Blue Heart of Africa (BHA) Initiative Leader via LinkedIn

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

Nairobi, , KE

WWF launched a new strategy that harnesses the strengths of the WWF network in a shared vision, focussing on six major goals – water, wildlife, the ocean, climate and energy, forests, and food – and three key drivers of environmental problems – markets, finance and governance.

In support of this strategy WWF undertook a redesign of its international secretariat that will further unite WWF offices and its near 7’700 staff around the world. This will help WWF to build stronger partnerships across the world with government, business, civil society and individuals. Together, we will deliver on WWF’s ambitious goals.

Location: Nairobi, Kenya – Other locations may be possible: Mozambique, Zambia, Uganda, South Africa, Tanzania, Madagascar and Kigali

Work commitment: 100%

Type of contract: Permanent role

Reports to: Directly to the CEO/CD of the office they are embedded in/or Regional Conservation Director, with a reporting “dotted” line to the global Freshwater Practice leader

Background: Mission of the Department and Major Functions

Africa’s freshwater resources are at the centre of the region’s livelihoods, ecosystems & economies. At the same time, they are under significant risk and pressure, through a sharp increase in demand due to high population growth and increasing agriculture/industrial activities, demand from rapid urbanization with inadequate governance strategies and innovation. Climate change compounds water management challenges and not enough is being done to look at systems-scale approaches to freshwater resources, the connections between water and biodiversity conservation, health, economic growth and demand.

The Blue Heart of Africa (BHA) Initiative unites freshwater work across Africa, to build partnerships and projects that deliver real progress. Rather than supporting interventions, which are isolated, with a narrow geographic focus and small in scale, the BHA Initiative seeks to unify freshwater conservation activities across African landscapes and across stakeholders by providing an overarching framework that addresses Africa’s key freshwater challenges. More specifically, the initiative aims to support African countries to meet national, regional and global commitments towards water security and climate change, using a resilience lens, leveraging innovative finance, investing and building with nature, engaging the private sector and protecting vital freshwater biodiversity.

Major Duties and Responsibilities


  • You will be the internal and external “face” of the Initiative.  As such you will need to have strong communication, advocacy, fundraising and partnership building skills;
  • You will be responsible for ensuring the delivery of the Initiative;
  • In the short term you will be responsible for leading, planning and coordinating partners and country offices of BHA;
  • You will build and maintain regional and global partnerships;
  • You will ensure the initiative links to international and regional policy;opportunities around UN conventions and related agreements (CBD, Ramsar, NDCs, VNR’s, and NBSAPs etc.);
  • You will be aware of external opportunities where WWF needs to act and influence key decision makers and governments;
  • You will take part and represent the Initiative at various relevant regional and technical platforms such as the Regional Development Community meetings AMCOW Meetings, AfDB Roundtables, Africa Water Week etc.

Management and Coordination

  • You will recruit (in due course) and manage a small team consisting of communication manager and fundraising manager;
  • You and your team will actively support 10 country offices to deliver the initiative;
  • You will work closely with and be supported by the Freshwater Practice coordination team as well as Regional Office for Africa staff and leadership;
  • You will collaborate with other relevant WWF Freshwater initiatives including Free Flowing Rivers (FFR) and Bankable Water Solutions;
  • You will coordinate with other relevant practice initiatives from our Markets, Forests, Wildlife, Finance and Climate and Energy teams;
  • You will encourage innovation and sharing of best practice between the offices;
  • You will ensure that internal reporting from offices on progress and FW outcomes, reporting for any BHA multi-country projects;
  • You will ensure the country office teams engaging and securing the support needed from relevant technical communities of practice such as Corporate Water Stewardship, Dams and Infrastructure, Finance and Habitats and Species.


  • You will raise visibility and recognition of the Initiative internally and externally; 
  • You will work with Practice Comms Lead and ensure the comms manager develops a global communications strategy and develops the necessary content to support communications and fundraising by yourself and the network. 


  • You will have visibility of the funding gaps in the portfolio;
  • You will utilize existing and new networks of potential donors and funders to generate significant new funds and enable the scaling up of the Initiative;
  • You will work closely with the Proposal Development Manager, the Regional Rep and regional CD for opportunities and network coordination.


Required Qualifications

  • Experience in leading and coordinating policy, project management, advocacy and lobbying work at a high level;
  • Strong partnership builder, with existing networks of contacts with governments, multilateral development banks, business, NGOs and Public Sector a plus;
  • Strong communicator, writer and public speaker;
  • Proven track record of effectively leading, managing and coordinating teams; 
  • Successful track record in fundraising;
  • Degree level qualification, with 5 to 10 years relevant work experience in the environment or closely associated sector;
  • A regional language would be helpful in addition to English.

Required Skills and Competencies

  • Dynamic, Goal oriented, Entrepreneurial;
  • Self starter and proactive;
  • Able to manage different projects and tasks at the same time;
  • With a consulting approach: focused, open minded, innovative;
  • Strong emotional intelligent and able to negotiate;
  • Adheres to WWF’s brand values, which are: Knowledgeable, Optimistic, Determined and Engaging;
  • Demonstrates WWF’s behaviours in ways of working: Strive for Impact, Listen Deeply, Collaborate Openly and Innovate Fearlessly.

Working Relationships

Internal – Working closely with the Freshwater Practice, Regional reps and country offices, with direct support from Freshwater team and Practice Leader.

External – Engaging with regional stakeholders across sectors, building support and momentum around BHA vision.

How to apply?

***Read carefully *** 

Only one single document can be uploaded through this platform. Please upload your Cover Letter and CV as one file. We will not accept applications without CV and Cover Letter.

Deadline for applications: by August 25th 2020.

Work permit restrictions may apply.

This role will require some regional and international travel.

Early application is encouraged as we will review applications throughout the advertising period and reserve the right to close the advert early.

WWF is an equal opportunity employer and committed to having a diverse workforce.





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