The Zambia Dairy Transformation Programme (ZDTP) is a five-year New Zealand funded programme which focuses on supporting smallholder dairy farmers to improve their productivity, milk quality and linkage to urban markets, driving the further commercialisation of the smallholder based Zambian dairy sector.
We currently have an opening for a Cooperative Business Support Officer – Copperbelt to work intensively with three cooperative Boards and their membership in this Province. The role requires regular engagement with Board members, Milk Collection Centre management and ancillary staff to provide tailored support to help them fulfil their roles and develop their capacities in governance, financial management, operational duties and business planning.
We are looking for an individual with significant experience working with cooperatives and a solid understanding of the relevant regulatory structures governing their successful operation. Strong financial management and business planning skills are essential, as are excellent people management skills and a keen eye for detail. Prior experience and knowledge of milk processing is also an asset.
As a Business Support Officer, you will spend much of your time working at milk collection centres, but also be part of the wider ZDTP business and extension support team which has officers based in Chibombo, Kabwe, Luanshya, Kitwe and Mufulira. You will also benefit from support provided by a team of national and international experts who will build both your capacity and that of the farmers you will work with.
The role is full time with an initial contracting period of one year, with possibility of renewal, based on funding and performance.
You will be required to drive a manual vehicle and must have a Zambian Manual Driver’s Licence prior to taking up employment.
The Cooperative Business Support Officer will report directly to the Programme Country Manager and will work closely with them and the Cooperative Business Support Officer – Central to deliver all smallholder dairy cooperative business support activities according to the Programme requirements.
The Cooperative Business Support Officer – Copperbelt will be responsible for building the capacity of the cooperatives’ executive and management team, to help them implement and sustain the new approaches introduced by the Programme.
Effectively perform all of the following functions required to support the ZDTP, including but not limited to:
Liaising with the cooperative structure and relevant stakeholders, e.g. milk processor, Cooperative Officer from Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, extension and business support officers from other implementing organisations to develop coordinated strategies and approaches for sustained cooperative growth and compliance with the Cooperative Societies Act
Working closely with cooperative Boards to develop their capacity to develop and implement strategies and approaches and develop their organisations beyond the expected support from ZDTP
Leading on the development and implementation of business plans;
Providing financial and operational management support to enable Boards to make informed business decisions
Assisting in the preparation of financial statements and develop Board competence in the understanding of their importance for business management purposes
Providing independent advice of the implications and risks of business management decisions
Providing support and mentoring in the areas of effective governance, transparency and accountability to farmer members
Developing annual cooperative business support work plans and monthly operating reports;
Working in a productive and collaborative way with the ZDTP senior management team, and field extension team, including both local nationals and international staff on all issues relating to business support activities
Providing formal and informal updates to key stakeholders (such as the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Dairy Association of Zambia amongst others) as and when required; and
Carrying out other duties to the required standard as requested.
Qualifications and Experience:
A Diploma of Business or Financial Management and planning, or other relevant qualification from a reputable university or institution;
Demonstrable experience and understanding of corporate governance, strategic planning, financial and business management
Excellent understanding of the complexity of providing support to member-based organisations
Significant experience in people management, stakeholder engagement and working with rural communities
Solid financial management experience, including development of business plans, profit and loss statements, cash flow and balance sheets
Strong report writing skills
Strong interpersonal skills; the ability to make informed, impartial decisions and a commitment to team work and to working across disciplines, cultures and stakeholders at all levels;
Initiative, attention to detail and known for wanting to do the best and provide practical solutions in difficult situations
Ability to be adaptable and willingness to learn
Strong focus in delivering quality outcomes
Proficient with MS Office applications (Word and Excel are essential); and
Valid manual drivers licence.
Due to the location, it is necessary for the incumbent to be fluent in English and Bemba.
Cover letter of interest to be included which highlights experience in the following areas:
Developing and implementing financial and business management systems, or processes;
Providing capacity building to others
Working with a range of stakeholders.
NOTE: applications that use a generic cover letter will not be considered.
An up-to-date Resume/C.V.
A minimum of three (3) up-to-date referees.
How to Apply
The Cooperative Business Support Officer – Copperbelt position is a full time paid 12-month contract based in Luanshya, with travel to rural areas within the Copperbelt. There may be a need for short term travel to Lusaka, or the Central Province for team meetings and conferences. Qualified candidates should submit their Cover Letter and CV to by using Cooperative Business Support Officer in the subject line. Note:
Only short-listed candidates will be notified,
This vacancy is only open to Zambian Nationals,
No in-person appointments or telephone calls will be entertained; and
Applications from both genders are actively encouraged to apply.