Director, Political Affairs

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ECOWAS Commission

Position description

Under the guidance and supervision of the Commissioner Political Affairs, Peace and Security, the incumbent shall be responsible for the development and putting into place effective machinery for the implementation of the departments’ political strategies and initiatives in line with the Commission’s strategic vision.


  • Lead the implementation of the ECOWAS Vision for the Directorate of Political Affairs within the existing three Divisions: Democracy and Good Governance, Electoral Support, Mediation and Coordination of Regional Political Affairs, in line with the provisions of ECOWAS extant Protocols and Decisions;
  • Lead the development, benchmarking, and implementation of programmes, such as electoral practices;
  • Develop and put in place machinery for the effective implementation of political strategies in line with good governance, conflict prevention and peacebuilding;
  • Develop, build, and maintain partnerships with external actors and civil society, and possess the ability to develop bankable programmes/projects on peace and security;
  • Develop and implement a mechanism for the monitoring of political developments in the sub-region with emphasis on conflict prevention and resolution, electoral assistance and good governance;
  • Develop regional programs, strategies, and modalities for strengthening governance institutions in the sub-region;
  • Advice the Commission leadership on key emerging political situations within the sub-region and the Diaspora with recommendations on response options and mechanisms;
  • Develop and provide strategic direction to the directorate;
  • Monitor and keep abreast with emerging trends in the global political arena in line with the Commission’s strategies and vision;
  • Ensure the preparation of background documents necessary for political decision-making at the ECOWAS Ambassadorial, Ministerial and Heads of State and Government meetings;
  • Serve as Focal Point for ECOWAS Commission in International Contact Group and other Political Dialogue platforms;
  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with the national authorities of the region, political and Community leaders, civil society actors, and other national and international partners on political and policy matters;
  • Ensure the facilitation of programmes/activities in the implementation of ECOWAS Mechanism and other relevant protocols, frameworks, and political decisions;
  • Collect and conduct analysis of data and information on Human Rights developments in West Africa;
  • Provide inputs to the briefing of the President of the Commission and Commissioner, Political Affairs and Peace and Security to the Mediation and Security Council on the activities of the Commission and the political and security situation in the region and other documents;
  • Prepare reports, statements, notes on meetings, speeches, background papers and talking points;
  • Identify emerging political/security trends and issues, analyze implications and make recommendations on possible strategies and measures for the attention of Commissioner, Political Affairs, Peace and Security;
  • Participate as technical staff in fact-finding missions, election observation missions and reports on the missions;
  • Perform any other assigned tasks by your supervisor.


  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Political Science, International Relations, International Diplomacy, Public Administration, Sociology, Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, or any relevant field from a recognized University;
  • 12 years of progressively responsible experience in political science, international relations, law, disarmament, security, development management, conflict resolution and/or related areas including experience conducting complex political analysis in Africa as well as 5 years relevant international work experience and 5 years working at a supervisory level;
  • broad knowledge of policy guidelines of the 1999 Protocol relating to the mechanism for conflict prevention, management, resolution, peacekeeping & security and the 2001 Supplementary Protocol on Good Governance;
  • Ability to develop manage and execute political strategies and policies;
  • Experience of political analysis and governance would be an advantage;
  • demonstrated expertise in successfully integrating a gender perspective into mainstream policies and programmes;
  • Firm grasp of the political and security dynamics in West Africa and expert ability to evaluate political situations in the West African region in relation to continental and international developments and dynamics;
  • substantive knowledge of policies and mechanisms, as well as resource mobilization, in the areas of peace and security, preventive diplomacy, mediation, strategic planning, monitoring, analysis and coordination, and early warning mechanisms


  • Be below 50 years old. This provision does not apply to internal candidates.


