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WWF International

Regional Director, Africa

About WWF 

WWF is the world’s largest independent conservation organisation, with over 30 million followers and a global network active in nearly 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature.

WWF does this by:

  • conserving the world’s biological diversity;
  • ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable;
  • promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.

WWF is a credible and trusted global brand committed to acting with integrity, transparency and accountability while honouring diversity in the organisation. WWF is known for its robust, science-based approach and willingness to stand up for nature. While focusing on the impact on the ground, WWF simultaneously works by engaging in powerful and influential partnerships with the institutions and businesses that matter in moving policy and practice towards sustainability. The brand essence is ‘together possible’.

WWF believes that tackling the planetary emergency requires organisations to think and act bigger and faster – helping the world pull together to deliver a New Deal with science-based targets that address the crisis facing people and nature.

WWF International is the Secretariat for the WWF Network and manages  34 Country Offices globally in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Europe/North Africa. The role of the Regional Director Africa is to provide strong and inspiring leadership to the managed country offices accountable to WWF International in the Africa region.

About the Role

The Regional Director, Africa, will lead the strategic planning, conservation strategy and future institutional development of WWF in Africa as the leading conservation INGO in this region while enabling the Africa Country Offices to play a leading role in the WWF Network.  At the same time, the Regional Director will ensure the fulfilment of the organisation’s mission of ‘people living in harmony with nature by ensuring the relevance of WWF’s conservation work to people and development in Africa while also delivering the conservation strategy and implementation of initiatives on the ground.

Purpose of the Role

The Regional Director, Africa will:

  • Provide thought leadership on key issues at the highest organisational level.
  • Secure key partnerships and high-level political commitment within and outside Africa to deliver conservation impacts, such as Africa Development Bank, African Union, NEPAD, SADC and African governments, and business leaders to ensure optimal communication and mutually beneficial relationships.
  • Develop a highly effective, entrepreneurial and impact-driven Africa leadership team.
  • Build strong and high-performing Country Offices in Africa equipped with the core capabilities to deliver impact and create a culture of commitment and high standard of work ethics and conservation impact amongst all levels of staff.
  • Ensure cohesion and consistency across Country Offices and support senior staff across locations to utilise their full potential to deliver conservation impact

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Provides overall direction and leadership in executing WWF strategic objectives, Practice strategies and institutional vision in Africa to achieve the highest conservation impact and outcomes;
  • Role models the WWF organisational values and sets the ‘tone at the top’ in providing inspirational leadership to the region.
  • Ensures that Practice outcomes and initiatives in the region are successful and contribute to the global goals and strategy of WWF;
  • Opens doors  & works with the Africa Conservation Impact Director  to identify, pursue  and maximise opportunities and networks to deliver the most viable  transboundary WWF global practice  conservation outcomes in Africa 
  • Working with Conservation Impact Director, Africa, to identify and pursue  crucial opportunities for joint action with other conservation groups on the continent to lead  unified conservation agendas as the global deal for nature
  • Ensures that WWF’s conservation work on the ground is aligned with its social policies, clearly upholding the human rights of people and communities. 
  • Further strengthens WWF’s profile, reputation and credibility in Africa and influences policies to achieve WWF’s global programme priorities;
  • Initiates and leads strategic regional partnerships with governments, corporate, civil society etc, relevant to WWF’s institutional vision and global initiatives in Africa;
  • Ensures effective communications, in partnership with Country Offices, with WWF Network, governments, international organisations, other non-governmental organisations, industry and the public to ensure a strong profile of WWF and its activities, as well as leveraging opportunities between national, regional and global levels;
  • Ensures WWF in Africa has a solid long-term organisational development strategy and is financially strong to deliver on its conservation agenda;
  • Ensures Country Offices are adequately resourced and are effectively and efficiently managed in all key areas – conservation, operations, finance, HR, communication, policy and partnerships;
  • Ensures full compliance of Country Offices in Africa with WWF International policies and procedures and WWF Network standards,;
  • Provides effective leadership and line management for all members of the regional senior leadership team and Country offices;
  • Builds a culture of performance, positivity, engagement, creativity and work ethics within all offices in Africa;
  • Leads staff effectively through the creation of a shared vision ensuring all staff in Africa understand their contribution and uphold the values of the organisation;
  • Perform other duties as requested by the Executive Director, Country Offices Management, WWF International.

Skills and Experience

Required Functional Skills:

  • At least ten years of professional experience in a leadership role with demonstrated success in conservation and leading national, regional or international organisations;
  • Proven knowledge and experience of the not-for-profit sector, preferably of environmental and/or developmental non-government organisations;
  • Proven knowledge and experience of human rights and community-based approaches to conservation
  • Experience working with and influencing high-level government officials and other key senior stakeholders in Africa;
  • Good understanding of key conservation challenges in Africa and linkages with global priorities;
  • Proven track of leading and building an organisation;
  • Experience in designing and implementing conservation projects on the ground;
  • Broad knowledge of operational issues and performance management, including the development and implementation of successful strategic Business Plans;
  • Advanced degree in Environment/Conservation related areas, Business Management, International Relations/Development  or other related fields;
  • Exposure to and understanding of policy and partnership-related work;
  • Prior knowledge of the WWF Network is an advantage;
  • Excellent written and spoken English. French will be an added advantage.

   Required Behavioural Skills:

  • A proven leader with the capability of growing an organisation’s impact and building future leadership and talent in the organisation;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including the ability to represent an organisation at a range of local and international fora, in the media and with the general public;
  • High-level negotiation, collaborating and influencing skills and the capacity to develop and maintain strong relationships at all levels in the business, not-for-profit, scientific and political communities;
  • Networks at the highest levels of Government and Business;
  • Very strategic and demonstrated experience in developing, implementing and evaluating strategic plans;
  • Track record of building organisational talent by nurturing performance culture and encouraging empowerment and delegation;
  • Decisive, courageous and resilient;
  • Passion for conservation and WWF’s mandate;
  • Committed to equal opportunity employment policies;
  • High level of integrity and comprehensive understanding of social policies and safeguards.
  • Experience and a good understanding of operating in different cultural environments and managing remote teams;
  • Ability to drive change and high performance;
  • Available to travel extensively; 
  • Embraces the WWF mission and values of the organization: Courage, Integrity, Respect & Collaboration.