Director, External Relations & Strategic Engagement (AfCDC)

Date: Feb 13, 2024

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 : Director General    
Directorate/Department/ Organ: Office of the Director General (AfCDC)
Division: Resource Mobilisation, Communication and Public Information and Policy and Health Diplomacy
Number of Direct Reports: 3         
Number of Indirect Reports:        
Job Grade: D1 
Number of Positions: 1
Contract Type: Regular 
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Purpose of Job

The Director of External Engagement will enhance the Africa CDC reputation, status and impact, ensuring the organisation has outstanding relations with African Union Member States, Governments, international organisations, Partners, funding organisations, relevant media and other stakeholders by providing dynamic and inspirational strategic leadership for the Resource Mobilisation, Communication and Public Information and Policy and Health Diplomacy Divisions, setting a strategic direction coherent with the overall Africa CDC strategic plan and the new public health order. 

He/She will drive high-performance by developing and mentoring team members whilst holding them accountable for the delivery of the operating plan’s ambitious targets and encouraging cross-team working by driving the successful delivery of Africa CDC strategic plan through strategic engagements and communication. 

As a member of the Senior Executive Team (SET), the Director of External Engagement supports the Director General in setting the strategic direction of the Africa CDC and providing strategic leadership and management across the organisation, enabling the SET to drive and deliver the implementation of the Africa CDC ambitious strategic and operational plans. 

He/She will lead long-term strategic planning, overseeing daily operations, delegating tasks to staff and managing the general operations of the Directorate.

Main Functions

The main duties will include, but not limited to:

  •  Establish strategic communication, advocacy and stakeholder engagement, and resource mobilisation targets, developing policies, and strategies.
  •  Provide leadership and thoughtful strategic advice on multi-pronged approaches of Africa CDC External Engagement, Advocacy, Communications and Partnership’s strategy, ensure appropriate action plans for each area are designed and implemented.
  •  Guide and position the Africa CDC to develop strong partnerships with AU Member states, media and partners.
  •  Develop and execute the overall strategy for the directorate and ensures alignment with overall organizational strategy;
  • Manage and supervise employees within the directorate, ensures the timely delivery of the directorate’s goals and effective staff performance evaluation;
  • Drive the implementation and monitring of policies, strategies and programs to contribute to the effective implementation of relevant AU Policy Organs Decisions;
  • Ensure the delivery of the directorate’s annual targets in line with the organization’s overall goals and maintains robust departmental monitoring and evaluation systems;
  • Provide technical leadership and ensures efficient functioning of all Divisions within the directorate; 
  • Manage the work of the Directorate and supervises direct reports to ensure their effective performance in line with the organization’s performance management policy and system; 
  • Lead the directorate and ensures effective management of programme implementation such as communication and stakeholder engagement strategy, health policies and diplomacy initiatives and resource mobilisation strategies in accordance with relevant rules, policies and procedures;
  • Build and maintain good working relations and collaboration with other directorates/departments; 
  • Develop and maintain regular working relations with senior stakeholders in Member State, media and partner institutions; 
  • Provide strategic support, guidance and training to the team, to ensure effective delivery on the directorate and division’s priorities. 
  • Facilitate public and stakeholder input to inform the development and implementation of an impactful strategic communication, stakeholder engagement and resource mobilisation strategy
  • Measure and communicating performance and impact strategic communication, marketing and resource mobilisation initiative, including regular reporting to the public.

Academic Requirements and Relevant Experience

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent degree) in strategic / organizational, communication, Marketing, international relations, public policy, or related field with at least Fifteen (15) years of experience out of which eight (8) years should be at managerial level, and five (5) in direct supervisory role is required. 
  • Additional experience and training in Diplomacy, fundraising, marketing and advocacy efforts is an added advantage.
  • Experience in Public Health area will be an asset
  •  Demonstrated understanding of the latest communications and marketing trends.
  • A minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible experience in public information and communication, international relations, public policy, or related area is required.


  • Proven experience of leading a highly effective and successful Marketing and Communications or External Affairs department, with responsibility for directing, marketing and communications, and a number of other relevant functions, which could include policy, public affairs, resource mobilisation and partnerships.
  • Advanced knowledge of Strategic communications, marketing and partnership principles.
  • 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. 
  • Knowledge and passion for data and insights.
  • Senior level experience in Corporate strategic policy, frameworks, project management and planning
  • Knowledge of financial management 
  • Commercially astute 
  • Proven success of transformational change management and implementing process change through people and capacity building. Ability to address a range of issues in the context of political developments, public attitudes and local conditions. 
  • Ability to advise on and develop concrete solutions to high profile and sensitive communication challenges. Ability to assess world-wide communication environments, develop communication strategies and manage implementation of public information campaigns with various promotional and publicity techniques. 



