UNDP Liaison Advisor to the African Union and ECA

Location : Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA
Application Deadline :24-Aug-11 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :TA International
Post Level :P-5
Languages Required :
Duration of Initial Contract :6 Months


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is strongly committed to the accelerated development and poverty reduction in Africa. This is underscored by the fact that the African continent as a whole is the biggest recipient of UNDP's core resources. As part of this commitment and given the fragility of individual African countries, UNDP recognizes the crucially important role of continental bodies such as African Union (AU) and regional institutions like the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) with respect to the realization of development and transformation aspirations of the continent.
Given the complexities of today’s challenges, on the eve of the new millennium there was recognition that the important role of these two organizations carries even greater significance. UNDP was instrumental in facilitating the transformation of OAU into the African Union, at a time when the international community entered into an unprecedented partnership embodied in the Millennium Declaration and Millennium Development Goals for responding to global security, governance and poverty challenges. Both AU and ECA are emerging more than ever before as the leading advocates for the continent’s objective of harnessing its full potentials for collective and self-reliant development in order to meet the challenges created by the increased globalization process and the necessity to promote on a collective basis for fostering peace, conflict resolution and good governance for rapid development and poverty reduction in Africa, as set out in the MDGs.

Thus UNDP is committed more consultations over the past two years between the AU and the UNDP senior management in general and UNDP Africa in particular, reflect UNDP's new commitment to intensifying this partnership. In addition, the far-reaching restructuring processes that both the ECA and the AU have undertaken provide windows of opportunity as well as challenges for building new levels and patterns of collaboration and partnership between UNDP and these important organizations in support of continental initiatives.
It is in the light of the foregoing that the liaising of UNDP to the AU and Liaison Office with the ECA carries a direct and specific responsibility to facilitate the enhancement of the cooperation and dialogue between the three institutions.

Duties and Responsibilities

Summary of Key Functions:

  • To serve as UNDP Liaison Office to the AU and Liaison Office with ECA on matters relating to the cooperation with the  AU and ECA, and to represent UNDP as necessary and required in meetings and conferences organized by these institutions. 
  • To contribute to the development, formulation, implementation and monitoring of the new partnership programmes and integration and cooperation, governance and conflict prevention, management and resolution and other areas relating to the respective mandate of these institutions 
  • To contribute to the development of and/or enhancement of appropriate partnership programmes and areas of collaboration between UNDP and these institutions 
  • To help backstop regional programmes/projects based in Addis Ababa and executed by or in association with the AU and the ECA

Specific duties include:
Under the overall guidance and in close collaboration with the UNDP Representative/UN Resident Coordinator in Ethiopia, particularly with regards to policy issues requiring direct consultations with the Secretary General of the AU and the Executive Secretary of the ECA, the Representation to the AU and Liaison Office with ECA will:

  • Serve as the focal point and the overall manager for all matters relating to the cooperation between UNDP, AU and ECA
  • Relate to and work directly with the Regional Programme Unit and other staff members at UNDP/HQ in the handling of AU and ECA within these parameters, the Representation Office carries out the following duties and responsibilities:
  • Represent UNDP in all relevant conferences, seminars and workshops organized by the AU 
  • Contribute to the full operationalization of the Memorandum of Understanding between UNDP and AU in line with the expressed objective of building the African Economic Community through collective self-reliance among African countries 
  • Facilitate the exchange of information between AU and UNDP on substantive policy and development issues being developed or implemented by these institutions 
  • Participate in UNDP’s efforts for resource mobilization for the effective implementation of the cooperation programmes 
  • In collaboration with other relevant units within UNDP, provide support to AU political initiative relating to preventive development, conflict management and resolution in line with the initiatives taken by UNDP to promote peace and development in Africa. 
  • Promote better knowledge of AU’s mandate and activities among UNDP’s Country Offices and foster increased sharing of information, documentation and experience between UNDP and AU in areas of mutual interest

With respect to collaboration with the ECA

  • Collaborate with ECA in the identification, formulation and implementation of programmes of cooperation in areas of joint undertaking and mutual interest. 
  • Promote continuous and enlarged exchange of information, between ECA and UNDP CO’s as well as other technical units at Headquarters. 
  • Prepare and participate in missions, briefings and other visits by UNDP Senior Officials to ECA. 
  • Participate with relevant units at Headquarters in activities and meetings organized with the AU/ECA/ADB Joint Secretariat, especially in the areas of regional cooperation and integration 

Other Considerations
In order for the office of the Representation to the AU and Liaison Office with ECA to be able to discharge fully and efficiently its duties and responsibilities listed under A) and B) it will be necessary for it to:

  • Participate in all discussions and meetings between ECA/AU and UNDP aimed at launching major regional initiatives and programmes of cooperation, especially in the areas of Governance, Conflict Prevention, and Trade etc… 
  • Participate in sub-regional cluster meetings organized by UNDP Africa as well as periodic Resident Representatives Meetings organized both by UNDP Africa and the Regional Bureau for Arab States. 
  • Participate in selected meetings organized by the RECs aimed at fostering collective, regional and sub-regional integration and cooperation in areas of interest to UNDP. 
  • In the discharge of this duties and responsibilities, the Representation supported by an adequate staffing structure has the full operational autonomy for programme functions and operations. 
  • The representation will, as required, call upon the expertise, advice and guidance of UNDP regional and technical advisors based in Addis Ababa in the discharge of its responsibilities.

For administrative and financial operations, the liaisoning of UNDP to the AU and Liaison Office with ECA relies on the support and services provides by the Country Office. Its needs and financial requirements are established and managed in a spirit of cooperation.


  • In-depth knowledge of African development issues; 
  • Demonstrated analytical, organizational, oral and written communications skills; 
  • Ability to work closely with colleagues of diverse backgrounds; 
  • Proven ability to engage effectively other development partners;
  • Excellent people and team building skills and high energy and commitment levels.

Required Skills and Experience


  • Post-graduate degree (Master’s degree) in the Social Sciences.


  • Minimum 10 years of progressively increasing of higher responsibilities of managing people and development cooperation programmes. Good knowledge of project management and monitoring and ICT skills.  

Language Requirements:

  • Excellent command of written and spoken English or French and good working knowledge of the other. Proficiency in Portuguese or Arabic will be an advantage. 

UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

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