Technical Director

2018-05-03 16:16:35

Technical Director

Position based in Ghana (West Africa)

Company description

Ethical Apparel Africa is a sourcing company that provides international apparel brands with ethical, cost competitive and quality manufacturing solutions in West Africa. Our vision is to demonstrate that ethical manufacturing can and should be done at scale, not just associated with luxury or expensive product. Based in Ghana and Benin, EAA has a dynamic team bringing decades of experience from around the world in product development, quality assurance, account management, social impact, operations and finance. We work with West African factories to build technical and ethical standards to international standards. Our clients are international brands mostly from Europe and the USA interested in growing a manufacturing base in Africa with a positive social and environmental impact.

To date EAA has supported three African-owned factories to complete their first exports to 10+ brands in the US, UK, and Australia. By 2027 we aim to support 15 factories and create 5,000 worthwhile jobs. In addition to growing our core business EAA is also launching two new projects in the near to medium term: (1) the development of a "Model Factory": a lean, green, sustainable and ethical factory that sets the standard for garment manufacturing in a West African context and (2) a Pattern Centre of Excellence to build a pipeline of skilled talent. This is an exciting time to join EAA as we contribute to the sustainable development of the rapidly growing and high potential apparel industry in West Africa.

Position overview

We have a great opportunity for an experienced Technician and Manager with passion and desire to make a difference in clothing manufacturing to join us as a Technical Director. This is the perfect role for someone willing to broaden and challenge their expertise by developing the industry in West Africa and shaping the path of the next frontier.

The Technical Director will be based in Accra, Ghana with occasional trips throughout West Africa. This role will report to the CEO and be part of EAA’s Senior Leadership team -- working directly with the COO as well as Directors for Brand Partnerships and Social Impact.  

As head of EAA's technical department, this role will initially have 3-4 direct reports across Ghana and Benin.  They will have the following responsibilities:

Team Management and Development

  • Lead and coach the Technical team to deliver excellence with respect to EAA’s company KPI’s - for example skills transfer to the factories and zero quality claims

  • Ensure consistent training, coaching and professional development of the Technical team

  • Develop training programmes that will increase the technical knowledge of other teams within the business - such as the Accounts and Compliance teams

Product Management

  • Lead and coach the EAA Technical team in Ghana and Benin to deliver best practice in product development (pattern development, sampling, raw material testing, risk assessment, pre-production processes) and quality systems (ongoing QA as well as final AQL)

  • Support the EAA Technical team to troubleshoot and resolve sampling and production problems

  • Assess and continuously work to improve EAA internal technical tools and processes to ensure excellent product outcomes

  • Support the Accounts team in guiding factories’ costing and critical path planning processes to ensure samples and costings are right first time and capacity is available

Factory Development

  • Manage EAA relationships and strategic development of factory partners with their CEO’s including planning for growth in capacity, people, skills and social compliance

  • Guide EAA factory partners, working through the EAA Technical team, to assess current technical / operational processes and propose improvements to develop right-first-time, lean production systems that enable on-time shipment of quality product

  • Research new processes, techniques, and technologies to improve production efficiency and performance within the West African context

  • Support the Technical team to create and continuously improve Standard Operating Procedures and training material to build a repeatable model of factory technical development

  • Identify areas of investment needed in the factories including the introduction of new machinery/equipment and present analysis of anticipated ROI of such investments

  • Support the Technical team to ensure compliance with all technical reporting requirements related to factory development (training documentation, skill transfer tracking)

  • Ensure each factory’s technical development is planned and measured by formal Factory Development Plans aligned on with factory senior and middle management

  • Support EAA’s Impact Team to identify technical improvements that will improve factory compliance and workforce wellbeing

  • Play a key role in the design and implementation of  a lean, green, sustainable and ethical “Model Factory” in Ghana that sets the standard for garment manufacturing in the region

  • Research and propose new factories for EAA to be developing across West Africa

Third party relationships and Industry influence

  • Represent EAA at industry and government functions and speak at conferences to build local network and capacity

  • Develop and manage on the ground relationships with development agencies, governmental entities and NGO’s

  • Support the design and implementation of a new Pattern Centre of Excellence at a local technical institution to offer training in commercial pattern development, grading and lay planning

  • Identify key technical institutes, associations and government departments to influence for change in the industry

Qualifications & Attributes

  • Proven experience managing factories and working directly with brands in leading roles with a specific focus on developing factories to centres of excellence (minimum 15 years’ experience)

  • In-depth knowledge of product development, garment fit, garment construction, production and quality management and materials testing

  • Knowledge and experience of factory design and lean management to achieve optimal efficiency.

  • Excellent leadership and management skills; ability to coach teams and develop individuals

  • Exceptional cross cultural communication and presentation skills

  • Deep understanding of customer markets and experience of working with Western brands from the USA and/or Europe

  • Previous working/living experience in a developing country, preferably in Africa

  • Demonstrated experience working with third parties and building fruitful partnerships

  • Ability to work in a fast paced environment with flexibility to adapt to the changing needs of the business and an entrepreneurial attitude

  • Passion for working in a company with a social mission and building local capacity

  • Fluency in English; strong preference for fluency in French

  • Evidence of the following characteristics: humble, inspiring, self aware, resilient, adaptable, proactive, persistent, resourceful, able to work under pressure and respect deadlines, strong at building relationships and resolving problems, poised, active listener, fun to work with, and full of integrity


  • Annual flight allowance

  • Accommodation and transportation

  • Health and repatriation insurance

  • 25 days of annual leave plus Ghana national holidays

  • Opportunity to lead key department of an award-winning, dynamic, and mission driven startup

  • Salary level dependent on candidate experience and profile

How to apply

  • This position will start on August 1st 2018

  • As applications are reviewed on a rolling basis, kindly send a resume ​and a separate and specific cover letter for this position ​to, using the reference “TECH DIRECTOR”​ as the subject of your email.

  • Only complete applications with accurate references will be considered and only the most qualified candidates will be shortlisted for interview.

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