  • Experience of working in international affairs in an international organisation
  • International experience in a professional, educational or voluntary capacity 
  • Experience of working with external partners, funders and media.
  •  A well-developed understanding of the fundraising, strategic communications, marketing and public policy, governance and diplomacy.
  • 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.
  • Membership or an internationally recognized professional communication body (e.g., PR, MPR) is mandatory.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Support the DG to drive and deliver the Africa CDC vision, mission and the ‘New Public Health Order’ strategy on Africa, with overall accountability for the achievement of assigned strategic priorities. 
  • Work in shaping Africa CDC by increasing effectiveness, innovation, building capacity and creating a high-performance culture across the organisation. 
  • Champion cross-functional working and integration through matrix management, knowledge exchange, collaboration and inclusion. 
  • Coach and mentor functional leads, to continue to build strong, capable, confident and autonomous team leaders. 
  • Develop and implement an external engagement strategy that advances the purpose, strategy and priorities of the Africa CDC by developing and nurturing relationships and partnerships of influence, enhancing the reputation of the Africa CDC and its members, and communicating how our work in public health is impacting Africa and building a better world.
  • Provide inspirational and strategic leadership to the Communications and Public Information, Resource mobilisation and Fundraising functions, and Policy and Health Diplomacy ensuring the leads in these areas achieve their goals and deliver the operating plan objectives to support the ambitions of the organisation. 
  • Develop, implement and grow a new resource mobilisation & fundraising function to achieve our ambitious targets for Africa CDC to be financial sufficient and independent. 
  • Assume overall responsibility for the external engagement budget, assisting with the development and oversight of financial management for the Africa CDC.
  • Support the Director General and Senior Leadership Team messaging, providing technical and policy advice on highly complex public information, diplomatic and communications issues providing diverse materials (briefings, speeches, questions and answers) for use by senior officials, develop or overall see development of high-profile multi-media communications campaigns; set quality and production standards for information dissemination.
  • Design and implement campaigns to ensure constant dissemination of Africa CDC flagship publication findings and key project.
  • Support Executive Leadership’s relationship management efforts with donors and high-level government official.
  • Support the Director General and Senior Leadership Team messaging, providing technical and policy advice on highly complex public information, diplomatic and communications issues providing diverse materials (briefings, speeches, questions and answers) for use by senior officials, develop or overall see development of high-profile multi-media communications campaigns; set quality and production standards for information dissemination.


  • Cultivate and nurture relationships with external stakeholders, including government agencies, non-profit organizations, community groups, and industry partners.
  • Serve as a primary point of contact for external inquiries and collaborations.
  • Develop and implement strategic engagement plans aligned with the Africa CDC’s mission, goals, and public health priorities.
  • Collaborate with internal teams to integrate external relations strategies into overall organizational planning.
  • Lead advocacy efforts to influence public health policies, legislation, and regulations.
  • Develop and implement community outreach initiatives to raise awareness of public health issues and the organization’s programs.
  • Collaborate with community leaders and organizations to address local health needs.
  • Collaborate with the development team to identify and pursue funding opportunities from government agencies, foundations, and corporate partners.
  • Cultivate relationships with potential donors and sponsors.
  •  Plan and execute events to promote the organization’s mission and engage with stakeholders.
  • Work closely with internal teams, including program managers, researchers, and communications specialists, to ensure coordinated external engagement efforts.
  • Exercise judgement to prioritize Executive Leadership’s media opportunities, and prepare talking points, Op-eds, speeches, presentations and other supporting materials, as needed.
  •  Be responsible for the execution of resource mobilization activities, including proposals, relationship management with current and prospective donors.
  • Ensure resource mobilization strategy is closely coordinated with Africa CDC communications and Diplomacy activities.
  •  Assess the overall effectiveness of Africa CDC communication, stakeholder engagement and resource mobilisation strategy and programmes, and ensures the success of needed changes in approach and technique.
  • Perform any other duties.

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.
  • 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 transparenc

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

Leadership Competencies

Strategic Perspective:

Managing Risk:

Developing Others:

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 regular term contract for a period of three (3) years, of which the first twelve months shall be considered as a probationary period. Thereafter, the contract will be for a period of two years renewable, subject to satisfactory performance and 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) and fluency in another AU language is an added advantage


Indicative basic salary of US$ 78,138.00 (D1 Step1) per annum plus other related entitlements e.g. Post adjustment (46% of basic salary), Housing allowance US$ 26,208.00 (per annum), and education allowance (100% of tuition and other education-related expenses for every eligible dependent up to a maximum of US$ 10,000.00 per child per annum), for internationally recruited staff and a maximum of $3,300 per child per annum for locally recruited staff.

Applications must be submitted no later than March 14, 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: 2126