Deputy Executive Secretary (ACHPR)

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Date: Mar 22, 2024

Location: Banjul, Gambia

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: Executive Secretary 
Directorate/Department/Organ: African Commission on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR)
Division: Legal
Number of Direct Reports: 9
Number of Indirect Reports: 8
Job Grade: P5
Number of Positions: 1
Contract Type: Regular
Location: Banjul, Gambia


Purpose of Job

The African Union (AU), established as a unique Pan African continental body, is charged with spearheading Africa’s rapid integration and sustainable development by promoting unity, solidarity, cohesion and cooperation among the peoples of Africa and African States, as well as developing a New Partnership worldwide. The promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights within the framework of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter) is recognized under the Constitutive Act establishing the AU as an important avenue for the pursuit of these ends. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) is the premier institution for the promotion and protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa, established as an organ of the AU under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter). In view of the above background, the ACHPR invites qualified and competent applicants who are citizens of Member States of the African Union with relevant skills, competencies and experiences to submit their applications for the position of the DEPUTY EXECUTIVE SECRETARY of the ACHPR based at its headquarters in Banjul, The Gambia.
Under the supervision of the Executive Secretary to the ACHPR, the Deputy Executive Secretary is responsible for oversight of the Legal Unit, and for assisting the Executive Secretary in the overall organization, management, and supervision of the ACHPR Secretariat.

Main Functions

  • Assist the Executive Secretary to develop and execute the overall strategy for the ACHPR and ensure alignment between its various elements;  
  • Assist the Executive Secretary in the overall organization, management, and supervision of the Secretariat;
  • Oversee the legal work of the ACHPR;
  • Coordinate the promotional, protection and fact-finding missions of the ACHPR;
  • Oversee and coordinate the processing and management of Communications;
  • Provide leadership for the legal work of the Secretariat;
  • Support the Executive Secretary in providing leadership for the effective organization of the Sessions and other statutory and institutional meetings of the ACHPR, and in the participation of the ACHPR in AU Policy Organs’ meetings and other proceedings;
  • Provide support to the Executive Secretary in the development and effective implementation of the ACHPR’s Strategic Plan through proper monitoring of activities related to the projects of the ACHPR and liaising accordingly with the various departments and members of the ACHPR, as well as other relevant partners, including assistance with the dissemination of the Strategic Plan, with a view to build broad consensus and mobilize resources in line with applicable AU Rules and Regulations;
  • Manage and supervise Legal Officers directly and indirectly, and ensure the timely delivery of the Commission’s goals and effective staff performance evaluation; 
  • Provide support in driving the implementation and monitoring of policies, strategies and programs of the ACHPR to contribute to the effective implementation of relevant AU Policy Organs’ Decisions; 


  • Provide assistance to the Executive Secretary in ensuring the delivery of the ACHPR’s annual targets in line with its overall goals, and in maintaining robust monitoring and evaluation systems;  
  • Provide leadership to ensure timely preparation and submission of periodic performance and other reports of the ACHPR;  
  • Build and maintain good working relations and collaboration with all members of the ACHPR and its Secretariat, and also develop and maintain regular working relations with senior stakeholders in Member States, other AU Organs with human rights or related mandates and diverse partner institutions; 
  • Under the supervision of the Executive Secretary, coordinate meetings between the organization and relevant partners and take necessary follow-up actions at technical level;  
  • Provide technical knowledge and support in the development of policies, guidelines and standard operating procedures in line with the organization’s legal framework, and in consistency with the AU’s strategic goals and mandate, in order to address the pertinent issues in relevant areas;  
  • Prepare and oversee integrated programs, projects and overall activities of the organization as per approved ACHPR Strategic Plan, AU Agenda 2063 and other plans approved by Policy Organs; and 
  • Maintain a positive working environment that facilitates collaboration and information sharing and is conducive to attracting, retaining, and motivating diverse talents. 

Specific Responsibilities

  • Oversee the Secretariat’s technical activities, coordinate technical work and promote inter-divisional activities of a cross-sectional nature in the ACHPR secretariat;
  • Lead the planning and supervise the legal work of the ACHPR, in line with ACHPR approved Strategic Plans and Annual Work Plans, including by setting the performance goals of the Legal Unit and organizing periodic meetings for monitoring and evaluation of progress;
  • Coordinate the scheduling and technical support to field missions of the ACHPR;
  • Supervise and coordinate the processes for the receipt and adjudication of complaints on alleged violations of Charter rights (Communications) by State parties to the African Charter, the receipt and processing of Communications and the conduct of legal research and analysis on substantive procedural issues arising from Communications as well as development of relevant policy guidance notes and standard operating, and support to the ACHPR’s Working Group on Communications; 
  • Supervise and coordinate the receipt and review of periodic reports under Article 62 of the African Charter; 
  • Provide support to Executive Secretary in the preparation of institutional performance analysis, ACHPR’s Strategic Plan, Monitoring and Evaluation Plan, Resource Mobilization Strategy, Annual Work Plans and Annual Budgets of the ACHPR, and their effective implementation/execution;
  • Manage and supervise Legal Officers directly and indirectly, and ensure the timely delivery of the Commission’s goals and effective staff performance evaluation; 
  • Provide support in driving the implementation and monitoring of policies, strategies and programs of the ACHPR to contribute to the effective implementation of relevant AU Policy Organs’ Decisions; 
  • Contribute to the formulation and implementation of the substantive work program of the ACHPR, the determination of priorities, and allocation of resources for the completion of outputs and their timely delivery, including through a robust monitoring and evaluation systems, entailing among others, periodic program execution assessments and Legal Unit meetings, and through the co-ordination of work with other organizations, partners and stakeholders as appropriate;
  • Maintain liaison, on behalf of the ACHPR and as may be directed by the Executive Secretary with State Parties, international, regional and national organizations and other stakeholders in the work of the ACHPR, through the ACHPR Sessions, other conferences and meetings, missions and other forms of communications;  


