Custom Menu

Latest From Our Blog

Vacancy | Chief Executive Officer

About Southern Africa Trust

The Southern Africa Trust was established in 2005 to support civil society organisations in southern Africa to participate in policy dialogue so that the voices of the poor can have more impact in the development of public policies. The Trust is involved in public policy; official poverty reduction processes; human rights; stakeholder engagement; and human and economic development research training and capacity building. In delivering its mandate to strengthen the voice of poor people in public policy processes, the Trust endeavours to reduce poverty and inequality in Southern Africa in ways that promote regional links and a regional agenda.

Purpose of The Role

The CEO will provide strategic leadership and direction to the Trust, delivering on the short and long term strategic objectives for the mandate of the organisation. The CEO is also responsible for ensuring that the Trust is a recognised, sustainable and preferred strategic partner by all its stakeholders.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Strategic Development
  • Develop the 5-year Business Plan for the Trust, in consultation with the Executive team and the Board, to ensure alignment with the regional integration, poverty and inequality that informs regional and national pro-policy choices and actions.
  • Identify key challenges facing constituencies and design appropriate strategies and interventions to create a platform for regional policy development.
  • Participate in internal and external forums to drive the Trust vision, mission and strategy that enhances civil society social capital and strengthens multi-sectoral linkages and collaboration.
  • Report to the Board and Donors on organisational performance against the set strategic objectives and annual business plans.

People Leadership and Management

  • Oversee the attraction, development and retention of line management to improve organisational health.
  • Provide strategic support to the Executive team and inspire them to deliver on key performance.
  • Manage performance of direct reports ensuring agreement of annual goals, measuring performance against agreed goals and dealing with areas of non-performance.
  • Provide leadership to the organisation and define reporting structures for the company in terms of people, systems and resources.
  • Direct the transformation agenda for the Trust, ensuring that targets are set and attained.

Strategic Risk Management and Governance Oversight

  • Keep informed of developments in human services, non-profit management and governance, philanthropy and fund development.
  • Monitor that departments are sufficiently resourced and are enabled to achieve the departmental strategies.
  • Provide oversight of the risks that the organisation faces and the utilisation of the comprehensive risk framework to respond to the risks.
  • Provide direct contribution to the development and execution of strategy to the Board and Board Committees and advise management of implementation of strategies.
  • Advise the Board on responsibilities and functions, facilitate the provision of training to Board members and oversee the relationship between management and the Board thereby ensuring that the Board exercises its fiduciary duties.
  • Provide assurance to the Board that the Trust operates within the ambit of its mandate by monitoring and impact on industry policies, research trends, contribution to key legislation and advising stakeholders on key issues and developments.

Stakeholder Management

  • Develop and build relationships with global players to understand the thrust of poverty, inequality and human rights, while advising on improvement of the industry.
  • Be the face of the Trust on matters of poverty, inequality and human rights regulations and control in the SADC region.
  • Share experiences with key stakeholders on common issues and develop common positions on policies strategies to further enhance regulatory framework.
  • Liaise with government, private sector and public sector in the provision of technical support and advice to the stakeholders and partners.
  • Negotiate with internal and external stakeholder to promote the organisation and service objectives of the company.
  • Maintain a strong working relationship with the Board and the Chair of the Board in order to execute the mandate of the organisation and facilitate communication / feedback from the Board to Management.

Drive Sustainability Initiatives

  • Establish and evolve formal sustainability processes and systems to drive organisation performance.
  • Drive financial sustainability by:
    • Identifying new income streams to increase revenue
    • Networking to raise funds and friends
    • Identifying opportunities for creating profit making entities
    • Driving partnerships and alliances to enhance organisation sustainability.
  • Drive social sustainability by:
    • Providing critical information to all key stakeholders and constituencies on
    • Soliciting key strategic inputs from donors, stakeholders, partners, constituencies, etc. on sustainability matters.
  • Drive environmental sustainability by:
    • Identifying the impact of sustainability on future generations
    • Identifying sustainability matters on the concept of value for money and climate change.
  • Lead the preparation of the annual sustainability report.
  • Financial Management
  • Provide oversight in the management of company resources, including properties, inclusive of the Trust’s
  • budget and finances.
  • Review activity and financial reports to measure progress against set budgets and financial plans.
  • Oversee financial remedial plans and measures as required.
  • Monitor the execution of proper reporting on budget and cash flow matters.

