Do you want to help grow Africa’s largest network of ‘digital democracy’ labs and data journalism initiatives?

Code for Africa (CfAfrica) is looking for an experienced and mission-focused Chief Operating Officer (COO) to oversee the organization’s secretariat and project management in Cape Town, South Africa.  The COO is a key member of senior management and will supervise CfAfrica’s administration, with support from a finance manager and a team of programme managers.  The COO will report to the Executive Director.  The ideal candidate will be an experienced and effective leader able to provide oversight for diverse operations in several African countries.  

The position is full-time and is based in Cape Town, South Africa.

CfAfrica is registered as an NPO in South Africa and serves as coordinator for the continent’s largest federation of civic technology laboratories that help the media, civil society organisations, and governments digitise information and build tools to inform and empower citizens.  CfAfrica currently has active projects in 24 African countries, with affiliate labs, of varying size, capacity and maturity in: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda.  CfAfrica also runs Africa’s OpenGov Fellowships and embeds Innovation Fellows into newsrooms and social justice organisations to help liberate data of public interest, or to build tools that help empower citizens.  In addition to fellowships and citizen labs, CfAfrica runs the $1 million per year #innovateAFRICA fund plus the $500,000/year #impactAFRICA fund and the $500,000/year Sandbox Fund, which all award seed grants to civic pioneers for experiments with everything from camera drones and environmental sensors, to data visualisation and mapping tools for improved visual storytelling, encryption for whistleblowers, and data-driven semantic analysis tools for investigative watchdogs.  CfAfrica also curates continental resources such as the africanSPENDING portal of budget transparency resources, the openAFRICAdata portal, the sourceAFRICA document repository, and the connectedAFRICA transparency toolkit for tracking the often hidden social networks and economic interests in politics.  CfAfrica is furthermore custodian of the continental 30,000+ strong Hacks/Hackers community, and incubates the continent’s largest investigative journalism initiative, the African Network of Centers for Investigating Reporting (which spearheaded the #PanamaPapers investigations on the continent).  You can find more information at:

CfAfrica is supported by donors that include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, HiVOS, Knight Foundation, Omidyar Networks, Open Society Foundations, and a host of smaller philanthropies.

Key Responsibilities

  • Oversee all daily operations of the organization
  • Coordinate the annual operations plan and budget
  • Oversee and authorize budgeting and financial procedures
  • Implement strategies, plans and procedures
  • Cultivate the values of CfAfrica within the organization
  • Lead employees to encourage maximum performance and dedication
  • Build organization and staff capacity, and processes that ensure the organization runs smoothly
  • Develop and supervise an accounting system, with support from the ICFJ,  that provides the organization with quick access to financial information and enables strategic budgeting
  • Submit reports to Executive Director in all matters of importance
  • Develop and implement systems for reporting and measurement of operations
  • Participate in expansion activities (fundraising, partnership-building, donor relations, etc.)
  • Other duties as required


As a prerequisite, the successful candidate must believe in the core values of CfAfrica and be driven by the mission.  We are also seeking a candidate who has management experience with a non-profit and a multi-site organization.  Additional requirements are:

  • Proven experience as COO, General Manager or relevant role
  • Understanding of NGO functions such as Finance, HR, etc.
  • Competency in strategic planning, data analysis and operation metrics
  • Aptitude in decision-making and problem-solving
  • Working knowledge of IT tools/information systems
  • Solid capacity for managing and leading people
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to excel in a diverse, multinational environment
  • Solid educational background – undergraduate degree required


This is an outstanding opportunity for a highly motivated individual to assume a pivotal role in the evolution of a growing, mission-oriented organization.  CfAfrica is prepared to offer a competitive compensation package, including a negotiable base salary, paid holidays, sick and vacation leave.  CfAfrica does not compensate relocation costs.

To apply: Applicants should submit a CV, a cover letter, and salary history to