Job Vacancy: Country Director Rwanda

Rwanda Country Director

Location – Kigali, Rwandaw

MeshPower is an exciting startup company developing and implementing innovative solutions to provide rural electrification. We provide affordable, renewable, 24 hour electricity through our solar-powered nanogrids to village-sized communities without access to the national grid.

Originally started in London by a team of electrical engineers, the Rwanda subsidiary now employs 25+ people and has over 2,000 customers, with plans to grow very quickly. MeshPower is a fast-moving, rapidly changing company, characterised by a high degree of personal responsibility, quick decision-making and a dynamic and innovative business environment.

We are looking for an experienced and driven individual to lead our growing team in Rwanda. The Country Director will be responsible for MeshPower in Rwanda, reporting directly to the CEO in London. S/he will lead the teams covering sales & marketing, field operations, technical & maintenance, customer service, finance & administration and production & repairs. Most importantly, they will be hiring to grow these teams substantially.

Responsibilities

  • Delivery of MP Rwanda business targets, notably annual revenue and sales targets, reporting these to the board
  • Manage MP Rwanda staff, working with the leadership team to create, manage and monitor team structures as well overseeing their training and continuous workplace learning
  • Oversee the development of regional offices in Rwanda and manage the logistics, staffing and communications policies to make these work effectively
  • Head external relations in Rwanda, working with all stakeholder groups, notably government, NGOs, the investor community and other industry players
  • Work with senior management team in London, providing regular feedback and interaction and helping to co-ordinate the efforts of the different offices
  • Co-ordinate with the head office in London for all technical, commercial, production and legal assistance.
  • Constantly investigate new business opportunities and new products, working with the technical and product team to make sure MeshPower’s offering is the best in the market
  • Oversee and be responsible for MP Rwanda’s finances; the preparation and delivery of accounts, budgets and financial reports

Required skills

  • Five or more years’ experience with proven success in a similar role in Rwanda, or comparable African market
  • Entrepreneurial and excited about the opportunity to creatively build a dynamic, non-traditional business in a nascent industry
  • Passionate about the social impact that MeshPower delivers, bringing innovative, clean, renewable and affordable electricity to rural African markets
  • Comfortable working independently and remotely in a lean environment
  • Likes getting hands dirty trying work out to how to grow a high-potential business
  • A natural people-person, that has experience and a track record leading others
  • Willing to spend up to 40% of his/her time in the field interacting with staff, agents and customers
  • Fluent in both verbal and written English and Kinyarwanda
  • High competency with word processing and spreadsheet programs.
  • University graduate, preferably with a business, finance or accounting degree.
  • Experience implementing and managing projects, especially ones with logistical challenges.

Other

  • The salary will be competitive and commensurate with the applicant’s level of experience.
  • Due to the high volume of applications we receive we are not always able to respond to every application.

To apply for this position please send your CV and a cover letter to [email protected].

Photoshoot Rwanda

It’s 7am on a Saturday and our 4×4 is escaping Kigali’s early morning traffic heading south towards the Burundi border. I have the pleasure in joining the photographer Jacques Nkinzingabo on a full day photo shoot at two of our recently installed solar nanogrids. Leaving a busy start-up schedule behind for a day, it’s a chance to spend time with our clients and learn how MeshPower’s electricity service now impacts their lives.

 tailor

Having touched down in the village Jacques and I go door to door interviewing and photographing MeshPower customers. We are welcomed with happy smiles, thank yous and  handshakes, plus a diversity of stories about how electricity access has transformed customers’ lives for the better. Mrs Pharazie, who runs a tailoring business with her husband, cheerfully welcomes us into her shop, full of colourful wraps and clothes. The bright light that the MeshPower’s LED tubes give out is particularly useful to her, as sewing requires close work and visual precision. As with all the customers we spoke to, she exuded a sense of pride and enhanced self-esteem about her new electricity connection.

In search of the perfect picture, Jacques chatted with his models as they posed. He noted that these people were much more open and receptive compared to those in other rural villages he has visited, making his work much easier and enjoyable. Some villagers were even giving him instructions on how he should take the shots of them! The automatic display on the camera showing the images taken straight away was definitely the highlight for the villagers.

The most memorable part of the day is when the sun sets and the whole village lights up. Shops, restaurants and bars do not close but instead spring to life as farmers from the surrounding areas come to the village to do their daily shopping. Customers share their light with the farmers or ‘light nomads’ who sell their crops on the street under the light of adjacent MeshPower customers.

village
Late at night we drive back to Kigali through the Rwandan back country. We pass villages and houses submerged in darkness with no electricity. It sounds cheesy but only once you experience it for yourself can you comprehend what difference basic electricity services can make. Fuelled with vivid memories, it’s now time to tackle the estimated 9million people currently sitting in the dark in Rwanda and beyond.