Executive Secretary of ADEA (Director Level)

▸ Position title: Executive Secretary of ADEA (Director Level)
▸ Grade: EL5
▸ Position N°: N/A
▸ Reference: ADB/17/383
▸ Publication date: 03/08/2017
▸ Closing date: 23/08/2017
▸ Country: Côte d’Ivoire



Established in 1964, the African Development Bank is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 80 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries). The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative interventions that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. In addition to providing finance, the Bank is Africa's voice on global economic, financial and development issues, a role that has taken significant importance in light of increasing global integration and interconnected risks. In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Ten Year Strategy (2013 – 2022) and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas, all of which will accelerate delivery for Africa, have been identified for scaling up, namely; energy, agro-business, industrialization, integration and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa. The Bank is seeking to build a senior management team that will lead the successful implementation of this vision. 


The Vice Presidency for ‘Agriculture, Human, and Social Development’ is a Sector Complex focusing on two of the Bank’s Ten Year Strategy High 5s priority of “Feed Africa” and “Improve Quality of Life for the People of Africa”. The complex objectives are (i) to develop, policy and strategy; (ii) provide deep sector expertise to the Regions by gathering pools of experienced individuals who can be consulted to provide sector expertise on complex transactions; (iii) develop new financing instruments; (iv) the Vice President will act as the spokesperson to represent the Bank with external stakeholders on aspects of “Feed Africa” and Improve Quality of Life for the People of Africa”. 


The African Development Bank hosts ADEA in Abidjan, provides its legal status and also ensures its fiduciary responsibilities. By the hosting Memorandum of Understanding ADEA’s Executive Secretary reports administratively to the Vice President, AHVP. Established in 1988 initially as a framework for better coordination among development cooperation partners, the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) has come to represent a genuine partnership between African Ministries of Education and external partners. Its mission is to serve as an open and flexible pan-African organization that informs and facilitates the transformation of education and training to drive Africa’s accelerated and sustainable development. It has also developed into a network of policy-makers, educators and researchers and, based on its capacity to foster policy dialogue, a catalyst for educational reform. Since its inception, ADEA has acted on processes that have had a profound impact on policy-making in Africa through policy dialogue supported with research and analytical work, capacity building, advocacy and networking. ADEA works in different areas of education, including higher education, technical and vocational skills development (TVSD), early childhood development (ECD), teaching profession, books and learning materials, education statistics covering education management and policy support, peace education, education for sustainable development, and communication for education and development. ADEA is recognized as a pan-African organization that has a continental voice in education development, and the capacity to bring together the major players of the continent on policy issues in education. 


ADEA’s core business is education development in Africa where it has a continental voice and the capacity to bring together the major players of the continent on policy issues in education. The objective of this position is for the incumbent to work closely with ADEA’s Executive Committee and Steering Committee as well as collaborate closely with the AfDB’s Human Capital, Youth and Skills Development Department; provide intellectual and strategic leadership for the execution of ADEA’s strategic vision and mission; strengthen relationships with ADEA’s constituencies; and drive the implementation of its annual programs with a view to contributing to the transformation of education in Africa.

Duties and responsibilities

ADEA is seeking to recruit for the challenging, yet exciting and highly rewarding, position of Executive Secretary to head its Secretariat which is based in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, the headquarters of the host institution. The Secretariat is the operational organ of the organization and provides technical, financial and administrative services to its members. Reporting administratively to the Vice President (AHVP) of the African Development Bank, and operationally to the ADEA Executive Committee, the Executive Secretary will be required to perform the following duties and responsibilities: 

