Communication Expert - Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa



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Job Description: Responsibilities, Qualifications, and Necessary Skills





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FARA is the continental apex body for agricultural research and innovation in Africa and a technical organisation of the African Union Commission and the African Union Development Agency-NEPAD on matters concerning agricultural research and innovation. Its mission is to contribute to generating high, broad-based and sustainable agricultural growth by catalyzing improvements to the productivity and competitiveness of the sector through increased and effective application of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).

FARA executes its mission by performing the following functions:

(i) advocacy for increased and more effective deployment of STI in agriculture which is a necessary condition for achieving national and continental development goals;

(ii) facilitating partnerships among research, innovation and agribusiness actors within Africa as well as between Africa and external regional or national entities to enhance the generation and scaling of technologies;

(iii) convening stakeholders;

(iv) facilitating the development and implementation of continental initiatives and programmes that respond to the continent’s priorities;

(v) strengthening the institutional and systemic capacities for agricultural innovation; and

(vi) facilitating the exchange of information, knowledge and learning in STI for agriculture. The Secretariat of FARA is based in Accra, Ghana.  

The effectiveness of FARA in executing its mission strongly relies on the communication function. FARA is seeking an innovative, dynamic, multi-skilled and experienced Communication Expert. 


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Purpose

The primary responsibility of the communication expert is to coordinate actions aimed at enhancing understanding of organisation’s mission as well as its impact, visibility and voice by providing technical leadership of the update and implementation of the organization’s communication and visibility strategy. 

Reporting in the interim to the Executive Director, the successful candidate shall inter-alia perform the following duties and responsibilities:  

Duties and Responsibilities

Strategy update and implementation

Conduct an assessment of FARA’s communication needs and use the findings to update its communication, visibility and social media strategy to ensure it responds to FARA’s mission and objectives and includes a clear dissemination, exploitation and communication (DEC) plan. 

  • Develop branding guidelines
  • Identify key messaging and communication channels to effectively reach the intended stakeholders. 
  • Coordinate the implementation of the DEC plan to ensure consistent and timely delivery of messages. 
  • Monitor the performance of the communication function and make the necessary adjustments to the communication plan.

Content Creation, Management and Quality Assurance

  • Create engaging and informative content for various communication channels, including website, social media, newsletters, roller stands, posters, reports and presentations. 
  • Conduct research and gather relevant information to develop accurate and compelling content. Translate research and reports into visual materials 
  • Contribute to visual and digital communications, including photo gathering and editing, graphic creation and presentation, and other multi-media editing, including video and audio.
  • Serve as editor of FARA’s website and social media channels, providing quality assurance, tone, and consistency of online materials, core messaging, and web-enabled stakeholder engagement.
  • Manage and update corporate (e.g. annual report) and project communication materials, ensuring consistency and adherence to branding guidelines. 
  • Oversee quality assurance for all editorial output and content creation of all communication materials of FARA intended for publication.


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Stakeholder Engagement and Relationship Building 

  • Build and maintain relationships with media outlets, partners, and key stakeholders. 
  • Coordinate publicity campaigns for major events convened by FARA. This may include the mobilization and training of social media reporters.
  • Engage with stakeholders to gather feedback, address inquiries, and ensure effective communication flow.

Any other duties within the scope of communication and media relations as assigned by Management.

Required Skills or Experience

Education and Experience

  • At least a master’s degree in applied communication, journalism, public relations, or related field and experience. 
  • Proven experience in conducting corporate communication audits/ assessments and crafting communication and branding strategies and plans 
  • A good knowledge and understanding of African Agricultural development issues. 
  • A minimum of five years’ experience in a related communications, marketing or journalist role and/or science writing and editing.  
  • Demonstrable experience of representing an organisation in public or/and media relations, advocacy or marketing campaigns and excellent public-speaking skills. 
  • Hands-on experience in writing speeches, resolutions, bulletins, reports, scientific papers and presentations.  Proven writing and editing skills in English. 
  • Knowledge and applied work experience in social media, specifically in the design and execution of plans for assuring that online communication and audience engagement tools and channels are fully leveraged. Strong ICT skills are essential.
  • Knowledge and experience in the monitoring and evaluation of the communication function.
  • Experience with TV/video production, including scriptwriting and/or camera work is an advantage.

Languages

  • Fluency in English is required. Knowledge of French is an advantage.

Duration of Assignment  

  • This assignment is for an initial period of one year and is renewable upon availability of funds and effective delivery of outputs.

Location of the Assignment 

  • The consultant will work physically from the office of FARA, located at 7 Flower Avenue, Achimota Mile 7, Accra, Ghana.


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