British High Commission UK-Kenya Tech Hub Director, International Tech Hub Network Jobs in Kenya

British High Commission UK-Kenya Tech Hub Director, International Tech Hub Network Jobs in Kenya

Main purpose of job:

This is an exciting opportunity to lead the innovative and high-profile UK-Kenya Tech Hub based in Nairobi. The Hub is a component (Pillar 3) of the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme (DAP) led by the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) and delivered in partnership with DSIT (Department for Science, Innovation & Technology).

The Programme promotes digital inclusion, cybersecurity capacity building, and inclusive growth of the digital economy in partner countries (Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Indonesia and Brazil). The DAP UK-Kenya Tech Hub in particular aims to develop the Kenyan tech entrepreneurship ecosystem, strengthen digital skills of digital entrepreneurs, and build links between Kenyan and international (including UK) tech sectors.

We are looking for a dynamic, well-networked leader with extensive experience in the Kenyan and wider African tech scene for this important role. The DAP UK-Kenya Tech Hub has a critical role in the UK Government’s strategy for Kenya, with regards to maximising the growth, development and job-creation potential of the digital sector.

The successful candidate will lead a small team of staff in the British High Commission in Nairobi, as part of the wider Science, Innovation and Tech Team and the Digital Access Programme team, and will be responsible for shaping and delivering the workplan of the Tech Hub in line with the goals of the DAP and of the UK Government’s Digital Development Strategy.

The team will support local digital ecosystems in both the industry hotspots and across more disadvantaged regions of Kenya. The Tech Hub sits within a wider team and therefore the ability to collaborate and partner across programme components will be a critical success factor in this role.

The UK-Kenya Tech Hub has three main aims:

  • Identify, develop (including project management and budgeting), and deliver tailored interventions to cultivate digital skills responding to the needs and opportunities for inclusion in the local tech sector - for example promoting opportunities for youth and women in the local digital economy. Interventions are delivered by the Tech Hub team and/or by local and international implementing partners;

  • Support tech entrepreneurship through collaborations with local digital ecosystem stakeholders including local hubs, incubators, accelerators and private sector firms, Kenyan government departments and agencies and non-profit organisations, while also highlighting UK strengths and the suitability of the UK as a tech partner.

  • Support efforts to improve the policy and regulatory environment, and the wider tech ecosystem, for tech start-ups

  • Facilitate partnerships between local tech firms (including tech start-ups) and international companies (across all sectors) in the form of business partnerships, investment opportunities or joint ventures.

    Roles and responsibilities:

  • Overall leadership of the UK Kenya Tech Hub, as part of the wider Digital Access Programme, managing and working closely with a Tech Hub Operations Lead; and in partnership with the DAP Country Lead and team within the British High Commission in Nairobi.

  • Managing the UK Kenya Tech Hub budget and ensuring necessary financial processes are followed, in line with the allocations and processes set by the Digital Access Programme, and provide a high level of support to the development and well-being of the Hub’s staff;

  • Contributing to the design, development and delivery of the Digital Access Programme (by inputting into its country-level implementation plan) and UK in Kenya country strategies;

  • Overseeing the implementation of the Tech Hub’s monitoring and evaluation framework and providing management, performance and financial updates to DAP Senior Responsible Owners and central teams in FCDO and DSIT.

  • Developing strategic partnership opportunities for the Tech Hub, identifying and cultivating new leads, understanding business and innovation needs across relevant sectors and convincingly present the opportunities for collaboration, in alignment with DAP principles and country plan;

  • Contributing to the Tech Hub’s future sustainability by actively seeking new opportunities for execution of the Hub’s mission, and developing funding streams that will help the Hub to become sustainable in the long term.

  • In coordination with the DAP country team to ensure stakeholder engagement coherence, acting as point of contact for Tech Hub stakeholders in government,
    (both Kenyan and UK), corporates, startups and related organisations;

  • Work closely and collaboratively with the Head of Science, Innovation and Tech and his team in the British High Commission, and Tech Hub teams across the International Tech Hub Network to deliver impactful cross-network projects where possible, ensure network-wide learning and evaluation as well as deliver on long-term strategy.

  • Proactively contribute to learning, knowledge sharing and cross-pillar collaboration in the wider Digital Access Programme, communicating effectively with other DAP country teams (in the other four DAP countries) and central teams (in FCDO and DSIT).

    Essential qualifications, skills and experience

  • This role will suit individuals with significant experience or knowledge of the UK/Kenya tech and start-up scenes, combined with an understanding of development policy and how digital technology can be harnessed to reduce poverty and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

    The role will require leadership experience and expert knowledge of the Kenyan digital economy and related business environment and government policy. The role will suit somebody with experience and a track record of impact in Kenyan and international tech markets, and/or in the ‘digital and tech for development’ sector, and willing to take on the opportunity of building a significant tech partnership between Kenya and the UK.

    The jobholder will be expected to be a credible interlocutor with those working in the sector, both startups and larger businesses. Experience with influencing and shaping policy positions, experience with digital enterprise, digital trade or e-commerce regulation is welcome but not required.

    The ability to manage competing deadlines i.e. long term projects with short same day deadline requests from Ministers, Heads of Mission or other UK Government senior leads.

    How we do our jobs in the BHC is of equal importance as to the outcomes we deliver. The successful candidate will be expected to adopt, demonstrate and role-model the British High Commission’s values of honesty, respect, fairness, family and diversity both internally and externally with stakeholders.

    Essential on arrival:

  • At least seven years’ experience in, and knowledge of, the tech sector and start-up scene within Kenya;

  • Significant leadership experience and record of impact in the technology/digital sector or business development more widely (or a passion for innovation and technology);

  • A deep interest and robust understanding of the role of digital and tech for development;

  • A good understanding of digital inclusion and local digital entrepreneurship challenges and solutions.

  • Experience of developing strategies in partnership with multiple stakeholders;

  • Well networked within the tech sector (private sector firms and start-ups), county and national government;

  • Knowledge of, and experience with, the Kenyan business landscape

  • Track record of leading successful delivery in either industry, government or using technology for development;

  • Proven track record of leading teams to develop and run projects and partnerships from the ground up – core funding will constitute Official Development Assistance, with legal and Value-for-Money constraints on how it is spent so an existing understanding or previous experience of development programming would be very welcome;

  • While budgets are somewhat restricted for travel. willingness to travel within Kenya, and occasionally to the UK and other locations.

    Desirable qualifications, skills and experience

  • Experience of working within or with Government institutions, an understanding of public accountability and public spending frameworks operate. If the successful candidate does not already possess this experience, they need to demonstrate a drive to familiarise themselves with the many internal policies operated by FCDO including The Programme Operating Framework, financial management and HR processes as defined and implemented by the Uk Government.

    How to Apply

    For more information and job application details, see; British High Commission UK-Kenya Tech Hub Director, International Tech Hub Network Jobs in Kenya

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