Financial Management

  • Provide oversight in the management of company resources, including properties, inclusive of the Trust’s
  • budget and finances.
  • Review activity and financial reports to measure progress against set budgets and financial plans.
  • Oversee financial remedial plans and measures as required.
  • Monitor the execution of proper reporting on budget and cash flow matters.

Operational Management

Improve the operational systems, processes and policies in support of the Trust vision and mission, specifically: support better management reporting, information flow and management, business process and organisational planning.

Analyse service delivery gaps and challenges, define service delivery operational measures and targets, and implement remedial action strategies.

Audit adherence to procedures and guidelines, taking appropriate corrective action so minimising potential risk to the Trust.

Process Innovation

  • Promote the value of innovation to all stakeholders, partners, alliances and constituencies.
  • Make a business case for innovation and reach agreement amongst partners, constituencies, stakeholders and the Board.
  • Design and establish a continuous improvement process for the Trust.

Skills And Experience

  • At least 10 years of relevant experience, of which at least 5 years must have been at an Executive Management level.
  • Relevant Master’s degree or above.
  • Experience in mobilising funds from institutional and other donors. Familiarity with new funding models, such as an endowment or social enterprise income streams preferred.
  • Experience in motivating, building capacity, and developing a strong organisational culture that retains and develops a talented team.
  • Experience in working with a board.
  • Regional knowledge of Southern Africa, including a strategic outlook on regional policy developments, political trends and opportunities.
  • Strong representational, external relations & networking skills and experience within Southern Africa, ideally with governments, SADC, NGOs and CSOs.
  • Financial management and operational oversight experience of at least one million USD annually.

How To Apply

Applications must be addressed to Mission Talent via email to stating S AT-CEO-SSA/+your surname in the subject line.

To apply for this role, kindly attach your CV (in English) and a motivation letter (of 350 words or less) which summarizes how your profile aligns with the key requirements, skills and abilities of this role. Please send these to us as Word files only.

After submitting your application you will receive an automatic confirmation. If you do not receive this (check your spam folder as well), please contact Mission Talent via Closing date 22 May 2018.

Read More

Southern Africa Trust Launches Report on Women Traders and Farmers in SADC

Women play a key role in the trade and agriculture in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) yet they face enormous challenges which hinder their full potential as farmers and traders, says the Southern Africa Trust.

The Trust commissioned a study aimed at assessing the extent of gender mainstreaming in the implementation of SADC trade and agricultural policies. It found limited gender integration and mainstreaming in policies.

“Women contribute significantly through their involvement in the production and sale of tradeable goods and as managers and owners of firms involved in trade. It is therefore important for women to be included in the development and implementation of SADC policies,” said The Trust’s Mobilization and Engagement Manager Christabel Phiri.

In relation to the agricultural sector, challenges facing women farmers include women having limited access to credit or finance; agricultural inputs such as seeds; and to transport to and from markets as well as a lack of agricultural skills and infrastructure, in particular, storage facilities.

Similarly, in the trade sector, women have been facing challenges with regards to security in the border posts, limited sanitation and limited hygiene facilities.

The study was conducted through primary and secondary data collection as well as key informants and focused group discussions, with a specific focus on Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The study also makes an analysis of the status of women involved in agriculture and trade and their level of knowledge of existing sector policies.

“We are excited to be launching the research report on International Women’s Day. It takes us one step further towards better understanding the experiences of women who make a significant contribution to trade and agricultural sectors in the region,” said Phiri.

Some of the findings are that more than 60% of households in the trade sector are headed by single, widowed and divorced women. The education levels of women surveyed differed among the three countries. In all three countries covered, almost all the women and key stakeholders reported that the majority of women in agriculture were involved in small scale farming due to limited financial resources, knowledge and use of farming technologies as well as complex trade procedures and requirements. The level of knowledge of both agricultural and trade policies among women was very low and a cause for concern.

