African Union nationals: Programme Director

African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW)

Abuja, Nigeria 🇳🇬

Your Role

The role of Programme Director reports to the Executive Secretary.

Grade: P5 (out of a P1 – P5 professional grading structure)


The Programme Director functions as a strategic thought-partner to the Executive Secretary and is a hands-on, proactive and participative senior manager, who develops and leads an internal team to support the following areas: 

·       Management of the overall project portfolio

·       Monitoring and evaluation of projects in the project portfolio.

·       Development of tendered or unsolicited project proposals for support from funding partners, in line with the Secretariat’s strategic objectives and AMCOW’s priority themes in the water and sanitation sector. 

The Programme Director plays a critical role in partnering with the Secretariat leadership, and senior management team, in strategic decision making and project operations management. He supports the Secretariat in continuously developing its strategic “think-tank” capacities in AMCOW’s thematic areas of focus. 

The Programme Director is directly responsible for growing the Secretariat’s project portfolio and enhancing effectiveness and outreach impact. This extends to strengthening the internal capacity of the Secretariat as required for a dynamic, well-respected, and high-impact institution. He provides direction to achieve significant growth opportunities by:

·       Organizing effective/targeted market research; 

·       Project development, management and operational processes and activities; and motivating action from AMCOW’s partners and stakeholders in line with the Africa Water Vision 2025 and AMCOW’s mission


·   Lead, motivate and supervise project teams, and particularly the technical staff, into a “think tank” mentality that fosters the development of ideas, and strengthens alliances and partnerships.

·       Ensure effective cooperation and synergy within programmatic functions, as well as the Finance and Administration teams

·       Provide strategic thinking and planning to achieve the goals and targets of the AMCOW Strategy and related strategic operational plans.

·       Represent the Secretariat in high profile stakeholder engagement and advocacy activities at national, regional, continental and global level.

Programme Development 

Conceptualise, direct and monitor the activities of the professional staff as follows:

·       Provide leadership and agility in the conceptualisation and operationalisation of projects through:

·       Keeping abreast of developments in water research and academia.

·       Informed and targeted engagement of funding, technical and implementing partners.

·       Evidence-based approaches to the fundamental issues relating to AMCOW’s work.

·       Pro-active strategic thinking and planning orientated towards results.

·    Activity planning and ability to cooperate with the Director of Finance and Administration in translating the business and process objectives into a realistic and feasible budgets and timeframes meeting high professional standards. 

·      Institute mechanisms for drawing lessons from programme development activities under the guidance of the Executive Secretary and in collaboration with other members of the senior management. The incumbent will also further the development of the knowledge management function of the Secretariat.

Project Management:

·       Institute functional lines of two-way communication and accountability that leverage opportunities for synergy in the activities of the Secretariat. 

·       Engage with the Director of Finance and Administration to ensure seamless implementation of programme activities with support from the corporate services function.

·       Establish high professional standards in programme management and project execution procedures, aiming for and achieving high levels of impact to demonstrate AMCOW’s relevance to Member States.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation:

Assure primacy of the fulfilment of AMCOW’s obligation to report to the Assembly of the Heads of State and Government of the Africa Union on Member States’ progress to achieve Water and Sanitation Goals in Africa. The related functions of 

·      Learning and Knowledge Management, as well as Communication and visibility will be enhanced.

·   Maintain and consolidate regular, systematic collection and analysis of information to track the progress of project/programme implementation against pre-set targets and contractual requirements.

·     Direct processes to clarify programme objectives; link activities and related resources to objectives; translate objectives into performance indicators and set targets; routinely collect data on these indicators; compare actual results with targets; analyse deviations and report progress to team/task leaders alerting them to problems, while focusing on the objectives and efficient use of resources.

·   Develop and consolidate Secretariat project development and evaluation capacities by dealing with questions of cause and effect. Through a process of adaptive management, the incumbent will periodically estimate the value, effectiveness, worth or impact of interventions. S/He will assess specific causal contributions of activities to results, examine implementation processes; investigate unintended results to provide valuable lessons; highlight significant accomplishments or project potential, offer recommendations for improvement and ongoing project sustainability.

·       Ensure the integrity and transparency of the monitoring and evaluation results and reports through streamlined procedures and proper quality controls.

Other Management Dynamics:

·       Closely cooperate with the Director of Finance and Administration on budgeting, operational, financial, administrative and contract management needs to support programme activities

Ensure that the information and knowledge generated through AMCOW activities is duly managed and mobilised to support evidence-based interventions that respond to the real-needs of the Member States and related stakeholders.


Essential Requirements

§  Minimum 12 years of relevant experience, with at least 6 years of solid hands-on experience in providing leadership in:

o   Strategic Planning, Programme Development and Programme Management;

o  Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting, including development and dissemination of Knowledge Products; and,

o  Capacity Development support/training to partners and stakeholders, mobilisation of partners and professional networks.

§  Experience or broad familiarity with the water sector in Africa, and in particular the policy initiatives and obligations of the mandated organs and institutions of the African Union.

§  Proven commitment to excellence and quality of measured results, programme development and operationalisation in an inter-governmental setting.

§  A successful track-record of

o  effective facilitation of technical processes and coordination of high-profile multi-stakeholder processes;

o  setting priorities and developing implementation arrangements in politically sensitive and technically demanding operational environments; and,

o  technical responsibility for the quality and content of decision-supporting reports at political level.

§  Excellent diplomacy and relationship building skills with an ability to prioritise, negotiate, and work with a variety of cross-cultural and high profile technical, development partner and government stakeholders.

A person with multi-tasking skills, able to wear many hats in a fast-paced, challenging and rewarding environment.

Education, Professional Qualifications and Certification:

A Master’s Degree or PhD in a field relevant to water and related natural resources management; Engineering; and water supply, sanitation, and hygiene services provision.


§  Strong proactive business development skills.

§  Superior communication and presentation skills.

§  Highly refined diplomacy and persuasive skills.

§  Very good learning and knowledge sharing skills.

§  Strong team building and motivating skills.

Computer Literacy:

§  Expert-level use of the Office suite of applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).

§  Familiarity with project management tools.

§  Good knowledge and preferably work experience with Cloud-based technologies.

Language Requirements:

§  Fluent and superior mastery of both English and French through education and work experience in a business context.

§  Portuguese and/or Arabic languages would be an asset.

Age Requirement:

Candidate shall not be more than 55years.


§  High professional ethics beyond legal compliance.

§  Commitment to the public good.

§  Commitment to quality and excellence, knowledge sharing and maintaining public trust.

§  Accountability to AMCOW Secretariat, the AU member States and AMCOW Partners and Stakeholders.

§  Transparency, honesty and integrity including cross-cultural openness and flexibility.

Citizenship Requirements:

National of any of the AU Member States.






IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development