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Secretary General of the Commission

Job Overview

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The African Union, established as a unique Pan African continental body, is charged with spearheading Africa’s rapid integration and sustainable development by promoting unity, solidarity, cohesion and cooperation among the peoples of Africa and African States as well as developing a new partnership worldwide. Its Headquarters is located in Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia. In seeking to achieve this objective, the African Union intends to strengthen its capacity to deliver by, among others, the implementation of its organizational structure and the filling of all vacant posts by African Nationals from its Member States.

1. Post:


Grade: D1



Duty Station: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Organizational Setting and Reporting Relationships: This positionis located in the Office of the Chairperson of the Commission. The Secretary General usually reports to the Chairperson of the Commission or the designee through the Chief of Staff.

Objectives of the Position:

  • Provide leadership and vision for the work of the Office of the Secretary General of the Commission;
  • Contribute as a member of the strategic management team to issues of conceptual, strategic andpolicy nature;
  • Provide policy advice on a broad range of issues including programme coordination, and cooperative programmes with AU Organs;
  • Serve as the Commission focal point for relations and communications with member states and the Union Organs and ensure smooth relations between the Commission and all Union Organs;
  • Serve as the Secretariat of the Commission, with regard to planning, managing and servicing the Union and the Commission meetings ;
  • Assist the Chairperson of the Commission in monitoring the implementation of the Decisions of the Union’s Policy Organs;
  • Serve as the institutional memory Office/Unit for the Commission and other Organs of the AU;
  • Assist the chief of staff in the Bureau of the Chairperson in the discharging of his responsibility for inter-departmental and directorate coordination.

Work implies frequent interaction with the following:

  • The Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson, Commissioner and Chief of Staff as well as heads of other Organs of the Union;
  • Managers staff within the Office;
  • Assists the Chief of Staff in the management of staff inother Departments, external and representational offices and Missions;
  • Liaises with Member states and embassies of member states accredited to the African Union on secretariat matters, meetings;
  • Participates in any capacity, if appointed in various AU policy making bodies, Committees and Sub-Committees.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for the development and evaluation of the programme of the Office of the Secretary General of the Commission. Establishes priorities and objectives for the work of the Office and organizes resources to achieve the objectives;
  • Directs and manages the Office of the Secretary General;
  • Coordinates the formulation and implementation of the substantive work programme of the Office of the Secretary General;
  • Contributes to the formulation of the commission overall strategies and policies by preparing documents on policy issues and acting,as required, in an advisory capacity to the Chairperson of the Commission;
  • Acts as Secretary to all the Commission leadership meetings,services, prepares and disseminates reports of these meetingsas appropriate;
  • Serves as Secretary of all policy Organs and manage the work of coordinating the preparation and holding of the meetings of the Union Policy organs, the Assembly, the Executive Council andthe PRC and its sub-committees and STCs;
  • Coordinates and oversees the preparation of reports and Decisions of all policy Organs of the Union and ensures that they are properly finalized, and disseminated on time to Member States;
  • Ensures that all documentation for the meetings and the work of the above Organs are properly prepared, in line with the vision and mission of the Union, are duly processed and dispatched on time to Member States;
  • Responsible for coordination and correpondence with member states,Organs and external partners on all matters relating to the Union Policy meetings matters, including invitations to these meetings. Acts as custodian of the Union Decisions and policy directives and ensures that all documents are properly stored and accessible at any time and to manage a Databank of documentation of the Union;
  • Ensures that follow-up to meetings of the Commission and other Organs are carried out efficiently and rapidly for timely implementation;
  • Establishes horizontal linkages between various Departments, Directorates, Units and extenal offices for smooth coordination of programmes and activities and timely implementation of decisions emanating from policy Organs, the Commission and management;
  • Assists the Chief of staff in chairing the Meetings of Directors and providing guidance on the strategic direction from the Commission;
  • As a senior staff, if requested, represents the Commission at international,regional and bilateral meetings, provides substantive expertiseon issues and hold dicussions with representative of member states and other institutions as appropriate;
  • Performs any other relevant duties, as may be assigned by the Chairperson.

