The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS; www.ecowas.int), along with other Regional Economic Communities (RECs) has been implementing since May 2011 the African Peace and Security Architecture Support Programme (APSA), supported by the African Union Commission and the European Union within the framework of Africa Peace Facility (APF).
The main purpose of APSA is to promote peace and security in Africa, specifically through conflict prevention, management, resolution and peace building as as well as capacity development
APF is sponsored by the 10th European Development Fund. Under APSA, the ECOWAS Commission is benefitting from two projects, namely the APSA Support Programme (APSA-SP) up to December 2014 and the EU Support to African Training Institutions/Training Centers of Excellence (TI-TCE). Officially the two projects are expected to run respectively till 31 December 2014 and 31 January 2013.
In order to fast-track the implementation of APSA, the ECOWAS Commission is seeking the services of qualified professionals.
The Finance Specialist is responsible for ensuring that all funds under the project are properly controlled and managed and that regular and timely financial reports are produced and audits scheduled to the satisfaction of ECOWAS and its donors and Implementing Partners. He or she will work closely with Finance Officers and Accountants of ECOWAS Directorate of Finance, the recipient institutions and stakeholders and liaise with other relevant stakeholders involved in the implementation of the project. He reports to EPF Manager and the Director of Finance in the formats needed to satisfy donors and respond to the financial information and analytical needs of Implementing Partners. He will be located at the Finance Directorate.
Duties and Responsibilities
He or she will have the following specific responsibilities:
- Ensure, in collaboration with the Directorate of Finance of the Commission the maintenance of accounting records and financial transactions, reconciliation of accounts and preparation of reports for funds under APSA;
- Ensure full cooperation and coordination with relevant stakeholders in the area of financial management, accounting and audit;
- Prepare and follow up requests for disbursement of grant funds;
- Provide regular financial reports on budgeted amounts and amounts spent by financial account code and cost centre and indicate variances over time.
- Keep track of donor financial reporting needs by preparing a schedule of events;
- Ensure that all financial data are regularly backed up to avoid data loss;
- Undertake financial and cost-benefit analysis for projects;
- Undertake and complete tasks relating to disbursement requests according to the regulations/procedures of the Donors.;
- Undertake field visits and communicate with people;
- Provide other financial reports as may be required by the Peace Fund Manager, the Director of Finance and donors;
- Perform any other relevant tasks that may be assigned by the EPF Manager and the Director of Finance;
- Minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Financial Management, Accounting or equivalent;
- At least 5 years of relevant experience with credible organizations;
- A solid knowledge of accounting systems, financial software, budgeting and strategic financial planning is required;
- Excellent skills (written and spoken) in one of ECOWAS official languages (English, French, Portuguese). A working knowledge in one of the two others would be an advantage;
- Computer proficiency (MS Office-Word-Excel-Access-PowerPoint; Financial Software);
- Excellent financial management skills and good inter-personal skills;
- Knowledge of donors’ procedures is a plus;
The Finance Officer must be a citizen of an ECOWAS Member State, immediately available, in sound health, with the ability to work under pressure in a cross-cultural & complex environment, diplomatic framework, to travel and undertake short term trips to various localities in West Africa.;
- Professionalism/integrity/honesty: Knowledge of policies related to conflict, post-conflict operations, peace-building. Ability to identify issues, analyze and participate in the resolution of issues/problems; Ability to apply judgment in the context of assignments given, plan own work and manage conflicting priorities; 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; remain calm in stressful situations. Planning and organising: Proven ability to work under pressure and to use limited resources effectively,
- Teamwork: Ability to operate effectively across organisational and country boundaries; Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic work environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity; Proven ability to collaborate with colleagues to achieve organisational goals;
- Communication: Excellent communication skills (written and spoken in French, English or Portuguese, including ability to draft/edit a variety
- Candidates should not be 50 years old or over at the point of recruitment and must be a citizen of one of the ECOWAS member states.
Must be fluent in one of the official languages of the Commission; English, French and Portuguese. A working knowledge of another would be an advantage.