Lead Energy Specialist

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World Bank Group




Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges.

Western and Central Africa (AFW) Region

  • We need the best and brightest talent focused on Sub-Saharan African countries in order to harness the potential and innovation happening across the continent. Africa is a continent on the move, with a young population and a growing market of nearly 1.2bn people. We are committed to making the Africa regional teams into leading innovation hubs.
  • Yet, these vast opportunities are tempered by persistent gaps in education, health, and skills, which have Africa only reaching forty percent of its estimated potential. Moreover, conflict, food insecurity, population growth, and the disruptive forces of climate change threaten to curtail or even reverse the progress that has been made over the past decades.
  • In West and Central Africa, the World Bank is a leading partner with a growing portfolio of 349 projects totaling more than $60 billion in areas such as agriculture, trade and transport, energy, education, health, water and sanitation- all to support job creation, gender equality, poverty reduction, and better lives. Across the continent, the World Bank’s program has nearly doubled over the last 10 years. By 2030, about 87% of the world’s extreme poor are projected to live in Sub-Saharan Africa, so this is where our mission to end extreme poverty and to promote shared prosperity will be achieved.
  • Are you ready to make an impact? We are looking for dedicated professionals to join our innovative and diverse team to improve people’s lives and help countries build back better after COVID.


  • The World Bank Group (WBG) supports the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and is committed to working towards accomplishing the initiative’s three goals by 2030: i) universal access to electricity and clean cooking fuels; ii) doubling the share of the world’s energy supplied by renewable sources from 18 percent to 36 percent, and iii) doubling the rate of improvement in energy efficiency.
  • The Infrastructure Practice Group is charged with developing sustainable solutions to help close infrastructure gaps in developing and emerging economies. As part of the Infrastructure Practice Group, the Energy & Extractives (EEX) Global Practice (GP) focuses on providing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to meet the needs of fast-growing economies, ensure universal access to modern energy services for people in client countries, strengthen policy and institutional frameworks to promote transparent and equitable growth of the extractives sectors for public benefit. There is a strong emphasis on private sector resource mobilization and catalyzing financing from commercial and other sources of development and climate finance.
  • The Africa energy sector grouping consists of four units across two regions of Eastern and Southern Africa (AFE) and Western and Central Africa (AFW), each managed by a Practice Manager. The units together total over 120 staff of which 58% (over 70) are based outside the US, and more than half of the operational and advisory activities are managed /led by field-based staff.  The Bank is engaged in all aspects of the electricity sector – generation, transmission, distribution, rural electrification and off-grid.
  • The Africa Energy Program in Western and Central Africa currently comprises about 41 projects with a value of over US$9 billion, covering reforms (sector and corporate governance, energy security and the environment, regional energy trade, public-private partnerships, energy efficiency, etc.) and investment support in power generation, power and gas transmission and distribution, regional connectivity, rural energy services, renewable energy development, low-carbon and climate friendly initiatives. The Program uses a variety of instruments, including investment lending, guarantees for public private partnerships, and development policy lending. In addition, the Bank manages a strong knowledge agenda to inform the policy dialogue in the sector. 
  • The AFW Energy Program is now at a turning point since the Bank has embraced the objective to provide electricity access to additional 250 million people by 2030. As a result, all Units are gearing up efforts and new lending is expected to reach approximately US$2 billion per annum. 
  • The IAWE2 (West Africa) unit seeks a Lead Energy Specialist based in Washington D.C. to provide thought leadership for the Unit’s strategic, advisory, and operational work. In West Africa, where insufficient electricity supply is a major barrier to expanding access, regional power system integration and clean energy transition are key areas of focus to help countries achieve energy security. Also, reforms remain critical to improve the financial standing of power sectors and utilities and ultimately create the conditions for private investment. Finally, renewed focus will have to be given to electrification, based on attentive planning and a combination of grid-based and decentralized solutions. In this context, the Lead Energy Specialist will play a key role in strengthening the Unit’s agenda, designing and developing transformational engagements, and strengthening internal and external partnerships to deliver innovative solutions. The Lead Energy Specialist will act as focal point on regional engagements geared towards fully developing the West Africa power market (WAPP). He/she will also provide coaching to the Unit’s team and ensure a smooth coordination between Headquarters and local offices.

