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La Banque mondiale récherche pour le Bénin : Agricultural Economist



Job Title : Agricultural Economist
Closing date: March 31, 2006
Appointment type: Term (3 years, subject to national recruitment)
Sector: ESSD – Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development
Language preferences: French and English – Essential

Benin is one of the West African countries where poverty remains widespread, despite the relatively robust growth throughout the 1990s. The agricultural sector contributes to over one third of GDP and provides employment to two thirds of the population; with a large part of this coming from the cotton sector. Despite the considerable growth in the cotton sector and the decent growth in agriculture over the last two decades, the majority of poor people still live in rural areas. To address rural poverty, the Government of Benin wants to deepen reforms in the cotton sector and also seek to diversify the rural economy with a focus on smallholder-led food crops expansion.

Benin’s development strategy has been broadly successful over the past decade, but nonetheless it faces significant challenges in reducing poverty. Following the economic and social crisis experienced in the late 80s, Benin has embarked on sectoral and structural reforms during the 90s and early 2000s. However a number of these are yet to be finalized. To make greater progress in reducing poverty, Benin must now address the more difficult longer-term challenges of diversifying the economy and building effective public-institutions. The following areas of focus are critical: (i) completing the reform agenda and deepening crucial reforms; (ii) clarifying the role for the State and prioritising government action; and (iii) enlisting political and cultural support for the most difficult reforms.

With the support of its development partners, including the World Bank, the Government has recently defined a new Rural Sector Development Strategy (RSDS). Its objective is to ensure a constant, sustainable and equitable growth in the rural sector in order to improve the living standard of populations.

The World Bank has been assisting Benin in the definition of its Rural Development Strategy as well as in its implementation in order to achieve accelerated and widely-shared economic growth in the rural sector. The World Bank’s assistance to Benin’s rural development is done through the on-going budget support operations, designated Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) financing of a Cotton Sector Reform operation, a national Community-Driven Development operation, and a multisectoral HIV/AIDS Program, and some GEF-supported operations for in the forestry and coastal marine sectors.

Duties and Responsibilities

The selected candidate will be based at the World Bank Office in Cotonou, Benin. He/she will report to the Environmental, Rural and Social Development Department for Central and West Africa (AFTS3) and will work under the direction of both the Sector Manager and the World Bank Country Office Manager for Benin and Togo. His/her main responsibilities will include:

1.Providing key support in the formulation of rural development strategies and policies and in the preparation and updating of the Medium Term Expenditure Frameworks (MTEF) for concerned ministries (the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries (MAEP), and the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urbanism (MEHU) in the framework of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Credits (PRSC);

2.Taking an active role in country dialogue on rural development policies and issues including reforms in the cotton sector, strategies and programs with the government and its national and external partners: facilitating the development of a dialogue forum to foster partnership among development partners;

3. Playing a key role in the supervision of the implementation of rural development programs/projects starting with the Multi-sector HIV/AIDS (MAP), the Forestry and Adjacent Lands Management Program (PGFTR), the Coastal zone Management Project, and the Cotton Sector Reform Project (PARFC), and in the preparation of new projects of which he/she will actively contribute;

4. Supervising the monitoring and evaluation of the sector development (economic performances, and reforms and their impacts);

Detailed responsibilities include:

5.Assisting Team Leaders in the supervision of the Bank supported operations in the agricultural sector, community development, and in HIV/AIDS, and assisting in the conduct of Bank policy dialogue with Benin (key decision makers in government, donors and beneficiaries) in the above areas;

6. Working closely with Bank Staff responsible for other sectors to ensure coherence with Bank’s operations in rural development;

7. Assuring liaison with producers and their professional organizations, cotton reform institutions and actors, local community, and the civil society; and to advise project managers in Washington and World Bank Country Office Manager on approaches that are likely to result in efficient impact of the World Bank financed programs;

8. Working in close collaboration with Bank staff for rural, environmental and social development in other countries in the sub-region and if necessary, assist these programs;

9. Acting as an Agricultural Economist and as a World Bank focal point for the rural development in the implementation of the rural development component of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), and the use of HIPC funds through supporting the preparation and updating of Budget Programs and Medium Terms Expenditure Frameworks for concerned ministries (the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries and the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Urbanism);

10. Undertaking other related duties as designed by the Sector Manager and the Country Office Manager in the extension of the Benin portfolio.

Selection criteria:

-University Degree: a minimum of Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics or a relevant area of expertise: Economics, Rural Economics, Agronomy, Natural Resources Economics or equivalent with valuable field experience in rural development;

-Minimum of 7 years of relevant experience in rural development, with some experience in rural development policy and strategy, natural resources management, community development and food security in developing countries;

-Demonstrated ability in policy analysis and strategic planning in rural development;

-Demonstrated ability in the management of rural projects, including institutional reforms in the rural sector;

-Demonstrated experience in dealing with government, rural institutions and populations, civil society, and development partners in the areas of rural development, and effective communication skills to facilitate community participation and dissemination of techniques;

-Strong knowledge of World Bank operational processes and procedures would be desirable;

-Demonstrated ability to work in a team;

-Excellent verbal and written communication skills in French. A good command of English is an advantage.

-Good computer literacy.

Instructions for application:

Please send a CV and Cover letter (listing telephone number and email address) explaining why you believe you are a good candidate. Envelopes should be marked “Agricultural Economist” and be sent to:

Banque Mondiale Bureau du Bénin
Boulevard de la Marina / Route de l’aéroport
Face Bénin Marina Hôtel
03 BP 2112 Jéricho
Cotonou – Bénin

Applications, including CV and Cover letter, can also be sent electronically to wbafrrecruit@worldbank.org the subject for the e-mail should be: “Agricultural Economist”.

Please note that only short-listed candidates will be contacted

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