Electrification Investment Specialist


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Job Description

About the Position:  This two-year Electrification Investment Specialist position will be based in Lusaka, Zambia with the primary objective of leading the ZECDP project team to establish a rural electric cooperative institution and to secure capital investment required to establish the cooperative from local and international financial institutions. The purpose of the capital resources will be to finance infrastructure of electric cooperative enterprises to include generation and associated distribution infrastructure. The cooperative enterprises will very likely use solar photovoltaic-battery hybrid generation mini-grids with low-voltage distribution systems. The Investment Specialist will lead all ZECDP in-country activities to achieve the outputs of ZECDP Activity 1 and ZECDP Activity 2. The Electrification Investment Specialist will need to develop strong working relationships with Zambian power sector stakeholder institutions and financial sector enterprises and members of communities in Zambia, and work closely with the program management team, engineers, and investors.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide leadership to ZECDP team members including the Cooperative Development Specialist, the Gender and Social Inclusion Specialist and administrative staff.
  • Develop and maintain strong working relationships with the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the Energy Regulation Board and other Zambian power sector institutions, financial sector enterprises, and , NRECA International partners in Zambia.
  • Develop, analyze, evaluate, and recommend electrification investment options and proposals.
  • Identify primary economic and financial risks and develop mitigation strategies to address these risks.
  • Develop presentations for investors and management updates/discussions. Liaise with potential project investors and community leaders.
  • Promote NRECA International’s services to develop new business/investment opportunities.
  • Assist with project phases or tasks as directed by the CDP Program Manager.
  • Support and drive process improvements in areas of electrification investment, community project management, and operations.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required with Finance or Economics major, professional qualification or MBA preferred.
  • 5-7 years of experience in transaction advisory activities for development investments.
  • Successful track record in accessing investments for development projects and/or businesses.
  • Energy market experience in one of the following sectors is preferred: distributed generation, energy services or retail electricity.
  • Outstanding analytical skills and demonstrated expertise in developing and utilizing detailed, Excel-based financial models.
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills (verbal and written) to be able to engage with all stakeholders.
  • Ability to make decisions by assimilating multiple sources of information and applying experience, judgment, and logical reasoning in an ambiguous, changing, and fast-paced environment.
  • Solid business acumen and ability to identify and succinctly communicate electrification investment issues, opportunities, or threats to the program performance.

Reporting Relationships:

  • Reports to the CDP Program Manager in the NRECA home office
  • Supervises three Zambian staff

About the Organization

About NRECA International

NRECA International (NRECA) is a rural development organization with the mission to increase access to reliable electric service in developing countries. Since 1962, NRECA’s programs have focused on improving and expanding electric infrastructure, establishing self-sustaining and well-managed electric utilities, and providing technical assistance to national electrification planners. NRECA is currently working on three continents to provide expertise in the establishment and support of electric cooperatives; renewable energy on- and off-grid utility design and start-up; geospatial platforms for electrification investment planning; universal electrification access strategy planning; utility benchmarking and service improvements; construction supervision; smart grid planning and implementation; and engineering design and analysis.

Zambia Electric Cooperative Development Program Objective and Outcomes

The objective of the Zambia Electric Cooperative Development Program (ZECDP) is to increase access to electricity in rural areas through development of viable, thriving electric cooperative enterprises. The ZECDP program is co-financed by USAID and NRECA. The program will demonstrate the value that electric cooperatives yield as viable service providers and an integral component of electrification expansion in Zambia. Achievement of the program objective will lead to several outcomes:

  • Increased access to electric service in multiple rural communities.
  • Demonstrate a sustainable and robust service provider model that is community-based, will draw in more local investment, and whose success is not dependent on profitability.
  • Increased income generating activities for cooperative members through productive uses.

ZECDP Activity 1:  Identification of electric cooperative candidates (October 2021–March 2022) is focused on the analytical steps needed to determine which Zambian communities hold the most potential for viable electric cooperative utilities.

ZECDP Activity 2:  Community engagement; business plans; financing (April 2022–March 2024) is focused on detailed financial and engineering design to produce business plans and an investment prospectus for five electric cooperative utility enterprises, then securing financing for the infrastructure components of these new enterprises.

ZECDP Activity 3:  Supporting cooperatives from design to operations (April 2024–March 2025) is focused on cooperative formation and establishment.

ZECDP Activity 4:  Mentor cooperatives in operations and expansion (April 2025–September 2026) is focused on guiding and mentoring the newly established cooperative communities, boards, management, and staff during operations and while expanding to serve new members.

ZECDP Activity 5:  Legal and regulatory framework (October 2021–September 2026) is a cross-cutting activity focused on supporting Zambian stakeholders to improve the enabling environment for the development and successful operation of viable electric cooperative enterprises.

ZECDP Activity 6:  Community of practice collaboration (October 2021–September 2026) is a cross-cutting activity focused on engaging in research on the impacts and benefits of cooperative enterprises.

To apply for this job please visit www.devex.com .

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