Director, D-1

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UN Economic Commission for Africa

Director, D-1 2

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

ECA’s mission is to deliver ideas and actions for an empowered and transformed Africa; informed by the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063.

The mission will be guided by ECA’s five strategic directions which are: advancing ECA’s position as a premier knowledge institution that builds on its unique position and privilege to bring global solutions to the continent’s problems and take local solutions to the continent; developing macroeconomic and structural policy options to accelerate economic diversification and job creation; designing and implementing innovative financing models for infrastructure, and for human, physical and social assets for a transforming Africa; contributing solutions to regional and transboundary challenges, with a focus on peace security and social inclusion as an important development nexus; advocating Africa’s position at the global level and developing regional responses as a contribution to global governance issues. This position is located in the Technology, Innovation, Connectivity and Infrastructure Management Division.

The Director reports to the Deputy Executive Secretary (Programme).

The Division is responsible for strengthening inclusive growth, sustainable development, and economic transformation in Africa by harnessing the power of science, technology, and innovation, fostering improved connectivity and logistics, and accelerating critical infrastructure development. It is committed to helping member states navigate the dynamic landscape of new technologies for development; raise innovation and R&D capacities; tackle the digital divide; improving connectivity and logistics, ensuring affordability, and facilitating access to efficient, resilient, and sustainable infrastructure services.

The core of the Division’s activities will be to engage in comprehensive research projects focusing on national and regional innovation systems, technology transfer and the exploration of emerging and frontier technologies that can bolster sustainable economic transformation. In addition, the Division will play a key role in facilitating the implementation of relevant training, skills, and capacity-building initiatives.


Within delegated authority, the of the Technology, Innovation, Connectivity, and Infrastructure Management Division will be responsible for the following duties:

  • Formulates and implements the substantive work programme of the Division under his/her supervision. Oversees the management of activities undertaken by the Division, ensures that programmed activities are carried out in a timely fashion and co-ordinates work in the different areas both within the Division and Department, and with other organizations of the United Nations System, as appropriate;
  • Advocates for policies that support the development of critical infrastructure to enable technological advancement;
  • Enables research to support and enhance policy, legal and regulatory frameworks of cutting-edge technologies, foster innovation ecosystems and drive digital transformation, and infrastructure development to improve digital and physical connectivity and economic growth across the continent;
  • Develops and implements capacity-building programmes initiatives, formulation of strategies and innovative solutions to enhance technological skills across diverse demographics and foster infrastructure development, enhance connectivity, ensure affordability and accessibility to efficient and sustainable infrastructure services, and accelerate economic transformation;
  • Nurtures and creates strategic partnerships for the division to implement activities; promote public-private partnerships to drive digital transformation initiatives and private sector investment in infrastructure projects;
  • Collaborate with member States to align technology and innovation policies, logistics, connectivity and infrastructure development with regional development objectives and economic growth strategies. Leads, supervises, and carries out the work programme of the Division under his/her responsibility. Co-ordinates the work carried out by different work units under the Division and by other agencies and bodies of the United Nations system; provides programmatic/substantive reviews of the drafts prepared by others;
  • Co-ordinates and oversees the preparation of reports for presentation to intergovernmental bodies such as the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budget Questions, Committee for Programme Coordination, Economic and Social Council, the General Assembly, and other policy-making organs, as appropriate;
  • Reports to intergovernmental bodies on budget/programme performance or on programmatic/ substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports;
  • Ensures that the outputs produced by the Division maintain high-quality standards; that reports are clear, objective and based on comprehensive data. Ensures that all outputs produced by the Sections under his/her supervision meet required standards before completion to ensure they comply with the relevant mandates;
  • Prepares the work programme of the Division in consultation with the Deputy Executive Secretary (Programme), determining priorities, and allocating resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery;
  • Undertakes or oversees the programmatic/administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Division, including preparation of budgets, reporting on budget/programme performance, evaluation of staff performance, interviews of candidates for job openings, evaluation of candidates and preparation of inputs for results-based budgeting;
  • Recruits staff, taking due account of geographical balance;
  • Manages, guides, develops, and trains staff under his/her supervision;
  • Fosters teamwork and communication among staff in the Division and across organizational boundaries;
  • Leads and supervises the organization of meetings, seminars, etc. on substantive issues. Manages the substantive preparation and organization of such meetings or seminars;
  • Participates in international, regional, or national meetings and provides programmatic/substantive expertise in niche areas of work or holds programmatic/substantive and organizational discussions with representatives of other institutions;
  • Represents the Division and or the ECA were delegated to do so, at international, regional, or national meetings.


  • Professionalism: Knowledge of the substantive field of work in general and of specific areas being supervised. Ability to produce reports and papers on technical issues and to review and edit the work of others. Ability to apply UN rules, regulations, policies, and guidelines in work situations. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations;
  • Planning& Organizing: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently;
  • Accountability: Takes ownership of all responsibilities and honours commitments; delivers outputs for which one has responsibility within prescribed time, cost, and quality standards; operates in compliance with organizational regulations and rules; supports subordinates, provides oversight, and takes responsibility for delegated assignments; takes personal responsibility for his/her own shortcomings and those of the work unit, where applicable.

Managerial Competencies

  • Leadership: Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing;
  • 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; accurately judges the amount of time and resources needed to accomplish a task and matches task to skills; monitors progress against milestones and deadlines; regularly discusses performance and provides feedback and coaching to staff; encourages risk-taking and supports creativity and initiative; actively supports the development and career aspirations of staff; appraises performance fairly.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in science, information technology management, information security, economics, development, business or public administration, finance, accounting, law, social sciences, or related area. A Doctorate is an advantage. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of fifteen years of progressively responsible experience in information technology management, infrastructure development, economics and policy research, analysis and international development human resources management, administration, logistics, financial management, budget, or related field is required;
  • Senior-level experience in programme and project planning and management, including digital policies and digital transformation, digital inclusion and infrastructural development work is required;
  • A strong research record and policy analysis experience are required;
  • Extensive international experience is desirable;
  • Experience with development issues in Developing Countries is desirable;
  • Experience in data analytics or related area is desirable.


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

Application instructions

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