ESSA Job Vacancy: Business and Programme Development Manager

Job type: 6 months initially, from July/August 2022
Location: Remote working, based in Accra or surrounding areas, with access to a hot-desking workspace.
Salary: Commensurate with experience
Hours of work: Full time – 5 days per week, 35 hours
Reporting to: Director of Finance and Operations (with additional support from a Ghana-based Non-Executive Director)
Direct Reports: None

21 Jun, 2022



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 maximise 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.

To find out more about ESSA, visit


This is an important new role responsible for project design, identification and coordination of donor and partner engagement, fundraising and proposal writing in sub-Saharan Africa. The role has been created following ESSA’s application to register a legal entity in Ghana and the successful applicant will play an important part in further establishing ESSA’s networks and impact in the country and beyond to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. We are looking for someone who is at their best when generating new ideas and new business, inspiring partners, dealing with senior stakeholders and designing and supporting multi-stakeholder projects that have a big impact.

The Business and Programme Development Manager will work with staff across ESSA to develop and submit high quality institutional, major donor and corporate partnership proposals that are aligned with defined priorities, demonstrate impact, and offer value for money. S/he will be proactive in identifying new and non- traditional sources of funding from a range of institutional donors and working to leverage ESSA’s funding prospects.


  • Identify, research and advise on new funding opportunities. Conduct prospecting research, analysis of potential partner needs and requirements; maintain accurate and up-to-date electronic files with information about opportunities in ESSA’s relationship management system (Salesforce).

  • Establish and maintain close relationships and communication with the relevant prospective donors and delivery partners in sub-Saharan Africa.

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

  • Represent ESSA at donor and international development events and conferences.

  • Manage the proposal development process, including comprehensive pre-positioning for opportunities. Lead bid decision-making conversations and work closely with colleagues in the Research team to assess, research and design projects for specific donor funding opportunities.

  • Develop and oversee timetables; coordinate inputs; write and edit content; provide quality assurance on fit with donor priorities; ensure compliance with internal review and approval procedures; ensure timely submission; and follow up with donors for feedback.

  • Liaise with donors and colleagues on progress of applications or potential funding opportunities.

  • Work closely with Director of Finance and Operations to support and/or lead contract negotiation with donors.



  • Full professional proficiency in English, both oral and written.

  • Ability to creatively turn complex project and/or organisational information into compelling business cases.

  • Minimum of five years’ experience working with large and diverse multi-nationality virtual teams.

  • Experience of managing and prioritising own workload, meeting tight deadlines, working under pressure and balancing competing deadlines. The position requires a results-oriented approach.

  • Evidence of success in winning large (multi-million USD) donor funding grants/contracts – ideally including experience of Trusts, Foundations and Corporate Partnerships. 

  • Excellent (intercultural) oral and written communication skills including proposals and reports; clarity, structure and professional presentation.

  • Awareness of relevant funding opportunities and trends from donors in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Strong experience of project creation and development.

  • Outstanding attention to detail.

  • Ability to travel internationally on short notice.

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject.


  • Full professional proficiency in French.

  • Master’s degree in a relevant subject.

  • International work experience, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Experience in programmes related to entrepreneurship and Tertiary Education.

  • Experience using Salesforce or similar customer relationship management software.


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 11th July 2022 at 1700hrs GMT.

Please note that only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.

First round interviews will be held week commencing 18th July 2022.

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

Business and Programme Development Manager Job Description