Water and Sanitation Director

African Development Bank (AfDB)

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire



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 the Bank’s delivery for Africa, have been identified for scaling up, namely; energy, agro-business, industrialization, regional integration and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa. The Bank is seeking to build a management team that will lead the successful implementation of this vision.


The Vice Presidency for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development is a Sector Complex focusing on the Bank’s Ten Year 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) originate, deliver and manage the portfolio of non-sovereign operations; (v) 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). The Department leads the Bank support to Africa’s economic transformation through the identification and promotion of sustainable and integrated solutions across the water value chain and for sanitation. The Department also 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 Director for Water Development and Sanitation Department, reporting to the Vice President for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, is responsible for providing leadership and supervising the personnel and work programs of two Divisions: (i) Water Coordination and Partnerships ; and Water Security and Sanitation; as well as the African Water Facility.

The main work objectives are to:

1.    Lead the development and review of Bank’s policy and strategic work on water development and sanitation to ensure operations which are identified, developed and executed by regional hubs effectively implement the Bank’s relevant sector policies and strategies.

2.    Strengthen Africa’s scientific research and innovation capacity in the water sector; as well as develop and disseminate knowledge, and provide technical guidance and expertise to various Bank units and complexes.

3.    Lead the Department’s contribution to the Bank’s resource mobilization efforts for pertinent sectors and initiatives by fostering strategic partnerships with multilateral and bilateral organizations and regional organizations for leveraging funding and knowledge.

4.    Develop and implement innovative financing mechanisms, as well as technical and managerial approaches to promote access to water and sanitation across regional member countries, including through public-private partnerships and improvement of the overall governance of these sectors.

5.    Host, coordinate and steer the various water development and sanitation improvement initiatives in the Bank and ensure their effectiveness and efficiency for impact.

Duties and responsibilities


Under the overall supervision of the Vice President for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, the Director for Water Development and Sanitation Department, manages staff of the Department and plans, organizes, supervises and directs the work to ensure efficient and effective Bank Group assistance. Specifically, the incumbent performs the following:

Directing and supervising the Department

1.    Lead and administers the strategic direction of the two Divisions as well as the initiatives hosted within the Department; evaluates their performance; and promotes and organizes team work among the staff to achieve the objectives of the Department.

2.    Determine and manage the human and financial resource requirements of the Department; participate in the selection of staff, allocate and provide management support to the staff and facilitates their full performance in technical work; determine the staff’s training and career development needs; approve their annual performance evaluation; and resolve serious staff disputes/complaints.

3.    Lead and coordinate the work program of the Department, determining priorities, and allocating resources for the timely delivery of outputs; foster teamwork and communication among staff in the Department and across organizational boundaries; implement the work program of the Department; oversee the management of activities undertaken; and ensure that the key performance indicators set for the department are met.

4.    Oversee programmatic and administrative tasks necessary for the functioning of the Department, including preparation of budgets, reporting on the Department’s performance, evaluation of staff performance; recruit staff, taking due account institutional values; and manage, guide, develop and trains staff under his/her supervision.

5.    Participate in and/or chairs meetings for the Departmental Management Team, the Water Coordination Committee, Donor and Partner meetings related to the initiatives and trust funds under the Water Development and Sanitation Department and other meetings related to the work of the Department.

6.    Foster an environment that stimulates and rewards innovation, creativity and accountability for results, and motivate staff to contribute to delivering significant developmental impacts.

Sector  Policy and Strategy Development and Monitoring

7.    Provide expertise and leadership in the development and review of Bank Group’s policies, strategies, rules, regulations, norms and standards especially related to water development and management, sanitation and hygiene in support to the H5s and in response to emerging trends and the needs of the Regional Member Countries.

8.    Advise on and promotes the implementation of relevant sector policies and strategies within the Bank.

9.    Control the professional quality of reports and documents produced within the Department.


Business Development

10.  Develop, implement and monitor the Water Development and Sanitation Department’s business plans, KPIs, budgets and objectives.

11.  Identify opportunities and promote initiatives that enable the Water Development and Sanitation Department to increase its impact or to deliver innovative and differentiated services,

12.  Develop work programs in line with the sector strategy and the H5s objectives priorities,

13.  Develop a sound pipeline of non-sovereign operations in the sector,

14.  Oversee the origination, delivery and management of the portfolio of water supply non-sovereign operations.

Sector Knowledge Development and Uptake, and Networking

15.  Enhances knowledge management and provides technical guidance/advisory services and expertise to regional hubs, and fosters coherence of the Bank’s action in water development and management, and sanitation and hygiene.

16.  Supports the development and implementation of innovative financing mechanisms, as well as technical and managerial approaches to promote access to water and sanitation across regional member countries, including through public-private partnerships and improvement of the overall governance of these sectors. The Director will also facilitate the coordination function for water related activities within the Bank.

17.  Provides advice to the Vice President and the President of the Bank on water development and sanitation matters and defends before the Board papers originating from the Department. 

18.  Approves and advises on the establishment and functioning of various communities of practice – the pools of experienced individuals who can be consulted to provide technical guidance/ advisory services and expertise on complex transactions and operations to regional hubs.

19.  Promotes and contributes to the strengthening of Africa’s scientific research and innovation capacity in the water sector.

20.  Develops and maintains cooperation and co-financing relations with other development agencies and organizations; Leads important and sensitive missions to the member countries and partner organizations and agencies; Represents the Bank Group in major international conferences and meetings especially on water development and management, and sanitation and hygiene. .

21.  Provides advice and technical expertise to support the Vice President’s role as the Bank’s spokesperson to external audiences.

22.  Supports the execution of the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy to enhance the contribution of the water sector to job creation for youths across regional member countries.

23.  Represents the Bank on Boards, Committees and Panels of key global and regional water development and sanitation sector initiatives such as the World Water Council and the World Water Forum.

24.  Serves as Acting Vice President for the Agriculture, Human, and Social Development Complex when required.

25.  Performs other duties as assigned by the Vice President.

Selection Criteria

1.    Hold at least a Master’s degree or its equivalent in Water Resources Engineering, Sanitary Engineering; Economics, Social Sciences, or closely related disciplines.

2.    Have a minimum of ten (10) years of extensive and progressive experience in internationally recognized financial or development Institution similar to the Bank; five (5) years of professional experience should be at a managerial level.

3.    Experience in water or sanitation sector development and policy support in Africa is a plus.

4.    Familiarity with the work of other multilateral and bilateral development finance institutions and the private sector is a plus.

5.    Recognized as a thought leader externally for water development and management, and sanitation and hygiene.

6.    Knowledge of operational policies, rules, procedures and practices of the Bank or comparable institution.

7.    Knowledge of integrated water resources development; research and policy, particularly related to water, inequality, public health, social development or related field.

8.    Ability to analyse and evaluate critical matters pertaining to a broad spectrum of socioeconomic issues and provide policy advice.

9.    Experience in planning, organizing, directing and coordinating the activities of similar departments and supervising managers and department staff, organising teams, and providing managerial support.

10.  Experience in delivering high quality operational products and services (sectoral analyses, research advice, sectoral studies and evaluation) in support of the Bank’s work.

11.  Communicate and write effectively in French or English, with a good working knowledge of the other language.

12.  Competence in the use of standard Microsoft Office Suite applications.