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Director Health Systems Strengthening & Public Health Institutes (AfCDC)

African Union

  • Location
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience


Position description

The Director of Health Systems Strengthening and Public Health Institutes is responsible for leading and coordinating the efforts in strengthening health systems and public health institutes across Africa, ensuring the alignment with Africa CDC's strategic plan and regional health priorities. This role involves providing technical guidance, fostering collaboration, and enhancing capacity building in public health practice, surveillance, and emergency response.

Main Functions

  • Facilitate the translation of Africa CDC technical reference policy, guidance, plans, and tools into Regional Collaborating Centers (RCC) contexts;
  • Coordinate and facilitate the development of RCC work plans for regional surveillance capacity strengthening and workforce development;
  • Facilitate public health technical assistance between RCCs and National Public Health Institutes (NPHIs), providing scientific and policy guidance;
  • Assist Collaborating Centers in building core capacities of NPHIs in AU member states, focusing on quality improvement guidelines for public health emergencies prevention;
  • Provide technical guidance and support to RCCs, including developing implementation, monitoring, and evaluation plans;
  • Lead the technical design of proposals/programs and contribute to the development of briefing notes, strategy documents, and guidelines;
  • Foster an enabling environment for research collaborations among RCCs, promoting information sharing and knowledge dissemination;
  • Facilitate RCC linkages to Africa CDC Emergency Operations Center activities, ensuring rapid deployment of resources during outbreaks;
  • Coordinate development of RCC preparedness and response plans and assessments in collaboration with relevant units.

Specific Responsibilities

  • Facilitate strengthening of RCC disease surveillance monitoring and reporting by adapting Africa CDC surveillance policies and tools to regional contexts;
  • Lead efforts to document results and lessons from projects in white papers, journal articles, and other publications;
  • Prepare input for reports, slides, and other materials as required;
  • Represent Africa CDC at external technical events, learning forums, and conferences;
  • Advocate for health systems strengthening and capacity building in public health at various platforms;
  • Provide technical services delivery in support of Africa CDC Emergency Response activities as directed by the Africa CDC Incident Commander;
  • Perform other duties as assigned, contributing to the overall objectives of Africa CDC.

Academic Requirements and Relevant Experience

  • Advanced degree (Ph.D., MD, or equivalent) in Public Health, Medical Sciences;
  • Master’s degree in in Public Health, Epidemiology, Health Systems Management;
  • With a minimum of 15 years of experience in public health, health systems strengthening, or related field. Eight (8) of which should have been served at managerial level and five (5) years at supervisory level;
  • Proven track record in leadership roles within public health or scientific research organizations;
  • Experience in international organizations is preferred;
  • Demonstrated experience in program development, policy formulation, and emergency response management.


  • Significant experience of developing senior-level external relationships and securing the highest-level advocacy, including developing and harnessing strong networks across multiple stakeholder groups;
  • Advance understanding of stakeholder engagement;
  • Extensive experience of leading, motivating and managing teams with the ability to promote a culture of high performance, continuous improvement and innovation;
  • Experience and successful track record working in a diverse complex fast paced environments and the ability to influence positive change;
  • Strong leadership and strategic management skills;
  • Excellent communication and stakeholder engagement abilities;
  • Proficient in risk management and organizational resilience;
  • Demonstrated capability in resource mobilization and financial management;
  • Ability to work effectively in a diverse, multi-cultural environment.


  • Experience of working in international affairs in an international organization;
  • Experience of working with external partners, funders, and media;
  • An understanding of changing economic, political, and social environments affecting the Africa CDC;
  • An understanding and analysis of Africa and global political space and atmosphere;
  • High level of diplomatic and communication etiquette;
  • High level interpersonal skills.

Required Skills

Result Oriented

  • Strategic thinker, capable of working at a senior level and contributing at Board/Council level;
  • Entrepreneurial with the ability to input on strategic planning from a commercial standpoint;
  • Ability to anticipate future opportunities and problems, taking strategic and pre-emptive action;
  • Ability to set and achieve comprehensive goals for performance and growth;
  • Passion for working in the developing world and creating positive change.


  • Inspire confidence and promote shared values that underpin the ethos of the African Union and Africa CDC;
  • Inspires others, is visible, adaptive, authentic and engenders trust;
  • Visible leadership, promoting collective leadership for taking teams through significant programmes of change;
  • Passion and commitment for continuous improvement;
  • Ambitious individual who has personal drive to succeed and develop their own career, and support their teams to strive for excellence;
  • Political and diplomatic prowess.

Building and Managing Teams

  • Directs and coaches’ others throughout the organisation and enables people to perform at their best;
  • Ability to recognise and cultivate rising talent;
  • Creates a positive team environment;
  • Creates cohesion, developing synergies and achieves through common goals.

Communication and Interpersonal Skills

  • High emotional and social intelligence;
  • Collaborative, supportive, calm under pressure, solution focused and able to lead others effectively in such a way that encourages maximum performance and engagement;
  • Exceptional communicator both in writing and in person to a range of audiences.

Relationship Management

  • Exceptional relationship-building and interpersonal skills with the ability to influence and negotiate with a wide range of stakeholders and partners;
  • The gravitas and credibility to influence both within and beyond the organisation.

Analytical Skills

  • Conceptual thinker, innovative and capable of complex problem solving;
  • The ability to work well under pressure and take a considered, measured position.

Results Oientated

  • Desire for success and the motivation to constantly seek improvement;
  • Ability and drive to manage organisational complexity;
  • A high level of resilience with the ability to initiate and drive decisions;
  • Tenacious, adaptable and the ability to get things done;
  • The highest levels of self-awareness, commitment, and integrity;
  • A proven commitment to fairness, inclusion, equality, diversity, and transparency.

Leadership Competencies

  • Change Management;
  • Developing Others;
  • Strategic Perspective;
  • Managing Risk.

Core Competencies

  • Building Relationship...;
  • Communicating with impact;
  • Foster Accountability Culture;
  • Learning Orientation.

Functional Competencies

  • Conceptual thinking...;
  • Drive for Result...;
  • Job Knowledge and information sharing;
  • Fosters Innovation.