Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank, South Africa

Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank, South Africa

Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank, South Africa

Job #:req23396
Organization:World Bank
Term Duration: 4 years 0 months
Recruitment Type:Local Recruitment
Location:Pretoria,South Africa
Required Language(s):English
Preferred Language(s):English
Closing Date:7/19/2023 (MM/DD/YYYY) at 11:59pm UTC

 Description: Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank, South Africa

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. For more information, visit

Eastern and Southern Africa

Home to about half a billion of Africa’s people, Eastern and Southern Africa is a geographically, culturally and economically diverse region of 26 countries stretching from the Red Sea in the North to the Cape of Good Hope in the South. Children under 18 make up almost half of the total population. The subregion boasts of some of the world’s richest human and natural resources and, apart from South Africa, the countries are predominantly raw material exporters.

The subregion harbors some of Africa’s protracted conflicts, rendering many of its countries fragile, while significant gaps in education, health, and skills development continues to keep people from reaching their full potential. This creates a huge development challenge, impacts heavily on the lives and livelihoods of people, and hinders regional integration and trade. But it also creates an opportunity to work closely with country leaders, civil society, development partners, and young people to chart a brighter course for the future. 

The World Bank’s Eastern and Southern Africa Region, comprised of approximately 1,207 staff, mostly based in 26 country offices, has been helping countries realize their considerable development potential by focusing on the following priorities:

• Creating Jobs and Transforming Economies: We are working with countries across Africa to stimulate job creation and economic transformation by leveraging all sources of finance, expertise, and solutions to promote investment.
• Building up the Digital Economy: We are supporting Africa’s vision to ensure that every African individual, business, and government is connected by 2030 – a vision that, if realized, can boost growth by up to 2 percentage points per year, and reduce poverty by 1 percentage point per year in Sub-Saharan Africa alone.

Intern – Production & Projects: HITACHI ENERGY

• Institutions more Efficient and Accountable: Our support is helping governments strengthen public policy processes, manage resources effectively, and reinforce fair and reliable delivery of public services.
• Investing in People: We are at the forefront of helping African countries accelerate human capital gains and empower women by improving their access to education and skills acquisition, sexual and reproductive health services, and employment opportunities. With the influx of COVID-19, we are mobilizing financial support and timely analysis and advice to countries across the subregion to deal with the pandemic.

• Supporting Climate Change Mitigation and Adaption:  In the face of increasing climate-related risks, we are working with African countries to advance efforts to adopt renewable energy, climate-smart agriculture, and green infrastructure. A number of East African countries recently had to deal with a debilitating Desert Locust infestation that threatened the already precarious food security situation. The Bank has put together a program to help affected countries deal with the scourge.

• Addressing the Drivers of Fragility, Conflict, and Violence: Given the cross-border nature of conflicts in Africa, we are employing an approach that simultaneously focuses on the drivers of fragility while also supporting well-targeted regional initiatives to create opportunities for peace and shared prosperity.
• Building Partnerships and Working across the African Continent: We are scaling up our work on regional integration, taking a holistic view of the continent that covers both North and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The World Bank is a dedicated partner for Eastern and Southern African countries, helping them deliver strong development outcomes for their people. A brighter future for Africa is a better future for the world.


The Energy & Extractives (EEX) Global Practice (GP) of the World Bank Group is made up of about 300 professionals, a lending program in the order of US$5-7 billion a year, an active portfolio of some $40 billion, and a rich program of Advisory and Analytical Work. The EEX GP focuses on: providing affordable, reliable and sustainable energy to meet the needs of fast growing economies and to ensure universal access to modern energy services for people in client countries; and, strengthening policy and institutional frameworks to promote transparent and equitable growth of the extractives sectors for public benefit.   There is a strong emphasis on private sector resource mobilization and catalyzing financing from commercial and other sources of development and climate finance.

Intern Analyst – Sub-Saharan Africa: Crossboundary, South Africa

The Bank is engaged in all aspects of the electricity sector – generation, transmission, distribution, rural electrification and off-grid– through development policy financing, program for results, investment financing support, technical assistance and guarantee operations; assisting the government with policy reforms to attract investments in generation and renewable energy along with the promotion of the regional energy trade in the Central, Eastern, Southern and Western Africa power pools, modernizing the electricity network for the needs of a modern economy and increasing energy access are among the key areas of the Bank’s deepening engagement in the sector.

The Africa energy sector grouping consists of four units across two regions of Eastern and Southern Africa and newly created VPU of West and Central Africa. The position for a Senior Energy Specialist is based in Pretoria, South Africa, supporting the Southern Africa energy unit (IAEE3) and primarily working on countries under the South Africa country management unit (AECS1) as well as the regional energy engagement.

AECS1 covers Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa.Across these countries the Bank is engaged in all aspects of energy sector development including: electricity generation, transmission, and distribution; the deployment of battery energy storage systems (BESS); the just energy transition; support for accelerating energy access to households, commercial enterprises, industrial parks, and public institutions using both grid and off-grid electrification; and technical assistance on energy policy, least cost power system planning, power sector performance improvement, regulatory and institutional framework, and capacity building of sector institutions. 

Working with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP), and other regional institutions, the regional energy engagement is focused on creating the enabling environment to enhance regional integration and deepen the regional power market and support investments in cross-border transmission interconnections and large-scale renewable energy generation.  The current portfolio across the five countries and the regional engagement comprises five projects under implementation with over US$800 million in financing.