“The Trust recommends coherence between agriculture and trade on the one hand and with other relevant policies supporting agriculture and trade. Wider use of Information communication technologies by women traders and farmers should be encouraged to close the information gap,” said Phiri.

The report also points to the need to create new and alternative avenues for borrowing in order to support women in the trade and agricultural sectors as well as simplified customs procedures and documentation and a reduced burden of domestic taxes and other fees and charges at borders of SADC Member States.

Access the full research document here.

For more information and interviews, contact:
Boitumelo Molusi
011 888 0140/079 713 5953

Read More

SADC Secretariat Visits the New Southern Africa Trust’s Offices in Kyalami

Led by the Director of Policy, Planning and Resource Mobilisation, Mr Mubita Luwabelwa, a four member SADC secretariat delegation which was in South Africa for the SADC Resource Mobilisation Working Group meeting paid a courtesy visit to the new Southern Africa Trust offices in Kyalami, Johannesburg. Mr Luwabelwa said he finds the Trust relevant in the interpretation of SADC’s vision as demonstrated by a number projects that the two organisations are partnering in and he hopes the relationship will continue.

As part of its sustainability strategy, the Trust bought its own premises for renting and occupation which will serve as a centre for civil society organisations. The Director lauded this move by the Trust and commended it as highly visionary, inspiring and innovative for any organisation to emulate in this day and age.

He went on to say “The building looks good. It shows innovation and good use of space, putting all facilities on site to increase efficiency’’. Mr Andoniaina Andriamiandrisoa who was part of the delegation also commented that the building was strategically located in a pristine area with great views and is also easily accessible.

The Trust and SADC Secretariat signed a memorandum of understanding in April 2016, and have been working together on several initiatives that include the development of the Regional Poverty Observatory, the Regional Resource Mobilisation Framework, the SADC Non State Actors and Private Sector Engagement Mechanism, amongst others.

Read More

Book Launch: Towards an Instrument for the Portability of Social Security Benefits in the Southern African Development Community

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region continues to experience a spontaneous migration of citizens, who move across borders in search of employment prospects and a better standard of living.

The entitlement to social security benefits usually depends on periods of employment and residency in a specific country, nationality, immigration status and other factors which often marginalise non-citizens.

While they may have lost their entitlement to social security benefits in their country of origin due to relocating, non-citizens may also face restrictive conditions on access to the host country’s social security system.

Academics and civil society groups convened at the Nadine Gordimer Auditorium, UJ Kingsway campus, on the evening of October 16, 2017 for the launch of the book, Towards an Instrument for the Portability of Social Security Benefits in the Southern African Development Community.

The book was launched by the Southern Africa Trust, together with the Centre for International and Comparative Labour and Social Security Law (Faculty of Law, University of Johannesburg) and the UJ Law library to highlight challenges facing non-citizens and to recommend ways in which policy can be utilised to achieve a regional mechanism for the portability of social security benefits.

“Until countries operate regionally, they will continue to experience these challenges at a national level,” said Dr Bhekinkosi Moyo, Chief Executive Officer of the Southern Africa Trust.

“Such challenges have made it very important to establish a regional mechanism that will allow for the portability of social security benefits without people having to travel to South Africa, for example, to access their benefits,” said Dr Moyo.

The study informed the development of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Portability of Accrued Social Security Benefits within the Region Policy Framework, which was adopted by the SADC Employment and Labour meeting of ministers and social partners in Gaborone, Botswana, during May 2016.

Prof Letlhokwa George Mpedi, who is a co-author of the book, expressed his gratitude regarding its successful completion and publishing.

“SADC can also learn from the experiences of comparative regional communities which have concluded or adopted social security coordination instruments,” said Prof Mpedi.

“The regional communities have either concluded or adopted instruments for the free movement or facilitation of movement of persons and for the right of residence. Furthermore, many of the regional communities have adopted an instrument for the coordination of social security or are in the process of adopting one,” he said.

Due to discriminatory provisions in national social security laws and the “nationality or territoriality principle” of social security systems, non-citizens aren’t always granted access to social security. Such principles and provisions hinder the cross-border portability of social security benefits.

