ACE Project Officer: Terms of Reference
The Association of African Universities (AAU), an international non-governmental organization (INGO) with headquarters in Accra, Ghana, was set up in November 1967 by universities in Africa to promote cooperation among themselves and with the international academic community. The AAU collaborates with a number of international organizations and development partners in an effort to fulfill its mandate to the African higher education community.
The World Bank, in collaboration with West and Central African countries and Association of African Universities have launched the Africa Regional Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE) Project. The ACE project covers nine (9) West and Central African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo).
The project aims at promoting regional specialization among participating universities within areas that address particular common regional development challenges and strengthen the capacities of these universities to deliver high quality training and applied research. The higher order objective of the project is to meet the demand for skills required for Africa’s development, such as the extractive industries and agriculture productivity. Further, the project would contribute to the strengthening of the best African universities within Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM); Agricultural Sciences; and Health Sciences.
The AAU is the Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) for the project. The responsibilities of the RFU include the coordination and facilitation of regional activities, monitoring and evaluation, capacity building for the selected centers of excellence and sharing of good practices across the countries.
Main Responsibilities of ACE Project Officer
The ACE Project Officer will be a member of the AAU project management team and will report to the Secretary General of the AAU through the ACE Coordinator. The ACE Project Officer shall carry out the following tasks under the supervision of the ACE Coordinator:
- Implement the day-to-day activities of the Regional Facilitation Unit in order to maximize the RFU’s contribution towards the achievement of the project’s development objective through strengthening of the Africa Centers of Excellence.
- Help continuously assess project progress towards its objective with identification of strengths and weaknesses of the project across ACEs, as well as the identification of strengths and weaknesses of each Center of Excellence.
- Participate in team meetings, and convene as delegated by the RFU team.
- Prepare the annual budget and reports for review and prior approval by the AAU management and subsequently by the Project Steering Committee;
- Monitor the implementation of all the project activities of the ACEs and prepare periodic reports in collaboration with other team-members.
- Be the overall person responsible for the ACE M&E system, and enable the AAU /RFU M&E expert to carry out the work on reporting of project results framework and data collection;
- Monitor evaluation studies, including third party verification and baseline studies as well as beneficiary surveys for the ACE project;
- Seek necessary Bank clearances for all project activities that require clearances prior to execution of the project activities.
- Conduct the procurement in collaboration with the AAU Procurement Officer.
- Proactively help ACEs to resolve educational and research issues that affect their attainment of the project’s objective and results.
- In collaboration with other project stakeholders, identify capacity building needs of the ACEs and prepare capacity building activities to meet those needs.
- Facilitate submission of progress reports from the selected centers of excellence to the World Bank.
- Interface with the Africa Centres of Excellence in the execution of project activities
- Ensure frequent and fluid communication with the World Bank, national and regional higher education agencies; Prepare invitation and all arrangements for the regional ACE workshops, including agenda,
- Manage the content of the ACE website with the AAU IT responsible staff member for publishing all ACE related information;
- Promote the dissemination of the project to stakeholders, policy makers, and the general public through media outreach relying and enabling the RFU/AAU Communication and IT staff
- Manage recurrent operating activities that are required to effectively implement the ACE project;
- Work closely with ACE Coordinator and all those connected with the ACE Project implementation.
- Any other project duties that may be assigned by the Secretary-General.
- At least a Masters’ Degree or equivalent academic qualification in a relevant discipline; a PhD degree will be preferable;
- Having held academic and/or project management position with experience in project appraisal, report writing and financial management;
- Familiarity with the African higher education environment and higher education regional and sub-regional bodies;
- Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment;
- Pro-active problem-solver;
- Strong communication skills;
- Passionate about strengthening African Higher Education;
- Ability to prepare and manage project budgets and produce project reports;
- Have demonstrable experience in programme development and implementation;
- Have good management, presentation and interpersonal skills;
- Proficiency in spoken and written English and French;
- Must be bilingual English and French.
- At least 5 years experience working in Africa, with extended period outside home country; successful completion of project management fund by international donor;
- Knowledge and exposure of higher education, with particular focus on Africa higher education environment;
- Good computer and Internet skills and familiarity with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, MS Project.
- The contract will be for a period of two (2) years, subject to a probationary period of one (1) year. The appointment may be extended subject to availability of funds.
The position requires extensive travel outside Ghana.
Title ACE Project Officer Grade P3/P4
Conditions of Employment
- The AAU offers an attractive remuneration package calculated and paid in US dollars; As a member of the AAU project management team, the ACE Project Officer will enjoy diplomatic privileges accorded to non-Ghanaian senior professional staff.
- Annual leave of twenty-one (21) working days
- Other attractive benefits include a monthly post-adjustment allowance and rent subsidy.
How to Apply
The AAU is an equal opportunity employer. As part of a conscious effort of the Association to always reflect the diversity of the African academy, women and non-Anglophone candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
Applications should comprise:
- A statement of interest and fitness for the position
- An indication of the date of availability to assume duty. A detailed curriculum vitae describing applicant’s professional experience and qualification for the position.
- Three (3) reference letters, one of which should be outside the candidate’s home country
The application letters and supporting documents of candidates should be submitted by (i) e-mail, or (ii) hard copy in a sealed envelope marked “Application Documents”. Each of the three reference letters should be sent direct from the referee, by (i) e-mail, or (ii) in a sealed envelope and marked “Confidential Reference”. Both sets of documents should be sent before close of business on FRIDAY, 29 JANUARY 2016 addressed to: The Secretary General Association of African Universities, African Universities House, Aviation Road Extension, P.O. Box AN 5744, Accra-North, GHANA
Tel: (233) 21 774495/761588
Fax: (233) 21 774821