Results expected: Effective management and supervision of the office of the Secretary of the Commission. Efficient delivery of services to the Commission. Proven leadership in the development of innovative programmes with significant impact on the overall effectiveness of the Commission. Timely and considered advice to the Commission. Intellectual and professional leadership for overall strategy, quality, delivery and results.


  • Professionalism: Demonstratesknowledge of the management and coordination of a large and complex organizational unit requiring a multidisciplinary approach. Shows ability to prepare reports on various issues, and review and edit work of others and ability to apply AU rules, regulations, policies and guidelines. Conscientious, efficient, meetings commitments, observe deadlines and achieve results; show persistence and remain calm in stressful situations;
  • Communication: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively and demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed;
  • Teamwork: Works collaboratively with colleagues to achieve organizational objectives, solicits inputs and values others contributions, shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team shortcomings;
  • Planning and organizing: Develops clear goals,identifies priorities and adjusts priorities as required. Allocates time and resources for completing work, foresees risk and allows for contingencies, monitors and adjust plan as required;
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments, delivers on outputs for which he/she is responsible, comply with AU rules and regulations, supports subordinates and takes responsibility for delegated assignments, takes personal responsibility for his /her own shortcomings and those of the team where applicable;
  • Creativity: Actively seeks to improve programmes and services, offers new and different options to solve problems, promotes and persuades others to consider new ideas, thinks outside the box, and takes an interest in new ideas and ways;
  • Client Orientation:Considers all those to whom services is provided as clients, establishes and maintains productive relationships with clients, keeps informed of client needs and anticipates problems, delivers timely service to clients;
  • Commitment to continuous learning: Keeps abreast of new developments in his field, seeks to develop self professionally and personally, contributes to the learning of colleagues and subordinates, willingness to learn from others;
  • Technological awareness: Keeps abreast of available technology; understands applicability and limitation of technology to the work of the office; actively seeks to apply technology to appropriate tasks; shows willingness to learn new technology.

Managerial Competencies:

  • Leadership: Serves as a role model: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives
  • Vision: Identifies strategic issues, opportunities and risks; clearly communicates links between the AU’s strategy and the office’s goals; generates and communicates broad and compelling organizational direction, inspires others to exel; conveys enthusiasm about future possibilities.
  • Empowering Others: Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations, and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work, holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility; genuinely values all staff members’ input and expertise; shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort; involves others when making decisions that affect them.
  • Building Trust: Provides an environment in which others can talk and act without fear of repercussion, operates with transparency; places confidences in colleagues, staff members and clients;; treats sensitive or confidential information appropriately.
  • Managing Performance: Delegates the appropriate responsibility, accountability and decision-making authority; makes sure that roles, responsibilities and reporting lines are clear to each staff member;; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; appraises performance fairly.
  • Judgement/Decision-making: Identifies the key issues in a complex situation, and comes to the heart of the problem quickly; gathers relevant information before making a decision; takes decisions with an eye to the impact on others and on the AU; proposes a course of action or makes a recommendation based on all available information; checks assumptions against facts; makes tough decisions when necessary.

2. Qualifications:

Education: Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) inmanagement, business or public administration, finance, accounting, law, social sciences or related area.

Language: Fluency in one of the working languages of the AU, English or French, (both oral and written) is required; knowledge of the other is desirable. Knowledge of another AU official language is an advantage.

3. Language requirement :

Proficiency in one of the African Union working languages. Proficiency of one or several other working language(s) would be an added value

4. Age requirement:

Candidates must preferably be between 35 and 50 years old.

5. Tenure of Appointment:

The appointment will be made on a fixed term contract for a period of three (3) years, of with the first twelve months will be considered as a probationary period. Thereafter, the contract will be for a period of two years renewable, subject to satisfactory performance and deliverables.

6. Gender Mainstreaming:

The AU Commission is an equal opportunity employer and qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.

7. Remuneration:

Indicative basic salary of US $70,139.00 per annum plus other related entitlements e.g. Post adjustment (46% of basic salary), Housing allowance ($16,819.20 per annum), education allowance (75% of tuition and other education related expenses for every eligible dependent up to a maximum of US$7,800.00 per child per annum), etc for internationally recruited staff of the Commission. Applications must be made through the AUC E-recruitment Website not later than 3rd March 2014.

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