  1. Provide leadership in systematically pursuing and achieving ADEA’s mission and strategic objectives  and the realization of its vision; manage the overall execution of the Secretariat’s responsibilities; and produce results desired by key stakeholders 
  2. Provide leadership in developing a new business model and strategic plan as well as in following through the implementation of the outcomes of 2017 ADEA Triennial. 
  3. Provide intellectual, professional and managerial leadership to ADEA Secretariat, the Working Groups and Inter-Country Quality Nodes with a view to contributing to the advancement of continent and global agendas on education. 
  4. Provide leadership in facilitating policy dialogue among and between African Ministers of Education and Training, Ministers of Science and Technology, development cooperation partners, multi-lateral development organizations, and key education stakeholders in Africa with a view to achieving the desired transformation in education. 
  5. Increase ADEA’s visibility and influence; highlight the Association’s impact on education on in Africa; strengthen existing partnerships; and attract new partners and players to ADEA. 
  6. Lead key missions to African countries, development agencies and other partners; and represent the Association at major national and international conferences and meetings on education 
  7. Put in place a viable strategy for (i) the mobilization of financial resources, taking cognizance of the ever-competing needs and changing priorities of donors; and (ii) the management of relationships with existing and potential donors 
  8. Set the agenda for annual operational activities of the Secretariat and working groups, based on approved budget by the Steering Committee, and provide the Steering Committee with annual reports of accomplishments and utilization of budgetary resources. 
  9. Encourage and support the generation, storage, dissemination of ADEA’s knowledge products with a view to making them readily available to African countries for decision-making, policy reforms and transformation of education; 
  10. Consult with the Executive Committee and Steering Committee in proposing agendas for their respective meetings and the Triennale, and ensure the implementation of the decisions/resolutions of these committees. 
  11. Builds, inspires and leads a high-energy, result-oriented, and business-driven team that can leverage partnerships within and outside ADEA and also deliver effectively on stakeholders’ expectations.

Selection Criteria

Including desirable skills, knowledge and experience

  1. Hold at least a minimum of a Master’s degree in education or related disciplines. 
  2. At least ten (10) years of rich, relevant and diverse professional experience five (5) of which must be at a managerial level position in a multilateral development institution, bilateral cooperation agency, or in an African ministry of education. 
  3. Ability to develop and maintain a clear and compelling vision of where ADEA should be and inspire the team to excel in achieving its strategic objectives. 
  4. Capability to develop a culture of fairness, high performance, creativity, innovative practices and responsiveness to new ideas and change.
  5. An impressive track record of achievements; strong communication, influencing, and diplomatic skills. 
  6. Proven commitment to the transformation of education in Africa; self-motivated individual with vision, dynamism, high-energy and maturity, and capacity to effectively manage a highly visible leadership role. 
  7. Critical thinking and a vivid understanding of the education challenges in Africa; strong analytical skills and ability to analyze and synthesize complex and multi-faceted information for prudent and strategic decision-making.
  8. Ability to develop and maintain strong relationships with African Ministers, development cooperation partners and the host institution. 
  9. Proven ability to raise funds; the individual must be resourceful, result-oriented, self-directed, and capable of multi-tasking and able to project a credible image of the Association to partners and stakeholders. 
  10. Strong leadership and managerial skills; a reputation for integrity, interpersonal skills, communications skills, good judgment, fairness and discretion in dealing with senior management, staff and development cooperation partners; and ability to work under pressure. 
  11. Communicate and write effectively in French or English, with a good working knowledge of the other language. 
  12. Competence in the   use of standard Microsoft Office applications (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint); preferably experience of SAP HR, e-Recruitment systems and project management software.


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To apply for this position, you need to be national of one of AfDB member countries.

Applicants who fully meet the Bank's requirements and are considered for interview will be contacted. Only online applications submitted with a comprehensive Curriculum Vitae (CV) and copies of the required degrees will be considered. The President, AfDB, reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level. The African Development Bank is an equal opportunities employer. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. www.afdb.org

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) does not ask for payments of any kind from applicants throughout the recruitment process (job application, CV review, interview meeting, and final processing of applications). In addition, the Bank does not request information on applicants’ bank accounts. The African Development Bank Group declines all responsibility for the fraudulent publications of job offers in its name or, in general, for the fraudulent use of its name in any way whatsoever.