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Commissioner, Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS) at the African Union (AU)

Posted on Mon 20th Jul, 2020 - --- (0 comments)

The African Union (AU) is a continental body consisting of the 55 member states that make up the countries of the African Continent. It was officially launched in 2002 as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU, 1963-1999).  We are an Integrated, Prosperous and Peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.

Applications are invited for the position below:

Job Title: Commissioner, Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS)

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Reports to: Chairperson of the African Union Commission
Directorate/Department: Political Affairs, Peace and Security (PAPS)
Number of Direct Reports: Two (2) Directors
Number of Directorates and Agencies: 2 Directorates and 4 Specialized Offices
Job Family: Elected Official
Job Grade: SP3
Level: Six (6)

AU Values

  • Respect for Diversity and Teamwork
  • Think Africa Above all
  • Transparency and Accountability
  • Integrity and Impartiality
  • Efficiency and Professionalism
  • Information and Knowledge Sharing


  • Under the authority of the Chairperson of the AU Commission, this position is responsible for driving the formulation and implementation of Political Affairs, Peace and Security policies, programs and strategies in line with the aspirations of Agenda 2063, the associated medium-term plans and other key continental legal and policy frameworks. Leads engagement with the AU Member States and strategic partners in the delivery of the portfolio’s continental priorities and programs.
  • The Commissioner shall have a high commitment to pan-African values and the guiding principles of the African Union.

Main Functions

  • Sets the overall goals of the Political Affairs, Peace and Security portfolio in line with the AU Agenda 2063;
  • Drives follow up and implementation of all AU decisions relating to the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts and crises as well as peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction in Africa;
  • Drives the implementation of the Africa Peace and Security Architecture and the African Governance Architecture including related flagship programmes and projects;
  • Drives the ratification and domestication of key governance and democratization instruments in AU Member States;
  • Sets annual performance targets for the Political Affairs, Peace and Security portfolio and report on annual progress to the Peace and Security Council, Specialized Technical Committees and other AU Policy Organs;
  • Provides regular reports to the Chairperson of the Commission on portfolio delivery;
  • Carries out effective regular engagement and collaboration with, and timely reporting to the PSC, PRC and respective subcommittees;
  • Drives the implementation of the AU Institutional Reform Agenda as part of the senior leadership team;
  • Provides leadership and guidance to Directors in the implementation of policies and programs within the portfolio;
  • Leads partnership negotiations and resource mobilization with Strategic Partners to finance continental programmes and priorities;
  • Co-ordinates Specialized Technical Committees to promote the achievement of the portfolio mandate;
  • Drives coordination and cooperation with Member States, Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms for the Prevention of Conflicts and Crises in Africa in promoting sustainable peace and stability in Africa;
  • Ensures effective collaboration in programme development with the AU Development Agency (AUDANEPAD);
  • Collaborates with other members of the senior leadership team to ensure strategic coherence and overall synergy in the implementation of the Commission’s programme and the delivery of high impact results for the continent;
  • Cultivates a knowledge management culture through promotion of research and publications that will ensure knowledge sharing and transfer within the department and with other departments across the Commission; and
  • Supervises Directors and inspires high performance and delivery across the portfolio.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Leads the development of continental policy frameworks and programs that promote good governance, democracy, respect of human rights, justice, the rule of law, peace and security;
  • Leads engagement efforts in following up and in implementing all AU decisions relating to the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts and crises, as well as those relating to peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstruction and development in Africa;
  • Provides political and strategic advice to the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union on matters relating to the promotion of peace and security in the African Continent;
  • Leads efforts to ensure that the Peace and Security Council (PSC) Secretariat, as the repository and institutional memory of the work of the PSC, is adequately staffed to effectively and efficiently provide the required technical and logistical support for the PSC to effectively discharge its mandate;
  • Drives the coordination of the work of relevant institutions under Regional Economic Communities, Regional Mechanisms for Prevention and Management and Resolution of Conflicts and Crises in Africa to ensure harmonization and complementarity of efforts in line with the provisions in the African Peace and Security Architecture and the African Governance Architecture; 
  • Strengthens and enhance cooperation between the Peace and Security Council (PSC) and the UN Security Council, as well as with other relevant international organs in promoting peace and security in Africa in line with the Framework Agreement on the Partnership in the Area of Peace and Security;
  • Ensures effective AU election monitoring missions to independently monitor elections in Member Countries to ensure strict adherence to relevant electoral rules and regulations, reinforce confidence in electoral processes and prevent post-election violence; (ensuring the integrity of electoral process)
  • Drives the promotion of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights and rule of law amongst Member States by facilitating political integration and establishment of national and continental level governance institutions to enhance democratic practices;
  • Leads the development and ratification of relevant continental policies and programmes such as and the African Passport and freedom of movement to achieve the objectives of an integrated African continent;
  • Identifies potential conflicts affecting Member States and initiates preventive diplomacy interventions to prevent conflict or violence;
  • Strengthens cooperation with governance partners such as Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and UN on UN Security Council reforms to consolidate efforts towards achievement of good governance, democracy and conflict prevention; and
  • Promoting ratification of AU legal frameworks related to peace and security, good governance, democratization,

Key Relationships
Internal Relationships:

  • Executive Council of the African Union
  • Permanent Representatives Committee
  • Peace and Security Council (PSC)
  • Specialized Technical Committees
  • Other AU Organs
  • Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat
  • Chairperson
  • Deputy Chairperson
  • Director-General
  • Other Commissioners
  • Other Directorates

External Relationships:

  • AU Member States
  • Regional Economic Communities (RECs)
  • International development partners
  • UN Agencies and Institutions
  • African Development Bank
  • UN Security Council
  • African private sector
  • Civil Society Organisations
  • Research Institutions and Policy Think Tanks

Academic Requirements

  • Master's degree in Law, Political Science, International Relations, Public Policy, Peace and Security Studies, Global Diplomacy, International Relations, Development Studies or closely related field from a recognized institution.
  • A PhD in Law, Political Science, Public Policy, Peace and Security Studies, Global Diplomacy, International Relations, Development Studies or closely related field from a recognized institution is an added advantage.

