Agriculture Economist

World Bank Group

Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire


Do you want to build a career that is truly worthwhile? Working at the World Bank Group provides a unique opportunity for you to help our clients solve their greatest development challenges. The World Bank Group is one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries; a unique global partnership of five institutions dedicated to ending extreme poverty, increasing shared prosperity and promoting sustainable development. With 189 member countries and more than 120 offices worldwide, we work with public and private sector partners, investing in groundbreaking projects and using data, research, and technology to develop solutions to the most urgent global challenges. 

Agriculture is an essential pathway to meeting the World Bank Group’s (WBG) twin goals—eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 and promoting shared prosperity. Food production must increase by at least 35 percent to meet the needs of the rising global population. Thus, ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity cannot be achieved without more and better investment in agriculture, food security, and nutrition. Meeting today’s challenges on the food and agriculture agenda will require major strides in agricultural innovation and climate smart agriculture, efficiency in food production and distribution systems, promoting environmentally and socially sustainable production practices, strengthening agricultural policy and institutions, supporting agribusiness value chains, and joint private- and public- sector action. The Agriculture Global Practice (GP) of the WBG, working closely with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), supports a Global Vision for Food and Agriculture with agriculture able to feed every person, every day, in every country with a safe, nutritious and affordable diet, and where jobs and income gains in the food system are sufficient to meet poverty reduction targets.

To help the achievement of the twin goals, the strategic focus of the Agriculture GP, as reflected in the Agriculture Action Plan, is to help client countries on the issues mentioned above. Our current work program (150+ operations) consists of engagement in policy dialogue, investment, and forging partnerships across the globe seeking to (i) raise agricultural productivity, (ii) link farmers to markets and strengthen value chains, (iii) support rural non-farm income, (iv) reduce risk, vulnerability, and gender inequality, and (v) enhance environmental services and sustainability.

The Agriculture GP is led by a Global Director, who has overall responsibility for the GP. The Agriculture GP Management Team, which is the group that leads and manages the GP, consists of the Director mentioned above and ten Agriculture Practice Managers, who manage the roughly 280 staff working on Agriculture in all six Regions and on global programs.  About a third of the staff are located in Country Offices. 

The Agriculture GP works with and across multiple sectors, in recognition of the fact that Agriculture outcomes often depend on actions that lie outside the Practice, and the GP actively contributes to work managed by other Global Practices.   Accordingly, a capacity to work across GP boundaries, forge coalitions and influence multi-practice solutions is essential for achieving the major objectives of improving agriculture outcomes.

Duties & Accountabilities

  • The primary responsibility of the Agriculture Economist will be to contribute to the development and implementation of the Agriculture GP’s work program in Cote d’Ivoire.
  • The Agriculture Economist will report to the Practice Manager in charge of SAWA 4, who is based in Washington DC, and assist him in the delivery of the work program, assurance of quality, interaction with internal and external clients, including the government and private sector, and strategic partnerships.
  • In addition, the Agriculture Economist will work under the regular oversight of the Country Director, based in Abidjan, on strategic and operational matters.

In particular, the Agriculture Economist will:

  • Contribute as core team member to the preparation and implementation of selected operations, both in agriculture and multi-sectoral ones, as well as those led by other GPs (e.g. Water) assuring quality in all stages of the project cycle;Serve as the focal point for liaison with key counterparts and other partners for colleagues working with the Cote d’Ivoire program, providing them with advice and support as needed;
  • Work with the relevant Sector Leaders and staff of the Agriculture GP and other GPs to identify opportunities for addressing agricultural issues in Cote d’Ivoire as part of the World Bank’s Systematic Country Diagnostic, Country Partnership Framework, country policy dialogue, sector investment operations, budget support operations, and other multi-sectoral projects;
  • Stay abreast of relevant developments for Cote d’Ivoire agri-food sector and effectively communicate them to the country team;Identify innovative opportunities or ways to address existing needs in the agri-food sector;
  • Remain current with relevant major pieces of analytical work in the profession. Participate in strategic analytical work in Cote d’Ivoire and/or on a sub-regional level, and work with teams engaged in analytical work relevant to the Agriculture GP’s work program in Cote d’Ivoire;
  • Represent the World Bank in fora involving the community of development partners. Provide support, either explicit or implicit, to the work of the development partners in the sector;
  • As necessary, represent the World Bank and the Agriculture GP’s management at events with sectoral focus that take place in the field;
  • Develop strong client relations and partnership, including with the International Finance Corporation, on operational matters and policy dialogue;
  • Work with other Global Practices in representing Cote d’Ivoire specific issues in regional and corporate strategies;
  • Initiate and maintain a high level and quality of engagement and dialogue with key stakeholders, including government, civil society, private sector and research/academic community on strategic and policy issues concerning the agri-food sector in Cote d’Ivoire.

Selection Criteria

  • Masters, MBA or PhD in Agricultural Economics, Economics, or in a relevant discipline;
  • At least five years of experience on agricultural development issues (three years if PhD);
  • Strong technical and analytical skills in the range of issue of relevance to agriculture;
  • Familiarity with the institutional context of African agricultural development would be an advantage;
  • Team player able to function in a fast-paced, multi-sectoral and multi-cultural environment;
  • Excellent interpersonal, problem-solving and team skills with ability to find balanced, pragmatic and implementable solutions also in a multi-disciplinary context;
  • High level of energy, ability to work under pressure, and willingness to travel and work under challenging conditions;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and in French, including the ability to present complex issues to World Bank management and senior Government representatives, as well as to non-specialist audiences.