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Chief Programs Officer ( CPO)

Average: 3.5 (121 votes)

AFR began its operations in 2010 with the core objective of stimulating the development of the financial sector in Rwanda.

Chief Programs Officer ( CPO)

Kigali, Rwanda


Access to Finance Rwanda (AFR) is a Rwandan not-for-profit company established in 2010 by the Governments of the United Kingdom and Rwanda. AFR is currently funded by UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), Sweden, the MasterCard Foundation, and USAID.
AFR is part of the broader Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Network of programs in Africa that seek to improve the livelihoods of low-income people and contribute to the desired economic transformation by supporting efforts to improve financial inclusion and financial sector development.
AFR’s intention is to remove systemic barriers that hinder access and usage of financial services by low-income people, particularly the rural poor, women, youth, and MSMEs. AFR supports the development and provision of financial services including saving, credit, insurance, pension, payments, remittances, and capital market development.  


The Chief Program Officer (CPO) as a member of the Executive Team, S/he will be accountable to the AFR’s Management and Board of Directors for developing and implementing strategies that will have a lasting, beneficial impact on the development and inclusiveness of Rwanda’s financial markets and provide measurable support to targeted areas of the real economy.  S/he is responsible for the development and implementation of annual work plans for the Programmes Department; ensuring that a comprehensive portfolio of impactful projects is developed and implemented to high standards. 

The Chief Programs Officer (CPO) will work collaboratively with colleagues to ensure comprehensive analysis of the ecosystems within which AFR operates, understanding how supply, demand, and enabling environment, interact to support or hamper the growth and inclusiveness of Rwanda’s financial markets. S/he then leads the programs team in developing and implementing a comprehensive portfolio of potentially impactful interventions.  The CPO will be expected to lead the team in nurturing key business relationships (e.g. with regulators and policymakers, trade associations, private sector entities, stock exchanges, technical or funding partners); providing thought leadership, and utilizing influencing strategies to support the achievement of AFR’s strategic goals.

Reporting line; The position reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Supervises; Head of Finance for Growth & Jobs; Head of Financial Inclusion and Resilience; Head of Digital Financial Services and Market Infrastructure; Head of Research and Information and Senior Project Portfolio Manager.

Download the technical job description.

The CPO will be responsible for the following key tasks:

  1. Lead the team in developing a deep and ever-growing understanding of how to drive financial market development and inclusiveness; play a leading role in the development of the whole country strategy and guide the programs team to develop pillar strategies and annual work plans that will support targeted areas of the real economy.
  2. Lead the review and continuous development of the project pipeline to ensure utilization of funds and achievement of output, outcome, and impact targets; ensure a potentially high impact portfolio of interventions are submitted and approved across all pillars.
  3. Oversee the implementation of work plans so that results are achieved, risks are managed and that quality projects are delivered; ensuring that learning from projects is fully utilized to prove and improve impact and innovation.
  4. Actively participate in the development, implementation, and results-measurement of an innovative Communications & Influencing plan for AFR as a whole and for each pillar; ensure that the plan will result in key program stakeholders being influenced effectively.
  5. Manage the finances associated with the Programme department aiming to maximize the efficiency achieved with the available resources, and ensuring compliance with AFR and donor policies.
  6. Lead the AFR Programmes team of staff and consultants in a manner that empowers them to add value to AFR and deliver high standards of performance.
  7. Any other duties as requested by the CEO.


  1. Minimum of bachelor’s degree in a relevant field
  2. Post Graduate Degree in Development Economics, Business Administration, or other related fields
  3. Additional professional qualification and relevant accreditations are an advantage (e.g. CFA, SME Finance)
  4.  Certification in Project Management (e.g. PMP/ PRINCE2) is an added advantage.


  1. 10+ years’ post-graduation experience in Portfolio Management &/or Pipeline Development & Management; ideally culminating in a strategic leadership role
  2. Deep experience of working in financial inclusion and in financial markets development; demonstrating thought leadership at the cutting edge; driving change, and creating opportunities for growth
  3. Proven experience in managing and engaging teams for the delivery of results
  4. Strong technical understanding in strategy development, business planning, and program development
  5. Deep understanding of and commitment to the Market System Development or Marking Markets Work for the Poor (M4P) approach; with a proven capacity for systems-thinking, analysis, and management of complexity
  6. Extensive Knowledge and understanding of Development Finance Management 
  7. Proven track record of working with a range of different actors to incentivize institutional change; cross-culturally if coming from outside Rwanda
  8. Excellent written and spoken English.


  1. Familiarity with major players in financial sector development in Rwanda.
  2. Languages: French, Kinyarwanda.


All candidates should submit their applications by clicking on the “Apply button” on this page and fill their details by 16 June 2021 at 5.00 pm (CAT)
The application should contain a Resume with an e-mail address, daytime telephone contact, qualifications, achievements, experience, and names and addresses of three referees together with a cover letter (maximum 2 pages) summarizing why you consider yourself particularly well suited for the position. Do not attach any other documents at this point.
All applications will be selected on merit and only shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews.

For any questions regarding the application process please (DO NOT SEND YOUR APPLICATION ON THIS EMAIL)

Qualified Rwandans candidates are encouraged to apply.
Note: This position is open to local, regional and international candidates with relevant experience and qualifications.