Senior Economic Affairs Officer, P5

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)
  • Location
    Yaounde, Cameroon
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Feb 28

Position description

Org. Setting and Reporting

This position is located in the Economic Diversification Policy and Reforms Section of the Sub-regional Office for Central Africa (SRO-CA) of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Yaoundé, Cameroon. The Chief of the Economic Diversification Policy and Reforms Section (P5) reports to the Director of SRO-CA (D1).


Within delegated authority, and under the general supervision of the Director of the SRO-CA, the duties of the Chief of the Economic Diversification Policy and Reforms Section, Senior Economic Affairs Officer fall mainly into one of the following functional areas identified below but all are also likely to embrace a number of programme support responsibilities.

Economic or sectoral analysis:

  • Leads or participates in the formulation, organization and management of mandated programmes of economic analysis and the formulation of possible economic strategies, policies and actions for adoption by the international community;
  • Leads or participates in the identification of new or emerging development issues of potential concern to the international community, particularly those of a national or sub-regional nature, and designs and develops programmes to address them;
  • Designs and oversees the work programme of the Section, provides leadership and ensures its timely and effective implementation;
  • Supervises the preparation of macro-economic frameworks and models as well as forecasting tools;
  • Tracks progress of macroeconomic and social developments in the sub-region;
  • Liaises and collaborates with United Nations bodies and external partners, participates in resource mobilization, and builds relevant partnerships to facilitate the implementation of work programme;
  • Supervises a team of staff economists undertaking this work;
  • Commissions economic studies and analyses that cannot be undertaken internally;
  • Conceives, plans and manages expert group meetings, seminars and similar consultations that contribute to the unit’s outputs;
  • Finalizes reports on development for issuance by the United Nations;
  • Prepares speeches for senior staff and makes presentations on economic issues for specialist or non-specialist audiences.

Intergovernmental support:

  • Provides direct substantive support on development issues to intergovernmental bodies by offering strategic advice, giving technical guidance and assisting in developing a consensus;
  • Manages the work unit’s contribution to the preparation and management of meetings of intergovernmental bodies;
  • Represents the organizational unit at international, regional and national meetings on development issues;
  • Provides substantive servicing of inter-agency meetings and functional support to the work of the United Nations country teams and other United Nations inter-agency activities in support to the African Union, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other African Union organs.

Technical cooperation:

  • Develops and maintains relations with senior officials of member governments and RECs and ensures a response to requests for advice and/or assistance on economic issues and policies;
  • Negotiates with donor and recipient governments on technical assistance programmes and projects;
  • Organizes and coordinates cooperation among member States on economic programmes or issues;
  • Leads or participates in technical cooperation missions;
  • Delivers relevant capacity-building programmes for planners, policy makers and other stakeholders;
  • Organizes and leads policy dialogues with member States on economic diversification and structural transformation and other relevant macro-economic issues.

Programme support:

  • Functions as the head of the section;
  • Contributes to the formulation of the medium-term plan, the programme of work and the budget of the unit and participates in the formulation of the organization's overall programme of work and other similar endeavours;
  • Attends to various administrative matters concerning the larger organizational unit (Section or Division) and when required, and in the absence of the Director, administers the work of the SRO-CA, as Officer-in-Charge;
  • Performs other related duties as required.



  • Ability to apply economic theories and concepts in different sectors of economic and sustainable development. Ability to conduct independent research on economic topics, determine suitability, validity and accuracy of data provided by different sources. Ability to develop economic policies and make recommendations on their implementation. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations.


  • Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; and demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.

Planning& Organizing:

  • Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.


  • Serves as a role model that other people want to follow: empowers others to translate vision into results; is proactive in developing strategies to accomplish objectives; establishes and maintains relationships with a broad range of people to understand needs and gain support; anticipates and resolves conflicts by pursuing mutually agreeable solutions; drives for change and improvements; does not accept the status quo; shows the courage to take unpopular stands. Provides leadership and takes responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work; demonstrates knowledge of strategies and commitment to the goal of gender balance in staffing.

Empowering Others:

  • Delegates responsibility, clarifies expectations, and gives staff autonomy in important areas of their work; encourages others to set challenging goals; holds others accountable for achieving results related to their area of responsibility; genuinely values all staff members ‘input and expertise; shows appreciation and rewards achievement and effort; involves others when making decisions that affect them.


  • Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in economics or related field is required. Specialization in macroeconomic or development economics, preferably a Ph.D, is desirable. A first level university degree in combination with an additional two years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

Work Experience

  • A minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience in economic research and analysis, policy formulation, application of economic principles in development programmes or related area is required;
  • Experience in working with the UN, RECs and intergovernmental organizations and processes would be an advantage.


  • English and French are the working languages of the UN Secretariat. For this post, fluency in French, (both oral and written) is required; working knowledge of English is desirable. Knowledge of another UN official language is an advantage.

Application instructions

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