Senior Program Manager - Development Finance

Afghan Credit Guarantee Foundation
Full time Staff

Senior Program Manager - Development Finance for ACGF – Afghan Credit Guarantee Foundation

Job Announcement

ACGF is looking for the Head of Matching Grants (MG) Program (f/m) leading our MG programs and respective units in Germany and Afghanistan.

We are looking worldwide for a potential candidate – the employee for this position can work remotely on a permanent basis if the time zone provides a sufficient overlap with German and Afghan working hours.

A. Institutional Background

ACGF – Afghan Credit Guarantee Foundation is a charitable foundation with headquarters in Cologne, Germany and an office in Berlin. ACGF was founded in September 2014 by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (a member of the KFW Group). ACGF is further supported with funds provided by the World Bank via the Afghan Government.

ACGF's mission in the area of Development Finance is to improve access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Afghanistan by providing credit guarantees and related technical assistance to Partner Institutions (PIs) – banks, micro-finance and micro-deposit institutions. ACGF implements its mandate by providing partial credit guarantees to Afghan financial institutions for loans extended to Afghan SMEs. Likewise, ACGF provides comprehensive related technical assistance (TA) to its PIs in order to establish and develop best practice SME lending capacity. Besides the provision of credit guarantees and technical assistance, as an additional field of business, ACGF will provide MGs to eligible SMEs in Afghanistan in the near future.

ACGF is closely working with its Afghan subsidiary SME Client Support Afghanistan LLC (SCSA) based in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif. Further offices in three major economic centers are planned to be established soon.

B. Program Background

ACGF is in preparation, with the support of external consultancy, to become the project execution agency for the implementation of two SME MG programs in Afghanistan on behalf of large international donors. The programs will run until mid-2023 and their overall goal is to support the survival of SMEs during the Corona crisis, to protect existing employment in supported SMEs and to prevent / reduce potential spill-over effects of the crisis to the Afghan financial sector. Moreover, a wide array of measures is being introduced under both programs to mitigate the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak on SMEs not only on the short- but also on the medium-term in Afghanistan. In detail, both MG programs will:

  1. Support Corona crisis adaptation, including market re-engagement, recovery, and productive capabilities of SMEs across sectors;
  2. Strengthen the pipeline of bankable firms and demand for banking services; and
  3. Deploy and build on MGs as an efficient and tested instrument based on experience from other programs in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.

Under both programs, the five big Afghan economic centers Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, Herat and Kandahar will be covered; this is where most SMEs are located. The MG programs will have a dedicated agricultural component. The MG program will be run in competitive “rounds”.

For both programs, a MG Department has been created at ACGF which is in charge of designing, implementing, and executing the programs; this department will be headed by the Head of MGs Program. To ensure a successful implementation of the two programs on the ground in Afghanistan, a MG Department at SCSA in Kabul was created and a National MG Program Manager at SCSA will be hired who is the local counterpart of the Head of MGs Program at ACGF. In total, both MG departments will be operated by more than thirty professionals, under the supervision of the Head of the MG Program.

C. Purpose of the position

In both programs, the roles and responsibilities of the MG Departments at ACGF and SCSA will, inter alia, include: implementing the program, communicating it to SMEs through pre-defined marketing and public awareness efforts, operationally executing the competitive rounds, receiving MG applications, supporting the due diligence process, preparing documents for MG decisions, supporting the monitoring and overseeing the utilization of the MG for the intended purpose, collecting data, and providing reports to stakeholders or donors as required.

The Head of the MG Program will design and manage the MG Department at ACGF and supervise the MG Department at SCSA. He/she will be accountable for the planning, controlling and operational management of both MG programs at ACGF. The Head of MGs Program will have a direct reporting line to the CEO of ACGF.

