Director Center for Laboratory Diagnostics and Systems (AfCDC)

Date: Dec 18, 2023

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Organization: African Union

AU Values 

            • Respect for Diversity and Team Work             • Think Africa Above all                     

            • Transparency and Accountability                    • Integrity and Impartiality                       

            • Efficiency and Professionalism                       • Information and Knowledge Sharing

Organization Information

Reports to: Deputy Director General 

Directorate/Department/Organ: Africa CDC

Division: Office of the Deputy Director General 

Number of Direct Reports:

Number of Indirect Reports:

Job Grade: D1

Number of positions: 1

Contract Type: Fixed Term

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 

Purpose of Job

The Director Center for Laboratory Diagnostics and Systems is responsible for providing strategic leadership and oversight for the enhancement of laboratory systems and networks across Africa, focusing on improving infrastructure, introducing advanced technologies, and strengthening laboratory capacity in response to diseases of public health importance.

Main Functions

  • Provide strategic direction to Africa CDC/AU on continental efforts to strengthen laboratory systems and networks.
  • Lead the development and implementation of initiatives to improve laboratory infrastructure and technologies.
  • Oversee and coordinate the development of national laboratory strategic plans and policies, addressing dangerous pathogens.
  • Promote comprehensive laboratory quality management systems, including laboratory accreditation.
  • Develop, implement, and evaluate programs and projects aimed at enhancing laboratory capacities.
  • Lead efforts to improve systems, standards, biosafety, and networks linked to disease surveillance and clinical care.
  • Guide research and laboratory investigations for new or improved diagnostic and preventive tools and technologies.
  • Develop the capacity of RISLNET for modern advanced molecular technologies and surveillance networks.
  • Manage strain banks as repositories for diagnostic and vaccine development against emerging and re-emerging pathogens.
  • Establish partnerships with public and private sector organizations, including professional associations, universities, and research organizations.
  • Represent Africa CDC at relevant meetings, conferences, and committees in the field of laboratory science.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Oversee, mentor, and guide the development of peer-reviewed research publications in laboratory science.
  • Promote and support innovative laboratory practices to enhance patient care, treatment, and strengthen disease surveillance.
  • Directly prepare manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication in scientific journals.
  • Oversee the translation of program needs into research projects and new research findings into programmatic changes.
  • Coordinate the delivery of laboratory services in support of Africa CDC Emergency Response activities as assigned.
  • Maintain communication with key stakeholders in laboratory science, fostering a collaborative approach to public health challenges.
  • Advocate for the advancement of laboratory diagnostics and systems within the continental public health framework.

Academic Requirements and Relevant Experience

  • Advanced degree (Ph.D., MD, or equivalent) on Clinical Laboratory Science, Pathology, Molecular Biology
  • Master degree in Laboratory Sciences, Public Health or Epidemiology.
  • With a minimum of 15 years of experience in laboratory management. Eight (8) of which should have been served at managerial level and five (5) years at supervisory level.
  • Proven track record in leadership roles within public health or scientific research organizations.
  • Experience in international organizations is preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in strategic planning, program implementation, and research in a laboratory or public health setting.


  • Significant experience of developing senior-level external relationships and securing the highest-level advocacy, including developing and harnessing strong networks across multiple stakeholder groups.
  • Advance understanding of stakeholder engagement.
  • Extensive experience of leading, motivating and managing teams with the ability to promote a culture of high performance, continuous improvement and innovation.
  • Experience and successful track record working in a diverse complex fast paced environments and the ability to influence positive change.
  • Academic and Experience Requirements
  • Strong leadership and strategic management skills.
  • Excellent communication and stakeholder engagement abilities.
  • Proficient in risk management and organizational resilience.
  • Demonstrated capability in resource mobilization and financial management.
  • Ability to work effectively in a diverse, multi-cultural environment.


