Executive Secretary

The African Capacity Building Foundation
Harare, Zimbabwe
Full time Staff

About The African Capacity Building Foundation

The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) is the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development.

The mission of the ACBF is to make ‘Africa capable of achieving its own development,’ by building sustainable human and institutional capacity for poverty reduction in Africa. The Foundation provides support for projects and programs across Africa to carry out capacity development interventions that are necessary for continental and national economic transformation. ACBF develops and coordinates processes that lead to building capacity in countries, and supports activities and institutions to deliver such capacity. Founded in February 1991, ACBF has amassed experience that makes it the go-to institution for expert knowledge and human resources to facilitate the timely implementation of Africa’s continental and national development agendas. As the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development following 30 years of solid work, the Foundation is well placed to advise and support African countries, regional economic communities and institutions on decisive steps to take to develop the practical capacities urgently required for the continent’s economic transformation.


The African Capacity Building Foundation, (ACBF), has a three–tier governance structure that is consistent with good corporate governance principles. Management and Board oversight responsibilities are adequately segregated to allow for effective controls and checks and balances. The Board of Governors are the shareholders of the Foundation, and they primarily focus on defining the continental priorities and securing the long term sustainability of the Foundation. Appointed by the Board of Governors, the Executive Board is charged with oversight responsibility of the activities of the Foundation. The Executive Board sets the Guidelines and Rules and Procedures under which the Foundation operates and approves the projects and budgets for all programming interventions. Technical programming decisions are made by Management with the overall oversight and guidance from the Executive Board. The Secretariat administers the Foundation, in accordance with the policies and guidelines set out by the Boards. Headed by an Executive Secretary, the Secretariat is responsible for conducting the business of ACBF; the development, execution and monitoring of the Foundation’s programs, plans and budgets; the development and management of the portfolio of projects, knowledge and programs and enhancing its visibility. The Secretariat also establishes and maintains strong links and working relationships with African stakeholders (Governments, regional organizations, civil society, the private sector, universities, and policy research institutes etc.) and the international community.

The Role

In the ACBF governance structure, the Executive Secretary reports to the Executive Board. He/She is responsible for leading the management team of the Secretariat in running the business of ACBF and provides strategic leadership in the development and implementation of the Foundation’s projects and programs, maintaining strategic relationships and ensuring the sustainability of the Foundation.


Leadership and Governance

• Represents the Foundation externally and ensuring that the presence and identity of ACBF is built globally.

• Provides direction and conducts the business of the Foundation; ensuring that that its policies and programs are developed and implemented effectively
and efficiently.

• Establishes and maintains strong relationships and working relationships with African governments, civil society institutions and the international development community.

• Engages partners and stakeholders to foster increased commitment and collaboration for advancing the continents development agenda.

• Supports the effective functioning of the three-tier governance structure of the Foundation and oversee implementation of all resolutions, directives and other governance related policy created by the governing boards.

• Appoints staff to carry out the purposes of the ACBFin accordance with the policies and regulations as approved by the Executive Board.

Resource Mobilization

• Ensure a diversified funding portfolio that preserves income from confirmed donors and reaches out to new donor segments, with the aim of ensuring the
Foundation’s financial viability.

• Formulate global fundraising objectives and identifies funding sources for different donor segments (i.e national government donors, new government donors, development actors, private sector actors, new financial models.

• Ensure a high strategic impact, and a sustainable income generation to ensure the Foundation continue to deliver its operational response.

• Oversee investment of the Foundation’s funds while growing the endowment, and to managing, strengthening and maintaining strategic partnerships

• Leads Resource mobilization activities to ensure the sustainability of the Foundation and developing the requisite partnerships for delivery of the Foundation’s programs.


• Develops and provide guidance on the implementation of the Foundation’s strategy within an agreed framework of a Strategic Medium-Term Plan approved by the Board of Governors.

• Responsible for Strategic allocation and effective implementation of grants to programs and development of innovative programs with requisite oversight of a learning program that builds on successful innovations.

• Establish an Africa Institute to develop the knowledge and learning services of the Foundation, as well as ensuring a transformation into a full knowledge-based institution.

• Maintains a world class risk management and control environment that functions within an established risk management architecture.

Candidate Profile

• Advanced degree (doctorate or masters) in areas related to international development.

• A deep understanding of African development issues, landscape, organizations and member states as well ability to deal with a cross section of the development stakeholders, including non-state actors.

• Development of networks and thorough familiarity with the structure and operations of the international development landscape as well as capacity development in Africa.

• Demonstrated capability to raise funds and to strategically influence various partners towards funding the Foundation operations.

• Proven track record in resource mobilization skills to widen the Foundation’s revenue sources and growth.

• Strong professional background and experience in international development and donor relations.

• Strong record in team leadership and demonstrable operational experience in leading a high-performing and multi-sectoral human capacity building  senior management team.

• Innovative and creative problem solver who will take initiative and identify new and strategic opportunities for the organization.

• Demonstrated diplomatic skills and ability to deal with clients and partners at all levels with high ethical standards and impeccable integrity.

• Strong interpersonal skills, sensitivity to working in a multi-cultural context.

• Strengthened responsiveness of ACBF to the needs and priorities of the Africa Region.

• Excellent knowledge of written and spoken English and French languages. Knowledge of other languages would be a distinct advantage.


Interested in this role? Please notice that all applications are through OxfordHR website.


Closing date: 
30th November 2021