ESSA Job offer: Partnerships Manager

Job type: Full time - Nine (9) months
Location: Accra, Ghana (other countries in sub-Saharan Africa considered)
Salary: Competitive - dependent on experience
Hours of work: Full time - 35 hours per week
Travel: 40%
Reporting to: Head of Programmes and Partnerships (HOPP)
Direct Reports: None


Students in SSA

Job details

Education Sub Saharan Africa (ESSA) is a charity improving education in sub-Saharan Africa so that young people achieve their ambitions and strengthen society.  

We support university and college leaders, employers, policymakers, and young people to turn evidence into practical solutions and maximize resources. By working together, we improve education policies and delivery. 

Our goal is to increase access to university or college, improve the quality of education, and enable young people to transition into work. 

This will support more than 1.4 million current students at over 500 universities and colleges in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia to achieve their ambitions, and create more opportunities for the millions that will follow. 

Our values are at the heart of everything we do, and they are:

  • Evidence-driven: We are driven by data and evidence to find what works best, building an evidence alliance for education in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Solutions-focused: We seek the highest impact for young people and educators in sub-Saharan Africa with the cost-effective funds we invest.

  • Strengthening Trust: We strive to create supportive environments, building trust with the communities we work with.

  • Always learning: Everyone’s opinion is valuable; we develop solutions through teamwork.

The Partnerships Manager is an exciting and critical position within the ESSA team, driving partnership development, on-the-ground, in-country, to maximise the impact of our work.

The role will involve managing ESSA’s Employability project that brings together universities, colleges and employers, to ensure young people have the required skills for work. The successful candidate will contribute to identifying, establishing, developing, securing and maintaining effective long-term relationships and partnerships with stakeholders.

They will generate and refer leads, research and provide knowledge of partnership needs and requirements, and ensure ESSA’s relationships in-country remain positive, effective, and productive. S(he) will be a focal point-of-contact (in-country) for existing partners and potential new partners.

Main Responsibilities

  • Support HOPP in the development of ESSA’s partnership approaches, strategies, and tactics

  • Generate new partnership opportunities and contribute to the development of partnership agreements and implementation structures.

  • Build ESSA’s knowledge and understanding of existing and potential partners. Conduct prospecting research, analysis of partner needs and requirements, produce partnership briefs and research reports and maintain ESSA’s relationship management system.

  • Organise, facilitate and/or contribute to ESSA’s research and partnership events such as webinars, round tables, workshops, focus group discussions, surveys and interviews, to ensure effective and productive stakeholder engagement.

  • Collaborate with teams and colleagues across ESSA and within partner organisations to manage partnership and projects.

  • Support project teams across ESSA with stakeholder management and engagement. To include support with following up on actions and providing updated information on any ‘pain points’.

  • Contribute to the production of funding proposals and other material for ESSA’s donors, in line with ESSA’s organisational strategy and goals.

Person Specification


  • Bachelor’s degree level in a relevant discipline e.g. social sciences, economics, business management

  • At least 3-5 years of experience in a similar position e.g. relationship building, stakeholder management, project management

  • Ability to proactively engage in information gathering, synthesis and critical thinking.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Confidence engaging at all levels within an organisation.

  • Networking and negotiating skills.

  • Ability to think strategically and consider the broader perspective, to solve problems.

  • Very good planning and organisation skills.

  • A team player who is culturally aware/sensitive, with the ability to work collaboratively and creatively with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds.

  • Knowledge and understanding of the Tertiary Education ecosystem in sub-Saharan Africa and the key players.

  • Passionate about the role of education in unlocking the potential of young people in sub-Saharan Africa, and the link between universities and colleges (incl. TVET), employers and work.


  • Practical experience in the field of international development and education

  • Existing in-country network within the private sector/industry

  • Existing in-country network within the education sector

  • Experience managing projects and the ability to coordinate a project team to deliver against tight timelines.

  • Post-graduate degree or higher

  • French speaking

Equality & Diversity

The importance of equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) underpins our mission and values at ESSA. We prioritise inclusion and celebrate the breadth of knowledge and experience working across different cultures brings to the organisation.

EDI at ESSA is embodied in the current composition of our Board of Trustees and our workforce, which strongly reflects the communities we work in, and we actively encourage applications from people of all backgrounds and cultures.


To apply, please complete the form by clicking on this link.  Please ensure that your CV and cover letter are saved using your given name and surname.  For example, Samuel.Nyarko_C.V

The closing date for applications is the 28th May 2021 at 1700hrs GMT.

You can also download a PDF file of the job description:

 Partnerships Manager Job Description (PDF)