Towards an Instrument for the Portability of Social Security Benefits in the Southern African Development Community explores the following topics:

  • Concept of social security coordination;
  • International labour standards and social security coordination;
  • SADC institutional and regulatory frameworks and their role in promoting the coordination of social security in the region;
  • Comparative SADC agreements and national portability provisions;
  • Comparative social security coordination instruments;
  • Status of SADC national social security systems; and,
  • Conclusions and policy recommendations for a regional mechanism for the portability of social security benefits.

Download the eBook here.

Read More

Women Farmers Find Their Voice in Policy Process

Women farmers are an important pillar of communities whose livelihoods depend almost entirely on the agricultural sector. At a subsistence level they stave off hunger and are often the backbone of many rural economies across the world.

Elizabeth Mpofu, the chairperson of Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF), says the agricultural sector is a source of livelihood to about 65% of Zimbabweans who live in rural areas. In these communities it’s important for farmers to have a measure of control over the cycles and events in the sector. An important area where farmers need independence is in the use and exchange of seeds. Elizabeth says seeds are fundamental to agriculture.

“At the centre of agriculture is the issue of seeds. Seeds are not only a strong symbol for food sovereignty and biodiversity, but also one of the important elements to strengthen smallholder farming communities.”

In Zimbabwe, where she is based, smallholder farmers are mostly affected by two systems of seed regulation. The first is the formal system developed by state authorities and the private sector. It is a market-oriented system.

The second, which ZIMSOFF is keen on safeguarding, is a community-based production system that hinges on seed saving and exchange under the less stringent circumstances of kinship. The sharing among members of the community results in seeds with a rich biodiversity.

Farming communities in the SADC region have had to deal with severe climate conditions that have threatened food security. In Mozambique, the recent drought left more than 1.5-million people in need of food assistance. Following the drought, which also affected Zimbabwe and South Africa, were incidents of severe flooding as well as cyclones.

These are challenges that Mpofu says are impossible to overcome if smallholder farmers are not empowered or lack capacity. This is the kind of support her organization received from the Southern Africa Trust. “The Trust has been involved in initiatives aimed at capacity building and allowing the flow of dialogue among stakeholders in the farming sector with specific attention paid to women farmers,” she said.

“The assistance from the Trust has enabled ZIMSOFF to mobilise and increase itsbmembership. Organisational development has also improved with improved capacity and strengthening skills of the organisation. The assistance has also enabled ZIMSOFF to organize loose smallholder farmers into associations,” commented Mpofu.

The interests of smallholder farmers are tied to the wellbeing of millions of people across the globe. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations there are roughly 795-million people who suffer from hunger. This means one in every nine people in the world is undernourished. The figures for sub-Saharan Africa are even more grim, with almost one in every four people likely to suffer from undernourishment.

This is the global level at which Mpofu engages with important issues affecting the agricultural sector. In August 2016 she was nominated by the FAO as Special Ambassador for Africa. This role was under the auspices of the International Year of Pulses, a programme dedicated to paying special attention to crops such as beans, peas, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, sorghum and other nutrient-rich legumes that also help in maintaining the fertility of the soil.

Additions she has made to the discourse include a realisation that health problems are intricately tied to diet. Among the conversations of which she has been a prime driver focus on what could be learnt from practices aimed at investing in healthy food systems. At the FAO these discussions take place among thousands of experts in agriculture from around the world.

These kinds of conversation get practical expression at the Shashe Agro-Ecology School. The school is a community-based institution dedicated to the sharing of knowledge among farmers. The school in Shashe, part of the Masvingo Province in southeast Zimbabwe, is part of an effort to fight for food sovereignty among peasant communities. It is a platform where the more than 10,000 farmers that are associated with ZIMSOFF can interact meaningfully with ordinary villagers.

The school is part of the global peasant rights’ movement La Via Campesina’s network of 40 colleges throughout the world. The peasants’ movement, where Mpofu holds the Office of General Coordinator, has more than 200-million members across the world. Its college programme aims at promoting understanding of agro-ecology – a focus on sustainable agricultural practices that conserve the often fragile balance in ecosystems. Mpofu is excited about what the school promises.

