Technical Lead


Pretoria South Africa

Chemonics seeks a technical lead for their Empower Southern Africa project. The USAID Empower Southern Africa (ESA) Project is a $85 million, five-year activity aimed at increasing the availability of and access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy in South Africa in order to reach measurable outcomes.

The activity will support the accelerated connection of more Southern Africa homes, businesses, and institutions to reliable electricity and increase its productive use, ESA will contribute to the following three objectives:

· Objective 1 – Ending Energy Poverty

· Objective 2 – Accelerate a Carbon Free Future

· Objective 3 – Bolstering Energy Sector Investment and Innovation

ESA Purpose: To increase the availability of and access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern electricity in Southern Africa. The ESA program aims to provide support and strengthen capacity of key energy role players in South Africa through the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JET-P) workstream. This will be achieved by accelerating the completion of clean energy projects, strengthening transmission grid, and increasing investment in and performance of distribution grid. In South Africa, the vision and objectives of the JETP are to establish an ambitious long-term partnership to support South Africa’s pathway to low emissions and climate resilient development, to accelerate the just transition and the decarbonization of the electricity system, and to develop new economic opportunities such as green hydrogen and electric vehicles amongst other interventions to support South Africa’s shift towards a low carbon future.

Clean energy generation underpins the transition and will strengthen energy security in South Africa. ESA will provide combined support for both on-grid and beyond-the-grid efforts. This combined on- and beyond-the-grid approach will optimize USAID resources to provide targeted advisory services, catalytic grants, and investment mobilization more effectively to a range of energy sector institutions including government ministries, utilities, regulators, private sector energy companies and their trade groups, investors, multilateral organizations and initiatives, academic institutions and/or civil society. ESA’s JET-P workstream may seek to advance activities in South Africa through some of the following opportunities:

– Identify and assess opportunities to facilitate renewable energy projects to increase new energy generation using clean energy technologies.

– Forge partnerships with South African energy players to address electrification backlog.

– Evaluate collaboration opportunities with the USG Interagency and other donors

– Design and potentially fund conditional grant vehicles in collaboration with various partners.

– Utilize existing partnerships to promote the intergovernmental relations by demonstrating effectiveness of working in coordinated manner to catalyzing investment in various spheres of government


ESA seeks a full-time technical lead to manage activities under the JET-P scope. The lead will be responsible for the development and implementation of the South Africa JETP workplan, building relationships with JETP stakeholders, coordinating with government and international stakeholders, and ensuring continuation of existing activities.


The Technical Lead/Advisor is expected to undertake the following specific activities:

– Donor Coordination:

  • Establish and/or advance relationships with International Partners Group (IPG) and IPG+ members (e.g., donors).
  • Understand details of activities undertaken by IPG+ members listed in the grants register so that all activities undertaken by ESA are additional and not duplicative of ongoing efforts.
  • Ensure that coordination is prioritized and intentional.
  • Participate in technical working group and other JET-P meetings on behalf of USG in coordination with USAID and USG counterparts.
  • Ensure activities undertaken by the USG are well documented, understood and coordinated with other donors

– USG Coordination:

  • Provide a streamlined “one stop shop” for USG JET-P activities and coordination
  • Work with USG partners to understand USG interagency funding and activities committed to the JET-P.
  • Participate in regular update meetings with USG interagency partners to share status of ESA JET-P activities, and coordinate on activities of similar scope (Transmission, Municipal support, Private Sector project development, etc).
  • Develop understanding of USG activities, as well as IPG and other donor JET-P activities, to help coordinate support at a technical level between all partners at an early-stage of new activity planning.

– Activity Development and Management:

  • Review existing ongoing and proposed JET-P activities and documents related to JET-P workplan development and JET-P activity monitoring.
  • Support selection and finalization of JET-P workplan/action plan activities, including milestones for annual workplans.
  • Review JET-P regulatory environment and propose adjustment to improve the enabling environment.
  • Develop working relationships with Government Counterparts, Public Utilities, municipalities, Independent Power Producers, USG, international donors, and Private Sector actors.

– Private Sector Engagement

  • Serve as the project’s focal point for capturing private sector engagements in PATT related to South Africa’s JET-P; maintain internal tracking of potential partners.
  • Include Private Sector activities in ESA updates/deliverables.
  • Coordinate private sector engagements with USG counterparts (particularly Power Africa/DFC/USTDA/Commerce).
    • Other duties as assigned by South Africa’s ESA Chief of Party, the Deputy Chief of Party-Technical or their designee.


The candidate for this assignment should have a degree in a relevant field and possess at least 10 years of work experience on energy sector development or power sector programs, with demonstrated experience/understanding on South Africa’s Just Energy Transition activities, experience planning or coordinating energy transition and renewable energy activities, and proven experience managing coordination with USG, national, and international stakeholders. Experience of successful collaboration with South African Government Agencies, Public Utilities, Independent Power Producers, and other Private Sector stakeholders acting in the Just Energy Transition space is preferred as well. Candidates should possess a master’ degree in a relevant field (preferred), in addition to an advanced degree in a relevant expertise, such as Communication, Energy Studies, Engineering, Public Policy, International Development, Sustainable Development, Law, or another relevant field.

Additional qualifications include:

  • Prior experience leading USAID/Power Africa or international donor-funded programs strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to motivate and lead a dynamic team of professionals across large geographies.
  • Demonstrated leadership, versatility and integrity
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English
  • Attention to detail


The position will be based in Pretoria, South Africa at the ESA headquarters and may require travel to other countries in the region. Remote work arrangements within South Africa may be granted depending on project priorities and position requirements.

How to apply


Please send your CV to [email protected]. Applications must be submitted by May 6, 2024, 11:59pm EST. Early applications encourages. No telephone inquiries, please.

Chemonics is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factors.

Deadline: 6-May-24