The position is based in Pretoria, South Africa to support the design and implementation of existing and pipeline projects.  While being a key member of the South Africa energy team, the selected candidate will be expected to focus on at least one of the AECS1 countries and the regional integration agenda.

Duties & Accountabilities: Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank, South Africa

The Southern Africa energy unit (IAEE3) of the World Bank seeks a Senior Energy Specialist, who as part of the South Africa-based energy team, shall work with Governments, cooperating partners, and other stakeholders in leading/coordinating the World Bank’s energy program.  The work entails strategic, advisory, and operational work in the energy sector.  The main responsibility of the selected candidate will be to support the ongoing sector dialogue, implementation of investment lending operations, preparation of pipeline, as well as analytical work on the energy sector.  The selected candidate will focus on at least one of the countries under the South Africa country management unit (AECS1) which covers Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, and South Africa.  The selected candidate will also provide support to the regional and country teams working on regional integration in the Southern African Power Pool.

The responsibilities of the selected candidate will include:

The selected candidate will participate in overseeing implementation of energy operations with the aim to enhance quality and accelerate implementation and will play an active role in Bank’s policy dialogue with the authorities, development partners, and other stakeholders on strategic energy issues and implementation of ongoing energy sector reforms.

The AFR Energy team is a key contributor towards the WBG strategy for “Maximizing Finance for Development (MFD) with the objective to help countries maximize their development resources by drawing on private financing and sustainable private sector solutions. The Senior Energy Specialist is expected to actively seek opportunities to apply MFD principles in our work program and build a strong internal WBG partnership with IFC and MIGA, as well as network with private sector partners that can contribute to the achievement of our development objectives.

Other responsibilities will include technical support to lending and non-lending programs:

• Lead or co-lead energy sector strategy development and policy dialogue;
• Lead or co-lead development of new lending, preparation and supervision of investment operations in the energy sector with the aim to enhance quality, efficiency and pro-poor focus and accelerate implementation;
• Contribute to the drafting and inputs for sector and country briefings, analytical and advisory reports and studies on accelerating access, generation and transmission expansion, renewable energy development, regional energy integration and private sector participation in the energy sector.
• Support the unit’s analytical agenda on improving access to energy services in Sub-Saharan Africa;
• Assume an active role in the South Africa-based energy with the aim of ensuring adequate and appropriate integration of relevant aspects of the energy development agenda in core Bank products, including the country partnership framework, strategic country diagnostic, country economic memorandum etc.;
• Participate in the dialogue with relevant representatives of the private sector to keep abreast with issues related to the business investment climate and identify possible areas of collaboration through public-private-partnerships.
• Draft and provide timely contributions to project documents and follow-up of official missions, including the drafting of Aide Memoires, official correspondence, and project completion reports.
• Develop strong working relationships with the Government counterparts (e.g. Ministries responsible for energy, power utilities, electricity regulators etc.) to aid project preparation and quality implementation support; and
• Participate in the dialogue with the cooperating partner community to keep abreast of energy sector support, to identify possible areas of collaboration and ensure that there are no overlaps.

Selection Criteria: Senior Energy Specialist, World Bank, South Africa

• Master’s degree in engineering, energy planning/economics, business administration, or equivalent areas relevant for energy sector development;
• At least 8 years of combined experience in the World Bank, other international institutions and/or companies, government agencies, and/or power sector utilities with demonstrated track record of successful engagement with relevant developmental programs and projects;
• Demonstrates proven understanding of energy policies, technologies or strategies, private sector participation, utility reform, and institutional development needed to support development and for the success of project and analytical work.

• Strong experience in planning, designing, and implementing power infrastructure projects including renewable energy generation, transmission, distribution and improving commercial performance of utilities;
• Experience leading and/or playing key roles in policy dialogue with clients and stakeholders.
• Experience in energy access and experience working in Sub-Saharan Africa;
• Experience working on/with World Bank or other International Financial Institutions (IFIs) I) lending and non-lending operations is desirable;

• Demonstrates active listening skills and the ability to influence the audience (such as counterparts in government, international partner organizations, academia, and Bank colleagues, senior staff and managers).
• An excellent track record in carrying out high quality and timely analytical reports and activities would be advantageous;
• Hands-on experience with infrastructure projects with power sector utilities will be a distinct advantage;
• Experience working with large global teams, to produce high-quality results and outputs with minimal supervision is required;

• High level of motivation, ability to work independently, taking initiative, and flexibility in quickly adjusting to changing work program requirements;
• Excellent interpersonal skills and proven ability to build strong partnerships with clients, different stakeholders and colleagues across units and departmental boundaries in a multi-cultural environment with virtual teams located in different countries;

• Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and French, able to communicate complex issues in simple terms and to engage in evidence-based dialogue with clients; and
• Demonstrates strong understanding and able to translate technical analyses into policies, operations and/or research of at least one of relevant thematic business lines such as Energy Access; Economics, Markets & Institution; Oil & Gas; Energy Efficiency; Renewable Energy; Energy Finance; Hydropower; Power Systems & Technologies.

Poverty has no borders. Neither does excellence. This is why we continually search for qualified individuals with diverse backgrounds from around the globe. We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Note: If you are currently a World Bank Group staff member with a Regular or Open-Ended appointment, you will retain this status. All others will be offered a 4-year term appointment.

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.

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