Senior Technical Officer – Science Journalist | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Job title:                      Senior Technical Officer – Science Journalist

Number of posts:         1 (one)

Grade:                         AU/P3 equivalency

Department:                 Directorate of Communication and Public Information

Supervisor:                   Director, Communication and Public Information  

Duty Station:                Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


The African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) is a non-profit organization established in 2005 with a mission to improve human health through the strengthening and expansion of applied epidemiology and laboratory capacity in partnership with Ministries of Health, Non-Governmental Organizations, international agencies, private sector and other public health agencies. AFENET has its headquarters in Kampala, Uganda with operations in more than 30 African Countries.

Officially launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2017 as a specialized technical institution

of the African Union, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) is Africa’s first continent-wide public health agency. Africa CDC envisions a safer, healthier, integrated and stronger Africa, where Member States are capable of effectively responding to outbreaks of infectious diseases and other public health threats. The agency’s mission is to strengthen Africa’s public health institutions’ capabilities to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease outbreaks and other health burdens through an integrated network of continent-wide preparedness and response, surveillance, laboratory, and research programs. Towards meeting its mission, the Africa CDC will work with African Union (AU) Member States, WHO, and partners in the five geographic regions of the AU to strengthen their capacity in at least five strategic priority areas: (1) public health surveillance and disease intelligence; (2) public health emergency preparedness and response; (3) public health laboratory systems and networks; (4) public health information and technology systems; and (5) public health research and public health institutes.

The Africa CDC invites applications who are citizens of AU Member States to apply for the position of Senior Technical Officer-Science Journalist.

Job purpose:

The position will support the Director-General of the Africa CDC by preparing op-eds and manuscript creation, feature articles, opinion and success story pieces, among others, and dissemination to relevant stakeholders, publications and media to amplify Africa CDC’s impact and awareness. The candidate will work closely with the Director-General, the Head of Executive Office, the Director of Communication and other senior staff members to identify key areas for publication and compelling and narrative-sharing stories that align with the strategic objectives of the Africa CDC. The Science Journalist takes an active role in conceptualising and shaping the content of these publications, ensuring they reflect the organisation’s vision and priorities and contribute to the advancement of public health in Africa.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

The Senior Technical Officer – Science Journalist shall;

  • Take the lead in conceptualising, developing, and drafting the DG scientific communications, including op-eds, commentaries, and manuscripts.
  • Support the Executive Office to identify priority areas for communication and publication in line with the Africa CDC’s vision, mission, aspiration and strategic objectives.
  • Gather relevant data and insights for news and content publication, in collaboration with subject matter experts and senior staff members to shape narratives and set news agenda for various publications.
  • Prepare manuscripts, commentaries and op-eds that highlight Africa CDC’s successful initiatives and issues on critical public health issues in Africa through publications.
  • Establish a consistent and impactful story writing and publishing strategy for the organization.
  • Collaborate with the Head of Executive Office, Director of Communication and Public Information  and senior staff members to maintain high-quality publications.
  • Support the development of briefings, speeches, and talking points.
  • Perform other duties as assigned and required.

Qualification and work experience required:


      Minimum academic Qualification

  • A minimum of a Master’s Degree (e.g., MPH, MSc, MA, MPP, MBA) in a relevant discipline such as, but not limited to, public health, epidemiology, health communications, international journalism, international relations and development or related field.
  • A doctoral degree would be advantageous.

Required professional Work Experience

  • A minimum of 12 years of progressively responsible experience in public health, health and science communication, including experience at senior management or advisory levels, preferably in a governmental, non-governmental, or international organisation.
  • Proven experience in science writing, crafting engaging news and stories, publishing, editing, and having a nose for news.
  • Proven experience in developing and maintaining relations with credible publications, publishing houses, media outlet and journalist
  • Proven experience in strategic planning, including the ability to develop and implement effective news and content development strategies to address public health challenges at local, national, or international levels.
  • Proficiency in conducting research, analyzing complex public health data, and using evidence to inform decision-making and policy development.
  • Demonstrated leadership capabilities, including the ability to provide guidance, coordinate teams, and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders in the public health sector.
  • Familiarity with global health frameworks, international public health agencies, and experience working in international or cross-cultural settings.
  • Strong track record in preparing excellent written and oral communications

Required Skills and Competencies

  1. Functional Skills
  2. Excellent strategic and analytical thinking
  3. Excellent news agenda setting
  4. Ability to bring an independent perspective to the table
  5. Excellent strategic and technical writing skills
  6. Skills in translating technical information into presentations, briefings, op-eds, commentaries, and perspectives for both technical and lay audiences;
  7. Comfortable operating in a dynamic environment; can flexibly and creatively change course when presented with new circumstances or information.

B. Personal Abilities

  • Ability to work under pressure, stay on track and meet deadlines
  • Analytical and problem-solving abilities
  • Ability to operate in a multicultural environment
  • Drive and ability to set own priorities and work plan
  • High level of autonomy at work, yet with profound team-spirit
  • Adaptive, patient, resourceful, resilient and flexible
  • Pro-active and solutions-oriented
  • Humble and excited to learn while doing

Language Requirement

Applicants must be proficient in at least one of the AU languages (Arabic, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese). Knowledge of one or more additional African Union working languages would be an added advantage.

Tenure of Appointment

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 will be renewed annually subject to satisfactory performance and fund availability.

Gender Mainstreaming

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

Remuneration Indicative basic salary of US$ 37,453 (P3 Step 1) per annum plus other related entitlements e.g. Post adjustment 46% of basic salary (US$17,228.38), Housing allowance of US$ 22,932 per annum. Thus a total of US$77,613.38 per annum plus Gratuity of 15% of Gross Salary per annum.