“The Shashe Agro-Ecology School allows members of other communities to visit and learn from the practices of the local farmers. The school has enabled farmers to be connected, sharing the knowledge gained from their own experience and learning from other smallholder farmers,” she said.

Also important to the growth of smallholder farmers is the input they provide in policy formulation initiatives. This enables farmers to engage and contribute to policy frameworks like the SADC Regional Agricultural Policy. Engagements such as the annual Regional Smallholder Women’s Farmer Conference has allowed women in the region to deal with laws and cultural practices that restrict women in farming circles.

Most encouraging, however, is the positive response from smallholder farmers, according to Mpofu.

“The farmers agree that there is a need to understand traditional farming knowledge systems that used to prevail before the Green revolution.”

She added that the baseline study they use has been useful in understanding the context in which they find themselves.

“It’s an important tool towards the revival of lost traditional seeds, the reclamation of degraded land, the intensive harvesting of run-off and the entire nurturing of the environment using indigenous and traditional knowledge systems.”

Read More

Southern Africa Trust Presents Research Findings at the Women Advancing Africa Forum

The empowerment of women and harnessing women’s entrepreneurial abilities continue to be one of the key focus areas of development initiatives in Africa.  Though an increasing number of women occupy leadership roles in numerous sectors, this has not translated into the overall empowerment of women.

The Southern Africa Trust, supported the Graca Machel Trust in initiating the movement “Women Advancing Africa (WAA).” It was successfully launched in August 2017 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and focused on the theme of “Driving Social and Economic Transformation”. More than 300 delegates from diverse backgrounds came together to celebrate women’s achievements, discuss the challenges they face, and identify solutions needed to strengthen the participation of women in different sectors of the economy and advance social change. The forum was centred around the three core pillars “Market Access”, “Financial Inclusion” and “Social Change.”

The WAA Forum also launched six working groups (“tracks”) for in-depth, sector-specific discussions regarding: (1) agribusiness, (2) energy, extractives and infrastructure; (3) services and trade; (4) technology; (5) financial inclusion; and (6) changing the narrative: media and creative industries.

In these small groups, participants engaged in analysing structural barriers that hold women back, showcasing the latest innovations and models of success, identifying solutions and pitching new ideas that will benefit women in these sectors.

During the WAA Forum, the Trust presented a study on “Women’s empowerment in Africa, building successful female entrepreneurs”, which analysed the main drivers, obstacles and opportunities for women’s empowerment in Africa. The research took a closer look at what these barriers are and suggests that while investing in a woman’s skill and education is important, efforts are most effective when she already has a fundamental sense of her own worth. Initiatives that focus on women empowerment need to equip women with the skills needed to overcome structural and relational barriers that may come along the way.

According to the study, female entrepreneurs in developing countries are primarily motivated to start businesses out of necessity and that due to biases about women’s capacity to sustain an enterprise in the long-term, it is often assumed that female entrepreneurs are not committed to establishing a business.

The study also revealed the following:

  • Entrepreneurship can play a pivotal role in advancing women’s empowerment in Africa but more needs to be done to remove the myriad hurdles they face in starting and growing a business.
  • Relationships play a role in driving entrepreneurship –  role models and mentors were cited as a source of inspiration for starting a business, as well as a source of support in running the business.
  • Respondents often had to overcome a lack of assertiveness, self-doubt and a pessimistic outlook, as well as poor self-discipline in order to sustain and grow their enterprises – holding clients accountable for payments, convincing clients and suppliers to agree to fair prices and marketing business was challenging at first.
  • Poor access to finance and markets were the most commonly cited structural constraints on the growth of enterprises.
  • Relationships play both an enabling and restrictive role in the entrepreneurial journey.
  • Gender-discrimination in the workplace creates limited opportunities for women to advance.
Read More

We Are Moving…

The Southern Africa Trust is relocating from International Business Gateway in Midrand. As of 1 January 2018, the new Southern Africa Trust offices will be at:

45 Kyalami Business Park
Kyalami, 1684
South Africa

Our contact numbers remain +27 11 318 1012.

Read More