  • Senior leadership experience in establishing strategic partnerships, working collaboratively, and building consensus with multiple internal and/or external stakeholders on complex issues in a multi-disciplinary governmental or international organization;
  • Knowledge of the ECOWAS mandate, strategic plan/priorities as well as the economic, political and social state/trends of Member States, as pertains to own scope of work;
  • Consistency in actions, values, methods, confidentiality, ethics, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes which connote a deep commitment to do the right thing for the right reasons regardless of the circumstances;
  • Ability to exercise the initiative and resourcefulness necessary for simultaneously addressing a variety of stakeholder needs, pursuing multiple tasks and achieving positive outcomes;
  • Ability to create synergies with client groups and others to achieve objectives in setting and monitoring service standards and indicators;
  • Ability to motivate and engage others in promoting or adopting best practices in client services;
  • Ability to identify and improve services and client interactions through appropriate networks and to create innovative ways of addressing these in an accountable and transparent manner;
  • Knowledge of anti-discriminatory/human rights regulatory environment and ability to advance strategies to foster an inclusive working environment and healthy organization respectful of cultural diversity and gender equality and free from harassment and discrimination;
  • Understanding of diverse cultural views especially within West Africa, being sensitive to group differences, gender issues and ability to contribute to, advocate for, and/or develop policies which are gender sensitive and responsive to various cultures;
  • Ability to foster a diverse and inclusive interactive work environment that can effectively bring together a wide spectrum of ideas and experiences to solve problems, develop projects/programs and improve results;
  • Ability and responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work;
  • Ability to remain objective in managing conflict regardless of cultural differences/positions, gender differences, and encourage other staff to overcome cultural and gender bias and differences;
  • Understanding of the ECOWAS organizational structure, workplace culture and dynamics;
  • Ability to apply knowledge of ECOWAS legal frameworks, strategic priorities, and operational standards to develop/modernize policies and programs and/or to implement policies and programs in a sustainable and effective manner;
  • Well-developed. business, social, and political acumen, demonstrating a strong commitment to the vision and mandate of ECOWAS coupled with a broad knowledge of the economic, political and social situations and trends in Member States;
  • Sound judgment and decision-making skills on matters relating to policy and strategy development important to the realization of the ECOWAS mandate and the improvement of outcomes for Member States;
  • Ability to analyze reports as well as strategic, political, socio-economic, and institutional dynamics and recognize areas of potential obstacles or challenges and opportunities and develop innovative solutions or alternatives to address barriers and achieve strategic/operational priorities;
  • Ability to anticipate and interpret the effects of environmental changes (social, economic and political), and its impact and make recommendations;
  • Ability to identify/address strengths and weaknesses, stimulate creativity, reduce resistance to change and improve the achievement of strategic objectives;
  • Ability to make prudent decisions relating to the management of human, financial and material resources;
  • Ability to actively listen and understand perspectives of others to make informed assertions, decisions or recommendations;
  • Ability to build multiple external collaborative relationships to support strategic and operational objectives; identify the key issues and accommodate the key players with well thought out communication and stakeholder management plans;
  • Ability to communicate with clarity and conviction, make compelling presentations which promotes new insights, ideas and perspectives and a better understanding of issues and challenges;
  • Exhibit active listening skills to encourage stronger communication amongst team members, to show care and make them feel valued and to drive employee engagement in all institutions and agencies;
  • Excellent negotiation and conflict management skills focusing on building and nurturing effective and collaborative relationships;
  • Proficiency in information communication technologies (ICT);
  • Fluency in oral and written expressions in one of the ECOWAS official languages of the Community (English, French & Portuguese). Knowledge of an additional one will be an added advantage;
  • Ability to prepare plans, set clear objectives in a consistent manner and have effective oversight of performance management practices to ensure that goals and standards are met;
  • Ability to set effective goals/results and manage change in a manner that demonstrates resilience, composure, and a positive outlook in an environment of uncertainty and ambiguity;
  • Ability to enable the development of organizational and individual talent throughout the implementation of strategic, operational, programme, project, and individual plans;
  • Ability to implement plans, mobilize/engage people, identify critical success factors, mitigate risks, monitor indicators and feedback, initiate corrective measure, and build capacities for sustainability;
  • Ability to institute rigorous monitoring, and evaluation practices and to learn from setbacks and mistakes to ensure continuous improvement.

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