Duties & Accountabilities

The duties and accountabilities of the lead energy specialist will be as follows:

  • The Lead Energy Specialist will guide the energy sector policy dialogue in regional power trade and key strategic countries and contribute to business development. He/she will lead complex operations, monitor portfolio performance, and ensure that lending operations, advisory services and analytics (ASA) activities led by senior staff are well coordinated and contribute to the goals of sustainable energy for all, the development of the regional power market, and improved performance of the sector. Projects would likely include investment lending, program for results, private-public partnership/guarantee approaches, and development policy lending. The Lead Energy Specialist will also act as Task Team Leader (TTL) on several high-profile sectoral operations and contribute to multi-sectoral efforts on resilience to climate change and the clean energy transition, reducing drivers of fragility, and maximizing finance for development (MFD). 

Duties and responsibilities shall include

  • Lead policy dialogue on strategic energy issues and implementation of the sub-region’s ongoing energy sector reforms.
  • Lead strategy and business development and resulting operations which are part of the Bank’s regional energy program. The work program may include facilitating and supporting regional electricity trade and reducing the fiscal impact of the energy sector.
  • Lead operational work (policy dialogue, lending and supervision, ASA), including being the Task Team Leader for individual projects while also maintaining sufficient knowledge of individual operations and activities not managed by him/her to be able to identify and help resolve project-specific or systemic issues.
  • Provide guidance and mentoring to other staff and junior TTLs (including staff that are decentralized).
  • Develop strategic partnerships with other multilateral/bilateral organizations. This will also require effective communication and outreach to relevant units in International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
  • Advise colleagues and clients on global best practices in the energy sector and keeping abreast of country sector issues as well as contributing to global knowledge by introducing success and lessons learned in Africa energy sector.
  • Support the Practice Manager in shaping the Bank’s energy strategy, developing business, and policy dialogue. 

Selection Criteria

  • PhD or Master’s degree level in relevant field/discipline and substantial professional experience (typically the successful candidate will have about 12 to 15 years of experience in positions of increasing complexity and responsibility). 
  • Demonstrated skills in integrating multi-sectoral inputs into a package of solutions to achieve development results. 
  • In-depth knowledge of WBG financing operations as well as analytical and advisory services, including work programming, budgeting, task management, and strong familiarity with WBG instruments. 
  • Proven experience in designing and managing/supporting IPF/DPF/ PforR and guarantee operations as well as innovative ASA which has impacted policy dialogues and reform paths 
  • Demonstrated ability to lead discussions at the highest policy levels in the area of Infrastructure. 
  • Ability to communicate with senior authorities on complex INF policy issues, including the integration of sectoral solutions into the broader the economic framework. 
  • Demonstrated client orientation through identifying and evaluating emerging opportunities aligned with WBG strategy, and challenging others to remove barriers and to deliver beyond client expectations. 
  • Demonstrated achievement of results – through building a culture that consistently delivers high-quality products and services to clients and through engaging others in implementing strategies that have long-term impact. 
  • Demonstrated leadership in teamwork and inclusion to support collaboration and working across boundaries, and ensuring diverse talent and capability is mobilized across Global Practices. 
  • Proven ability to work across practice and disciplinary boundaries as well as with multiple stakeholders to build collaborative alliances for results. 
  • Demonstrated capacity to understand the political economy and local context, tailoring policy dialogue and operational response to meet client expectations.
  • Excellent inter-personal skills, ability to constructively solve conflict situations and proven ability to lead from behind. 
  • Superior communication skills with proven experience in dealing with conflict situations, the media, external constituencies, and expert groups. 
  • Demonstrated clear and concise oral and written communication skills.  Fluent in English and French.

To ensure that candidates for promotion to GH have the desirable combination of multi-regional, corporate, and field/FCV experience for appointment to level GH, candidates must meet the following selection criteria:

  • Work in at least two world regions or a combination of region and corporate assignments is required.
  • Field experience is preferred. Promotion directly into a field-based GH position may be considered. Relevant pre-Bank field experience in an international development institution will be considered.

Source: https://worldbankgroup.csod.com/ats/careersite/JobDetails.aspx?id=28024&site=1




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