Senior Upstream Officer – Infrastructure (Sub-Saharan Africa)

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

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Do you want to build a career that is full of meaning and impact? The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities where they are needed most. Visit

IFC has embarked on an ambitious new growth strategy (IFC 3.0) to stimulate more investment activity, especially in Low Income Countries (LICs) and Fragile and Conflict affected Situations (FCS). This strategy calls for generating our own opportunities by proactively working “Upstream” to create, deepen, and expand markets and to imagine, design and implement investment projects. It requires taking a systematic approach to understanding the regulatory and sector bottlenecks that prevent the flow of private capital into productive investment in our member countries and addressing these bottlenecks through World Bank Group engagement on policy reforms and programmatic interventions at the country and sector level. It also requires capacity to leverage WBG programs and projects to develop our own proactive sector interventions and to imagine and design projects even in the absence of reforms.  


IFC is seeking Senior Investment Officers or Senior Operations Officers for Upstream with deep expertise in the infrastructure sector, including energy, utilities, transport, water, telecommunications, media, technology, solid waste, waste to energy and cities and/or urban infrastructure. The selected candidates will focus on developing high-quality Upstream pipeline in the Sub-Saharan Africa region under the supervision of the Regional Upstream Lead. They will also support policy work and other interventions across the World Bank Group to prioritize various initiatives and to maximize the impact of Upstream efforts. Please visit our website for more information on IFC’s work in the infrastructure sector.


Role & Responsibilities 


The role and responsibilities of the position will include but not be limited to: 

  • Identify and assess Upstream opportunities based on country and sector strategies and market creation potential. 
  • Develop feasibility studies and implementation plans for Upstream projects that lead to IFC investments.  
  • Design and implement scalable solutions and platforms that can be replicated across markets.  
  • Spot game-changing trends, technologies and business models that can bring solutions to emerging markets. 
  • Produce regular reports on the assigned Upstream portfolio including monitoring progress against project milestones and KPIs. 
  • Conduct sector-specific data analysis and stress-testing of various operating models to help generate ideas for new projects, new products and platform businesses. 
  • Work with the World Bank to identify and help implement sector and regulatory reforms that are needed to unlock opportunities for private investment. 
  • Collaborate with stakeholders and form partnerships with staff across IFC and the World Bank Group, sponsors, clients and other external parties to enable delivery of Upstream projects. 
  • Facilitate knowledge flow across IFC and the World Bank Group and promote adoption of new approaches and best practices. 
  • Help build external recognition of IFC’s distinctive capabilities in working Upstream to catalyze greater flow of investment opportunities in the sector.
  • Mentor more junior staff working on Upstream activities. 

Selection Criteria

  • Master’s degree or equivalent professional qualification in Business, Finance, Economics, International Relations, Science, Engineering, or other relevant field. 
  • At least 10 years of relevant experience in project and/or program development, in producing feasibility studies, hands-on advisory and/or consulting functions and deep understanding of investments in emerging markets. 

  • Genuine commitment to development and to the World Bank Group and IFC’s mission, strategy and values. 

  • Understanding of IFC’s strategic priorities and changing business model against the backdrop of IFC 3.0. 

  • Capacity to innovate and challenge the status quo and a proven track record in new idea generation, business development, and creating projects/programs from scratch.   

  • Strong understanding of the infrastructure sector (including energy, utilities, transport, water, telecommunications, media, technology, solid waste, waste to energy and/or cities and urban infrastructureand ability to link policy reforms, advisory interventions, investment, and mobilization to deliver solutions at a country level via the Cascade approach.  

  • Experience engaging with private sector clients, local and national governments and other stakeholders to encourage pioneering business and market development. 

  • Experience in project/program management, including executing against implementation plans with defined business development milestones.  

  • Experience in monitoring and reporting on a portfolio of projects/programs/initiatives. 

  • Outstanding analytical and critical thinking skills; demonstrated ability to synthetize complex information and make concrete strategic and tactical recommendations.  

  • Excellent people skillsopenness to feedback, new ideas, and ability to guide, and motivate others. 

  • Strong written and verbal communications skills in English.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development