Strategic Advisor, Technology Innovation and Investment at Tony Blair Institute for global change: (Deadline 18 June 2021)


Strategic Advisor, Technology Innovation and Investment at Tony Blair Institute for global change: (Deadline 18 June 2021)

Focus of the Role

Rwanda has successfully concluded its Vision 2020 that guided the country’s development over the past 20 years. It has now embarked on yet another ambitious 30-year journey with a new Vision 2050. Vision 2050 and the National Strategy for Transformation have set out targets for Rwanda’s transition to a high-income economy, built through private sector-led growth and human capital development.

Kigali Innovation City (KIC) is a flagship government program to create technology and Innovation Park anchored by high-tech R&D and entrepreneurship and pan-African talent development to accelerate Rwanda’s transition to knowledge based economy.

The strategic objectives of the KIC are:

  1. Enable a diverse set of tech-enabled innovators that choose Rwanda to test, launch and scale their innovations and are strong enough to attract private funding
  2. Coordinate, strengthen and expand the innovation infrastructure so that synergies between different actors are fully leveraged to benefit everyone and the Innovation Hub prospers due to cross-pollination
  3. Nurture and strengthen an ecosystem that allows Rwandan-based innovators to achieve their full potential and scale

TBI has been supporting Rwanda for 12 years and has established a unique trusted relationship with the Government. We are now looking for a Strategic Advisor to support the Office of the Managing Director of Kigali Innovation City (KIC) and will have responsibility in heading up the Government Task Team.

Key Responsibilities

  1. Design and implement programs to drive technology-enabled innovation in key priority sectors (Agriculture, Financial Services, Healthcare, Smart Logistics, Smart Energy) including:
  • Develop accelerator programs in the priority sectors to support high-potential  Rwandan-based startups
  • Identify and attract high-potential startups and scaleups – both resident and non-resident – to support efforts to increase the number of innovators setting up in Rwanda
  • Launch and implement the monitoring and evaluation program to track impact, retention and growth
  • Source and negotiate with partners both locally and internationally to enable successful execution of program
  • Identify and provide support to resolve any bottlenecks to startup commercialization in each sector and work​

2. Provide technical support to unlock early-stage financing for tech or tech-enabled startups and scaleups including:

  • Support sourcing and negotiations with fund managers at the early-stage and growth-stage to accelerate deployment of prioritized early-stage financing mechanisms including the Rwanda Innovation Fund
  • Identify systemic issues and propose areas of intervention required to support fund managers and portfolio managers

3.Develop and Implement Broader Partnership Strategy for the Ecosystem Development

  • Develop and operationalize partnership strategy for KIC across key pillars of the ecosystem – capital, talent development, industry innovation, entrepreneurship, and government
  • Fast track ongoing and planned partnerships (e.g., program partners, academia, peer ecosystems in strategic markets, multinational companies, etc.) with the goal of enhancing the ecosystem as well as to attract tenants to establish in the Kigali Innovation City ecosystem
  • Tactical execution of new impactful and strategic agreements through all aspects of partnership development including business case development and negotiation and collaborate with other stakeholders in the government and private sector to support partnership development and management
  • Develop targeted KPIs with clear stakeholder mapping and engagement plan to measure and track success of the strategy

Person Specification

  • A Master’s degree in business or other relevant fields is preferred, preferably with specialization/expertise in Business, STEM, Public Policy or Economics disciplines and ideally within a developmental context
  • Experience working primarily within the private sector with expertise building business cases around market opportunities and partnerships – including strategy development, market segmentation, competitive analysis, and financial analysis
  • Strong analytic and research skills with the ability to analyse opportunities (both quantitative and qualitative). Excellent business writing, presentation skills and verbal communication skills (in English)
  • Demonstrated work experience in startup/innovation ecosystems, preferably in emerging markets
  • Experience managing multiple projects & stakeholders, with excellent stakeholder management skills
  • At least 7 years’ experience in management consulting and/or investment banking, investment management or companies or projects demanding similar skillsets is preferred
  • Preference for individuals with work experience in Africa and/or other emerging markets
  • Effective interpersonal and leadership skills. Team player with an ability to develop and foster relationships with counterparts across a large organization
  • Self-starter with drive, motivation, and ability to consistently achieve results in a fast-paced environment

About The Institute

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people

We do this within two connected divisions:

 Government Advisory

Our Advisory Practice works directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It has both non-profit partners and a client base and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia. We are currently in a rapid expansion phase from c. 18 countries at present, to 30 by December 2022.

 Policy Futures

Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas:

  • Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics;
  • Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and
  • Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world.

As an organisation, the core beliefs we all embrace are:

  • Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork
  • Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity
  • Optimistic Changemaker: you’ll be focused on results

TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work.  It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\’re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.




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