01 Nov 2021
Digital Earth Africa logo

Digital Earth Africa aims to improve the lives of people across the African continent by translating Earth observations into insights that will support sustainable development.
Our platform and services enable African governments, industry and decision makers to track changes across the continent in unprecedented detail. This provides valuable insights for better decision making across many areas, including flooding, drought, soil and coastal erosion, agriculture, forest cover, land use and land cover change, water availability and quality, and changes to human settlements.
We are built on partnerships with African governance and in-country expertise to create sustained capability development in Africa. Digital Earth Africa is working with the African and international community to ensure that Earth observation data is analysis ready, rapidly available and readily accessible to meet the needs of our users. More information about the organization can be found at https://www.digitalearthafrica.org
Digital Earth Africa has partnered with South African National Space Agency to establish a Program Management Office situated in South Africa, Gauteng, Pretoria. The following opportunity exists within the Program Management Office to be filled by an individual with the relevant skills, drive, competencies, qualifications.
Appointments to the DE Africa Program Management Office will be on a short to medium term contractual basis subject to renewal based on performance and budget availability.


LEAD SCIENTIST - PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
18 Months Fixed-Term Performance-Based Contract


Reporting to the Head of Operations, the Lead Scientist: Product Development will be responsible for;

  • Providing leadership and strategic guidance to the scientific, research and technical operations of the DE Africa program;
  • Identifying emerging issues and develop new processes, technologies and products and services for the DE Africa platform;
  • Providing deep knowledge, expertise and guidance on the development, evaluation and use of earth observations and geospatial data;
  • Staying informed on the latest technological advances and industry trends to further inform the scientific work program;
  • Owning the development and management of the DE Africa work program in consultation with key partners and stakeholders;
  • Defining and leading the development of the technology roadmap in consultation with key partners and stakeholders;
  • Developing and maintaining co-design mechanisms for products and services through task teams and working groups;
  • Representing the scientific goals and interests of the program publicly through events, meetings, workshops and media;
  • Leveraging key external relationships with industry and academia to identify new approaches and methodologies;
  • Developing opportunities for scaling processes and methods, and drives the uptake and use of DE Africa products and services;
  • Contributing to the development and execution of the capacity development program;
  • Creating mechanisms to drive innovation and engagement through hackathons, challenges or other; and
  • Supporting the broader strategic planning of the program including goal and objective setting.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A PhD or equivalent qualification is required;
  • At least 10 years of combined national and international experience in a leadership role in a relevant field;
  • Experience working in Africa with knowledge of key environmental and development issues across the continent;
  • Experience and appreciation for the politics, culture and relationship building with organisations and stakeholders across Africa;
  • Ability to make outcomes policy relevant with knowledge of key policy frameworks relevant to Africa;
  • An understanding of cloud-based services and infrastructure, programming, open data and application development, in addition experience with cloud-based Earth
  • Observation platforms is recommended. Strong communication skills (oral and written); and
  • Excellent knowledge of English. Knowledge of French and/or Arabic would beneficial.


Key areas of responsibility will include but not limited to:

  • Strategic Leadership and Direction;
  • Research and Development;
  • International and National Partnerships;
  • Departmental and People Management.

Please NOTE that the appointment will be on a level commensurate with qualifications, experience and skills.
Background verification, including criminal record, credit checks, security clearances, qualification and citizenship checks as well as competency assessment and psychometric testing, may form part of the selection process.


DE Africa reserves the right to not make an appointment.


DE Africa subscribes to the principles of Employment Equity and welcomes applications from all persons with disabilities. Preference will be given to candidates in
accordance with this.


Closing date: 17 November 2021


Should you meet the above requirements, please register your detailed CV and cover letter at https://jb.skillsmapafrica.com


Communication will only be conducted with short-listed candidates. If applicants have not heard from us within 4 weeks of the closing date, they must assume that their
applications were unsuccessful.

Apply here:  DE Africa: Lead Scientist - Product Development Digital Earth Africa (skillsmapafrica.com)