  • Experience of working in international affairs in an international organization
  • Experience of working with external partners, funders, and media.
  • An understanding of changing economic, political, and social environments affecting the Africa CDC.
  • An understanding and analysis of Africa and global political space and atmosphere
  • High level of diplomatic and communication etiquette.
  • High level interpersonal skills.

Required Skills

Result Oriented:

  • Strategic thinker, capable of working at a senior level and contributing at Board / Council level
  • Entrepreneurial with the ability to input on strategic planning from a commercial standpoint
  • Ability to anticipate future opportunities and problems, taking strategic and pre-emptive action
  • Ability to set and achieve comprehensive goals for performance and growth
  • Passion for working in the developing world and creating positive change


  • Inspire confidence and promote shared values that underpin the ethos of the African Union and Africa CDC
  • Inspires others, is visible, adaptive, authentic and engenders trust
  • Visible leadership, promoting collective leadership for taking teams through significant programmes of change.
  • Passion and commitment for continuous improvement
  • Ambitious individual who has personal drive to succeed and develop their own career, and support their teams to strive for excellence.
  • Political and diplomatic prowess
  • Building and Managing Teams:
  • Directs and coaches’ others throughout the organisation and enables people to perform at their best.
  • Ability to recognise and cultivate rising talent.
  • Creates a positive team environment.
  • Creates cohesion, developing synergies and achieves through common goals.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills:

  • High emotional and social intelligence.
  • Collaborative, supportive, calm under pressure, solution focused and able to lead others effectively in such a way that encourages maximum performance and engagement.

Required Skills

  • Exceptional communicator both in writing and in person to a range of audiences.
  • Relationship Management:
  • Exceptional relationship-building and interpersonal skills with the ability to influence and negotiate with a wide range of stakeholders and partners.
  • The gravitas and credibility to influence both within and beyond the organisation

Analytical Skills:

  • Conceptual thinker, innovative and capable of complex problem solving
  • The ability to work well under pressure and take a considered, measured position

Results Orientated:

  • Desire for success and the motivation to constantly seek improvement
  • Ability and drive to manage organisational complexity
  • A high level of resilience with the ability to initiate and drive decisions
  • Tenacious, adaptable and the ability to get things done
  • The highest levels of self-awareness, commitment, and integrity
  • A proven commitment to fairness, inclusion, equality, diversity, and transparency

Values: A strong commitment to the African Union and Africa CDC values

Leadership Competencies

Strategic Perspective ….

Managing Risk L4

Developing Others L3

Change Management

Core Competencies

Building Relationship ….

Foster Accountability Culture:

Learning Orientation

Communicating with impact..

Functional Competencies

Conceptual thinking ….

Job Knowledge and information sharing:

Drive for Result ….

Fosters Innovation:


The Appointment will be made on a fixed term contract for a period of one (1) year, of which the first three (3) months will be considered as a probationary period. Thereafter, the contract may be renewed for a similar period subject to funding availability, satisfactory performance and agreed deliverables. 


The AU Commission is an equal opportunity employer and qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.

Proficiency in one of the AU working languages (Arabic, English, French, Kiswahili, Portuguese, and Spanish) is mandatory and fluency in another AU language is an added advantage


The salary attached to the position is an annual lump-sum of US$  175,640.44  (D1 Step 5) inclusive of all allowances for internationally recruited staff, and US$ 157,586.92 inclusive of all allowances for locally recruited staff of the African Union Commission

Applications must be submitted no later than January 18, 2024 11h59 p.m. EAT.
-Only candidates who meet all job requirements and are selected for interviews will be contacted.
-Consideration will be given only to those candidates who have submitted a fully completed online application with a curriculum vitae (CV), an African passport, and the required academic qualifications, such as Diplomas, Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees and any relevant certificate in line with the area of expertise.
-The African Union is an equal opportunity employer, and female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
-Candidates from less represented countries within the African Union are strongly encouraged to apply for positions that fit their profiles. These countries include Algeria, Angola, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Sahrawi D.R., Sao Tome and Principe., Seychelles, Somalia and Tunisia.

Requisition ID: [[2089]]