Relevant Experience:

  • Have not less than eighteen (18) years of relevant professional experience with at least ten (10) years served in a senior leadership role preferably in an intergovernmental organisation or national government/public service, international or regional institution.


  • Proficiency in one of the AU working languages. Fluency in another AU working language is an added advantage.

Required Skills:

  • Demonstrated leadership experience with strategic vision and proven skills in managing complex organizations at the national, regional or international level;
  • Demonstrated record of setting clear standards for accountability, probity, value for money and risk management and zero tolerance to fraud and corruption; for ensuring sound and transparent financial management; and delivering continuous improvement, impact, efficiency and effectiveness;
  • 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 for a prosperous and peaceful Africa;
  • Proven track record of change management and accomplishments at the regional, national or international level with strong resource mobilization, political and diplomatic skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to work harmoniously in a multi-cultural team and establish harmonious and effective working relationships both within and outside the organization;
  • Proven ability to inspire, encourage, build trust and confidence and build consensus, stimulate effective campaigns and drive collective action among a broad spectrum of people and organizations.

Leadership Competencies:

  • Strategic Focus: - Determines and outlines the portfolio’s strategic priorities and connects the portfolio’s purpose to that of the broader organization vision and values. Inspires others and the organisation to achieve beyond expectations. Proactively identifies and prioritizes the key issues involved to facilitate executive decision-making and makes well-informed, effective, and timely decisions, even when data is limited, or solutions produce unpleasant consequences; perceives the impact and implications of decisions.
  • Developing Organizational Capability: - Promotes and catalyzes organizational learning and development to ensure that the portfolio is well-positioned to meet future leadership needs and mentors others to enhance their development.
  • Change Leadership: - Acts as a catalyst for organizational change. Influences others to translate vision into action and identifies change opportunities and champion organizational change initiatives – consistently looks for ways to improve the portfolio or organization. Understands multiple cultural frameworks, values, and norms.
  • Demonstrates an ability to adapt style when faced with myriad dimensions of culture in order to be effective across cultural contexts. Able to resolve conflicts arising to competing objectives, limited resources, or differing perspectives and seeks amicable solutions.
  • Strategic Risk Management: - Manage the organization’s and portfolio’s reputation by making risk-intelligent decisions and using sound judgement in highly complex situations based on an assessment of the risks and
  • benefits, impacts.

Core Competencies:

  • Building Partnerships: - Develops networks and builds alliances; collaborates across boundaries to build strategic relationships and achieve common goals to foster organizational goals through proactive engagement
  • with key stakeholders. Perceives organizational and political reality and acts accordingly.
  • Drives Accountability Culture: - Determines objectives, sets priorities and develops longer-term goals and proactively influences how resources, services, etc. are re-organized to achieve goals and offering recommendations on issues of accountability for improvement. Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results.
  • Learning Agility and Resilience: - Engages in systematic and development activities aligned with the strategic needs of the organisation. Promotes ongoing learning and development across the organization, develops personal and professional goals and makes insightful career planning decisions to achieve (or alter) these goals. Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks.
  • Communicating with impact: - Projects authority, credibility and influences external executive decision-makers to achieve substantive goals. Uses personal rather than positional power to influence and motivate others to achieve results and presents the key points of an argument persuasively. Negotiates and facilitates through cultural differences, conflicts, tensions, or misunderstandings.

Functional Competencies

  • Conceptual Thinking: - Creates new concepts that are not obvious to others to think through issues and/or resolve problems.
  • Job Knowledge Sharing: - Fosters and enables knowledge and information-rich culture through engaging with thought leaders within and outside the organization.
  • Drive for Results: - Drives high-performance standards from goal creation to continuous improvement. Commits significant resources and/or time (in the face of uncertainty) to improve performance, reach a challenging goal and implements innovative solutions.
  • Fosters Innovation: - Develops new insights into situations; questions conventional approaches; encourages new ideas and innovations; designs and implements new or cutting-edge programs/processes for the overall performance of the organization and the portfolio.

Application Closing Date
17hrs (5 pm) Addis Ababa Time, 4th September, 2020.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click Here to Start Application

Click Here for More Information (PDF)

Click Here to Get Senior Leadership Position Curriculum Vitae (CV) Template

To submit your application:

  • Create an account via the link above (Click here to see instructional video)
  • Fill out your personal information and the application form


  • The requirements and responsibilities contained in this job description do not create a contract of employment and are not meant to be all-inclusive. It may be changed by the role manager during employment on an as-needed basis.
  • The regional nominations shall be received by the Commission (Office of the Legal Counsel) hand-delivered in sealed envelopes on or before 17hrs (5 pm) Addis Ababa Time of 4th September 2020
  • The requirements and responsibilities contained in this job description do not create a contract of employment and are not meant to be all-inclusive. It may be changed by the role manager during employment on an as-needed basis.
  • Please use this link to get Senior Leadership Position Curriculum Vitae (CV) Template:


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