  • Coordinate the preparation of the plans and activities as well as the budgets of the Legal Unit.
  • Oversee follow up on implementation of the ACHPR’s decisions and recommendations to States parties to the African Charter;
  • Support the Executive Secretary in  preparing the sessions of the ACHPR comprising the Plenary and the Committees, and give advice on procedures.
  • Be present personally at all sittings of the ACHPR and support the coordination of technical support to the proceedings;
  • Prepare and keep up to date, in the form prescribed by the Commission, the database and cause list of all Communications submitted to the Commission;
  • Ensure Legal Officers provide sufficient and efficient support to the Members of the Commission in the exercise of their functions;
  • Co-coordinate and contribute to the preparation of periodic management reports to the AU Commission on budget/program performance or on programmatic/substantive issues, as appropriate, particularly those presented in biannual and/or annual reports;
  • Support the Executive Secretary in leading and facilitating the development and implementation of frameworks, systems and policies for managing administrative services in ACHPR in accordance with AU rules and regulations;
  • Advise the Executive Secretary from time-to-time on matters concerning the operations of the organization and its work;
  • Under the supervision of the Executive Secretary, guide, analyze and review processes and working methods and recommend procedure and policy changes to improve operations;
  • Lead the planning and implementation of periodical training courses for the Legal Unit;
  • In consultation with the Human Resources Unit, provide guidance and counsel on staff relations issues as may be applicable; and
  • Any other duties as may be assigned by the Executive Secretary.

Academic Requirements and Relevant Experience

  • Must have a University Master’s Degree in Law or Human Rights Law with twelve (12) years’ experience in human rights law and practice before regional and/or international mechanisms; out of which seven (7) years should be at managerial level and five (5) years at supervisory level;


  • Must have a University Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LLB) with fifteen (15) years’ experience in human rights law and practice before regional and/or international mechanisms, out of which seven (7) should be at managerial level and five (5) years at supervisory level;. 
  • Admission to the Bar in an AU Member State and/or practicing as an Attorney or Advocate is an added advantage. Practical knowledge and experience of drafting legal pleadings and litigation before regional and/or international human rights mechanisms would also be an added advantage. Any other additional qualification and/or experience in the area of human rights law would also be an added advantage.

Required Skills

  • Must be well-versed in human rights law and exhibit good knowledge of the African human rights system in particular, and the African Union as a whole.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and capacity to coordinate, manage, monitor and evaluate the work of the ACHPR;
  • Excellent legal drafting and writing skills and ability to work under pressure in a multicultural office environment are mandatory;
  • A sharp and analytical mind imbued with creative thinking, innovation-generating and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to interact with officials and professional colleagues at the highest levels of government, private sector, civil society, and international organizations.
  • Excellent oral and written communication, facilitation and presentation skills, proven ability to clearly and concisely prepare, present, discuss and defend issues, findings and recommendations; strong editing skills.
  • Demonstrated intellectual leadership, creativity and proven ability to propose new ideas and lead on new ways of working across silos in a complementary and synergistic way;
  • High ethical and accountability standards, impeccable integrity and a deep sense of fairness.
  • Highly refined diplomatic skills, exceptional interpersonal skills and possession of a teamwork orientation and ability to interact harmoniously and effectively with colleagues from diverse disciplines, perspectives, countries and cultures.


  • Ability to make objective decisions and resolve problems, exercising the  highest  sense  of responsibility and maturity in the handling of confidential and sensitive issues.
  • Ability to generate innovative, practical solutions to challenging situations, with tact and emotional maturity without losing composure and focus.
  • Ability to identify opportunities and build strong relationships with partners and other external parties.
  • Proven track record of change management and accomplishments at the regional, national and/or international level with strong resource mobilization, political and diplomatic skills.
  • Excellent strategic visioning, planning, implementation, monitoring, evaluation and reporting skills.
  • Ability to work with enthusiasm and commitment under pressure and minimal supervision, multi-task with a wide range of individuals and institutions and be proactive and creative with sound judgment.
  • Ability to leverage limited resources and staff for maximum impact.
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural and multi-national organizational environment, and demonstrated ability to lead a multi-cultural team and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organization.
  • Strong networking and representation skills and ability to mobilize support on behalf of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
  • Excellent computer application skills  (Microsoft  Office  package  -  MS  Word,  Excel  and PowerPoint; knowledge and information sharing platforms, e.g., Microsoft Teams).

Leadership Competencies

Strategic Focus
.Developing Organizational Capability
Change Leadership
Strategic Risk Management

Core Competencies

Building Partnerships
Drives Accountability Culture
Learning Orientation
Communicating with impact

Functional Competencies

Conceptual Thinking
Job Knowledge and information sharing
Drive for Results
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) is mandatory and fluency in another AU language is an added advantage


Indicative basic salary of US$ 50,746.00 (P5 Step1) per annum plus other related entitlements e.g. Post adjustment (46% of basic salary), Housing allowance US$ 17,514.00 (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 April 22, 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: 2170

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