees and host communities in Ethiopia.
To pilot and test its model, EE-E is looking to electrify the refugee camp of Sheder, Somali Region, and the communal services and institutions serving both the refugee and the host communities, such as the health clinic, the schools, the vocational center, the water distribution, among others.
To achieve the project aims, Mercy Corps and private partners are in the process of incorporating an Ethiopian special purpose vehicle (SPV) to manage, operate and scale the mini-grid assets. Mercy Corps therefore seeks a dynamic, entrepreneurial and experienced professional to serve as the Managing Director of the Special Purpose Vehicle in Ethiopia.
General Position Summary
Subject to the Ethiopian Commercial Code and the duties, powers, privileges and responsibilities assigned by shareholder of the SPV, the Managing Director (MD) shall be the principal officer and representative of the SPV and shall carry out responsibilities required to operate the SPV and its assets commercially sustainable for the benefit of clients and shareholders.
Imbibing the EE-E vision, the MD will coordinate and supervise the development of the pilot phase project as well pursue business development activities to grow the business portfolio. This will include coordinating the development phase with contractors, suppliers and stakeholders, as well as promoting the initiative to potential investors and donors with the aim to reach scale and sustainability of operations.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy and vision
· Develop the scale the vision Enter Energy and shareholders of the SPV
· Concretize such vision into a well-defined strategy and action plan with clear activity milestones and allocation of resources especially for the development of the pilot project
Corporate management responsibilities
· Manage and supervise the overall day to day management of the business of the SPV
· Manage the financial resources of SPV prudently and in compliance with shareholder directives
· Be responsible for the operational performance of the SPV
· Handle contracts and procurements needs of the SPV
· Hire and manage employees, which functions may be delegated from time to time, as well as determine their duties
· Work with shareholders and relevant state agencies for the acquisition of relevant licenses, approvals and permits for the operation of the business purpose of the SPV including the mini-grid generation, distribution and sales licenses and maintain compliance of the terms of such licenses and permits.
· Represent the SPV before any administrative bodies, public service institutions, courts of law, local and foreign offices, companies, individuals and any third parties, and thereby process, execute, and implement the business affairs of SPV; negotiate and conclude contracts, settle any differences through conciliation or arbitration
· Delegate part or all of the duties assigned to him/her herein to a member of the Company or any other person including attorneys subject to the approval of shareholders
· Report to the members of the SPV with such frequency and in such manner as may be required by them
· Comply with all decisions and directions of shareholders and
· Perform such other tasks assigned to him by the members.
project management of pilot project
· Strategic, operationalize the implementation of the engineering, procurement, construction and commission of the pilot mini-grid assets in Sheder
· Oversee the procurement and related activities as well as contract and service provider management to achieve required implementation milestones
· Identify, anticipate and manage project risks promptly
· Ensure timely, quality and on-budget delivery project milestones and goals
· Lead the process of developing partnership frameworks to support program implementation, partner agreements and ensure partner capacity building
· Monitor performance and adapt project and milestones accordingly
· Ensure constant and fruitful relations with Government institutions, beneficiaries and partners of the EE-E initiative
· Identify, cultivate and nurture business opportunities, partnerships and funding that align with shareholders’ vision
· Support the design, writing and review of concept notes, investment decks and proposals in pursuit of new business opportunities
· Ensure full compliance and satisfaction of shareholders and stakeholders involved in new opportunities, partnerships and findings;**
Team Building and Management
· Lead and manage recruitment and training of SPV staffs
· Develop the capacity of the SPV team, deepen the understanding of their roles and support their career development goals
· Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback
· Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
Finance and Operations Management
● Ensure compliance with any donor, shareholders and company regulations and policies
● Ensure proper administration of logistics and transport needs of the SPV
● Exercise sound judgment to ensure projects’ expenses are reasonable, allocable and prudent. Ensure all project funds are spent in accordance with donor rules and regulations
● Strictly follow donor and Mercy Corps’ Fraud and Prevention guidelines
Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
· Ensure that SPV team is continually gathering and analyzing operating environment data; producing relevant management reports; and adapt business decisions based on available data
· Coordinate and share information with the shareholders to ensure overall project targets and donor and investors’ obligations are being achieved
policy, advocacy, Representation
● Represent the SPV and the shareholders at relevant events; contribute to thought leadership on Enter Energy in Ethiopia and globally;
● Pursue the highest standards of personal and professional ethics, and ensure team members emulate same
Accountability to Beneficiaries
● Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically
to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Reports Directly To: Shareholders
Works Directly With: Enter Energy Project team, Project Partners Shareholders
Knowledge and Experience
· Bachelor’s degree required. M.A, M.S., M.Sc. degree required in a field related to business administration, energy engineering, and international development. Experience in consulting practice and managing social impact businesses an added advantage
· At least 8 years’ experience working in energy access for sustainable development
· At least 5 years of experience in sub-Saharan Africa
· Excellent knowledge of the off-grid energy sector and strong relationship with key stakeholders, public and private, national and international, in Ethiopia
· At least 5 years’ of senior-level leadership and team management experience
· At least 5 years of experience in being involved in the management of other businesses in the energy sector
· Demonstrated success building, managing and leading a team of professionals in a fast-paced challenging environment with high standards for success (with limited burnout)
· Strong writing, communication, organization, prioritization and negotiating skills
· Excellent coordination and representation experience is needed, especially in building and maintaining strong/productive relations with implementing and strategic partner agencies and government agencies
· Excellent MEL, data analytics and quantitative skills are strongly preferred. Strong financial management experience required.
· Willingness and ability to travel frequently to project sites and field locations
· Fluency in English is required.
The successful candidate will possess excellent leadership skills, with the ability to maintain a broad perspective. He/she will undertake innovative approaches, be agile in the conceptualization of new program ideas, and will be well versed in strategic thinking and planning. The ideal candidate will have a strong curiosity for understanding and working effectively within the complex cultural, political, security and social environment of Ethiopia. He/She will be an excellent communicator, multi-tasker, and able to work in ambiguous situations. He/She will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures. The successful candidate will be focused on team-building and capacity-building of national staff team-members; be a strategic thinker, have strong skills in design monitoring and evaluation of development programs and maintain a sense of humor.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) and it requires up to (40%) travel to field locations. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.