D. Duties and Responsibilities

The Head of MGs Program (f/m) will be responsible for all areas of MGs, such as design, planning, budget, implementation, administration, reporting and compliance. He/she will have the following core duties and responsibilities:

Program Design:

  • In coordination with external MG consultants:
    • Establishing the MG Operations Manual and other required implementation guidelines for the MG Department, incl. essential forms and templates
    • Designing and implementing project management standards, governance and compliance arrangements, risk mitigation mechanisms in coordination with ACGF Risk Department, and other technical aspects for the MG Department
    • Developing and executing the MG communications and outreach plan to Afghan SMEs
    • Evaluating needs of adjustments to existing systems/capacity to incorporate MGs as a new field of business at ACGF
    • Providing strategic guidance for both MG programs
  • Designing the operational and structural set-up between the MG Department of SCSA and ACGF, e.g. internal communication channels and assignment of responsibilities to team members
  • Developing annual workplans and budgets with regard to both MG programs
  • Articulating both short and long-term goals for the MG programs

Program Implementation:

  • Ensuring that MG operations are implemented in line with MG Manual and other relevant stipulations
  • Implementing, operating and maintaining the MG programs in conformity with sound financial and business practices and in compliance with the respective operation manuals
  • Ensuring compliance with anti-money laundering and terrorism financing standards in accordance with the FATF recommendations with regard to MGs
  • Ensuring compliance with environmental and social standards and substantially in accordance with the program conceptions agreed upon between ACGF and the donors
  • Ensuring compliance with the scheme’s implementation criteria
  • Hiring of respective staff for the MG Department

Program Management:

  • Ensuring the daily functioning of the MG department, such as:
    • Effectively communicating the programs to SMEs through pre-defined marketing and public awareness efforts
    • Planning, running and operationally executing the competitive rounds
    • Receiving MG applications, supporting the due diligence process, preparing documents for MG decisions
    • Keeping relevant staff informed about upcoming deadlines and deliverables, thereby ensuring smooth completion of work responsibilities
    • Monitoring and overseeing the utilization of the MGs for the intended purpose
    • Ensuring the daily coordination with the MG Department of SCSA
  • Preparing regular reports (in line with agreed performance indicators) about the program status for stakeholders of the programs as well as reports for the top management of ACGF
  • Encouraging, motivating, training and developing staff of the MG Departments
  • Regularly travelling to Afghanistan in order to coordinate intensively with the local MG staff (if security allows)

E. Requirements

The optimal candidate for the Head of MGs Program (f/m) has several years of experience in the successful management of at least two MG programs and meets the following requirements:

  • University degree, preferably in economics, business, finance, or other related academic fields
  • Minimum of ten years working experience in project management in the financial sector, specifically in SME finance
  • Minimum of five years working experience as Team Leader of complex MG programs (proven track record of the management of at least two MG programs), preferably in Afghanistan
  • Good people management skills; able to lead and motivate a team to deliver the required results
  • Excellent project management and very good analytical skills
  • Excellent command of English language
  • Excellent communication skills (oral and in writing), being able to communicate effectively and diplomatically with a wide range of contacts
  • Capacity to produce clear and concise reports
  • Advanced knowledge of MS Office applications
  • Commitment to and sincere interest in the philosophy and goals of development cooperation
  • Willingness to travel to Afghanistan regularly, in compliance with the respective security policies and procedures of ACGF

F. What ACGF offers:

  • Competitive salary
  • Young, multi-cultural team
  • Opportunity to make a visible impact in the country of operation
  • Extensive onboarding, mentoring and opportunities for personal development

Further information about ACGF can be found on our website

We are looking worldwide for a potential candidate – the employee for this position can work remotely on a permanent basis if the time zone provides a sufficient overlap with German and Afghan working hours.

Please apply through with a cover letter, CV, incl. references of two MG programs, and remuneration expectation (gross salary in EUR) until October 15, 2020. For questions regarding this position, please contact Mr. Bernd Leidner (Chairman of Management Board) at

Closing date: 
15th October 2020