Chief Water Resources Management Officer

African Development Bank (AfDB)

Abidjan, , CI


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 projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Ten Year Strategy (2013 – 2022) and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas (High 5s), all of which will accelerate our 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 Vice Presidency for ‘Agriculture, Human, and Social Development’ is a Sector Complex focusing on the Bank’s Ten Years 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 pool 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 spoke person to represent the Bank with external stakeholders on aspects of “Feed Africa” and “Improve Quality of  Life for the People of Africa”.



The Water Development and Sanitation Department is responsible for the coordination of the Bank’s water
development and sanitation-related activities to enhance synergies and contribute to achievement of all High 5s (Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, water-related Power and Light Africa, Integrate Africa, and Improve the Quality of Life). Through its two Divisions: Water Coordination and Partnerships, and Water Security and Sanitation, and the African Water Facility, the Department supports regional hubs in the development and promotion of new knowledge, approaches and tools for green and inclusive water resources development and management, and for improved sanitation. In so doing, the Department leads the scaling-up of the Bank’s contribution to Africa’s efforts to attain water security and sanitation for sustainable socio-economic transformation.



The AHWS.1 Division, responsible for water coordination and partnerships, acts in concert with AHWS.2 Division and the AWF to fulfil the mandate of the Department. Specifically, AHWS.1 leads the Bank’s work on integrated water resources management and development (including transboundary programs), fosters strategic partnerships with regional and global partners to leverage resources into the water and sanitation sectors. It also directly contributes to the work of the various initiatives and trust funds hosted under AHWS; and provides expertise to support the AHVP Vice President’s role as the Bank’s spokesperson to external audiences.



The key job objectives:

  • Support the Bank’s integrated water resources management and development programs (including transboundary programs), taking account of the increasing demand for water, rising conflict among competing water uses, climate change, fragility, urban development, and other key global trends;
  • Facilitate cohesive approaches to guide the Bank on integrated water resources development to foster enhanced water security in Africa. Areas of responsibility will include project/program development, partnerships coordination, technical advice, identification of issues related to water resources management, policy development, and advocacy for sustainable transboundary water agreements and water conflict resolution;
  • Provide backstopping, technical guidance and expertise on development interventions involving integrated water resources development and management to regional hubs.

Duties and responsibilities

Under the overall supervision of the Manager of AHWS.1 Division, the incumbent will deliver on:


  • Identify, prepare, appraise, and implement integrated water resources development and management programs and projects;
  • Undertake or participate as a team member in project identification, preparation, and appraisal missions utilizing technical background and experience to recommend appropriate water resources management activities;
  • Compile relevant information that could be transformed into various knowledge products.

Policies and Strategies

  • Monitor implementation of the Bank’s water policy and contribute to the review, preparation and updating of policies, strategies, business plans and guidelines related to water resources development and management;
  • Support dialogue and design of integrated water resources and development programs that incorporate best practice and leverage the comparative advantage of the Bank;
  • Support the Division’s contribution to the development and review of policies, strategies, business plans and guidelines prepared by other departments from water resources perspective;
  • Support regional hubs in mainstreaming integrated water resources management (IWRM) principles into Bank operations
  • Support RMCs, RBOs and RECs in mainstreaming IWRM principles in their policies, strategies and development plans; and
  • Review project proposals prepared by the regional hubs and contribute to all aspects that has bearing on water resources development and management.

Water Knowledge Generation and Sharing

  • Lead the analytical work with focus on: (i) Emerging water resources challenges; (ii) promotion of Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM); and (iii) Trans-boundary water resources development and management, and regional cooperation.
  • Provide strategic guidance and coordination in generating knowledge both in-house and externally, on water resources development and management, through research, studies and networking initiatives;
  • Provide strategic guidance in the conduct of country and/or sector studies to promote efficient and effective water resources management to assist economic transformation of RMCs;
  • Plan and implement capacity development programs for Bank staff and RMCs related to water resources development and management;
  • Support regional hubs in the efficient planning, development and sustainable use of water resources in Bank’s interventions.
  • Support the community of practice on water resources development and management to facilitate the knowledge exchange within the institution and to harmonize the service standard across the regional hubs.

Strategic Partnerships

  • Support review and monitoring of ongoing regional and international discussions related to water resources development and management.
  • Contribute to the Bank’s engagement with key external stakeholders such as the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN), and Council of Ministers of Water, Agriculture, Livestock and Land, etc.
  • Contribute to global and regional sector discussions through water conferences and platforms such as Stockholm World Water Week, World Water Forum, World Water Council, and Sanitation and Water for All, etc.

Water Sector Coordination and Collaboration within the Bank

  • Work closely with staff from Agriculture, Climate Change and the Africa Natural Resources Center to ensure synergies between water, agriculture, and environment programs.
  • Contribute to preparation of annual work plans and budgets of the Division’s activities related to water resources development and management.
  • Contribute to the Water Coordination Committee to promote integrated and transboundary water resources and management through coordinated planning and preparation of multi-purpose water resources programs.
  • Foster and contribute to the coordination and collaboration with other development partners and non-government institutions to advance the water agenda.

Selection Criteria

The work is intricate and varied. It requires in-depth and wide knowledge of the water sector, appreciation of allied disciplines; knowledge of integrated water resources development and management, nexus between water and food security, agriculture, energy, water supply and sanitation, and climate change adaptation.

The position will also involve working with other sector complexes/vice-presidencies and departments within the Bank to promote integrated approaches to water resources development and management.

The selection criteria:

  • At least a Master’s in Water Resources, Engineering, Ecology, Geo-science of any other relevant field with a focus on water resources management and climate change;
  • A minimum of seven (7) years of relevant experience in water resources management or related sector operations, project management, and policy formulation. The successful candidate will furthermore possess in-depth knowledge and practical experiences with integrated water resource management, and governance modalities;
  • Professional experience in international development institutions is preferred;
  • Recognized sector expert with deep knowledge of integrated water resources development in Africa, with a focus on research and policy, particularly related to water or sanitation; and ability to analyse and evaluate critical matters pertaining to a broad spectrum of environmental health, water and sanitation issues and provide policy advice;
  • Good knowledge of transboundary water issues, water resources development and management, and water sector issues in RMCs;
  • Proven ability to identify and articulate policy issues, tradeoffs and priorities to provide sound advice;
  • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and synthesize complex issues (translated into effective oral and written briefs);
  • Experience in delivering high quality operational products and services (economic analyses, research advice, sector studies and reviews);
  • Ability to initiate innovative approaches and originality at work;
  • Ability to communicate effectively (written and oral) in English or French, preferably with a working knowledge of the other language;
  • Competence in the use of Bank standard software (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint). Knowledge of SAP is desirable.


Should you encounter technical difficulties in submitting your application, please send an email with a precise description of the issue and/or a screenshot showing the problem to: HR Direct [email protected]

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