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African Union Commission (AUC)

African Union Commission (AUC)


Position: Principal Scientist for Biochemistry (AfCDC)
Job Time: Full-Time
Job Type: Contract
Place of Work: Addis Ababa, Addis Abeba - Ethiopia
Salary: Annual lump sum of $110,951.49 inclusive of all allowances
Posted date: 7 months ago
Deadline: Submition date is over

Purpose of Job

The Principal Scientist for Biochemistry will lead and coordinate the biochemistry activities of the Africa CDC Reference Laboratories Division. She/He will be responsible for overseeing the development, implementation and evaluation of biochemistry methods and standards for the diagnosis, surveillance and research of infectious diseases and public health emergencies in Africa. The Principal Scientist for Biochemistry will also provide technical guidance and support to the network of Africa CDC Regional Collaborating Centers and National Public Health Institutes on biochemistry-related issues.

Main Functions

  • Take technical and intellectual lead in the management of various elements related to the area of expertise
  • Provide support in the development of the strategies and business continuity plan and participate in/ensure their implementation
  • Foster and ensure implementation of initiatives related to area of specialization;
  • Provide support in the organization of thematic networks, consultations and meetings on development cooperation and international relations.
  • Develop materials and provide necessary training and support to Organization Units as required.
  • Provide technical guidance on matters relating to system review and implementation projects in areas of specialization, as required. 

Specific Responsibilities

  • Leads Africa CDC/AU continental effort to strengthen laboratory systems and networks.
  • Led development and implementation of initiatives to improve laboratory infrastructure and introduction of better technologies to enhance laboratory capabilities across the continent.
  • Oversees and coordinates efforts to assist countries in developing national laboratory strategic plans and policies that also address dangerous pathogens.
  • Develops, implements and evaluates programme and projects and provides consultation and expert scientific advice in support of laboratory research and development activities in agency programmes to improve laboratory capacity in responding to diseases of public health importance.
  • Leads efforts to improve systems (quality, standards, and biosafety), and networks with linkage to disease surveillance and clinical care (public and private sector).
  • Promotes and guides the implementation of a comprehensive laboratory quality management system including accreditation of laboratories.
  • Promotes and guides research and other laboratory investigations on new or improved tools and technologies for the definition, diagnosis, prevention, research, and control.
  • Develop the capacity of RISLNET to implement modern advanced molecular technologies, pathogen genomics surveillance networks and multiplex detection assays and other complex diagnostic procedures and tools.
  • Develops and manages strain banks as repositories for diagnostic and vaccine development for emerging and re-emerging pathogens.
  • Promotes and supports innovative laboratory practice to enhance patient care and treatment and strengthen disease surveillance at national and community levels.
  • Oversees, mentors and guides the development of peer review research publications in laboratory science. Directly prepares manuscripts for peer-review publication in scientific journals.

Academic Requirements and Relevant Experience

  • A Masters Degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Biotechnology or a related field from a recognized institution. A PhD in the above fields will be an advantage.
  • At least ten (10) years of relevant work experience in biochemistry, preferably in the field of infectious diseases and public health, including six (6) years at the expert level. 
  • Experience in biochemistry research and/or laboratory testing.
  • Demonstrated expertise and experience in developing, validating and applying biochemistry techniques such as PCR, ELISA, mass spectrometry, sequencing, etc. for the detection and characterization of pathogens and biomarkers
  • Proven track record of leading and managing biochemistry projects and teams in a laboratory setting
  • Willingness to travel within Africa and internationally as required 
  • Experience with molecular biology techniques.
  • Experience with mass spectrometry.
  • Experience with data analysis and interpretation.
  • Experience in writing and publishing scientific papers.
  • Experience in working with international organizations.

Required Skills

  • Excellent communication, presentation and writing skills in English and French
  • Strong leadership, interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively with diverse stakeholders
  • Strong leadership and management skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.

Leadership Competencies

  • Strategic Insight
  • Change Management
  • Managing Risk

Core Competencies

  • Building Relationship
  • Accountable and compliant with Rules
  • Learning Orientation
  • Communicating with Influence

Functional Competencies

  • Conceptual thinking
  • Job Knowledge and information sharing
  • Drive for Result
  • Continuous improvement orientation


The Appointment will be made on a fixed-term contract for a period of one (1) year, of which the first three (3) months will be considered as a probationary period. Thereafter, the contract may be renewed for a similar period subject to funding availability, satisfactory performance and agreed deliverables. 


The AU Commission is an equal opportunity employer and qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.


The salary attached to the position is an annual lump sum of US$ 110,951.49 (P4 Step 5) inclusive of all allowances for internationally recruited staff, and US$ 92,867.97 inclusive of all allowances for locally recruited staff of the African Union Commission.

Applications must be submitted no later than November 23, 2023 11h59 p.m. EAT.

  • Only candidates who meet all job requirements and are selected for interviews will be contacted.
  • Consideration will be given only to those candidates who have submitted a fully completed online application with a curriculum vitae (CV), an African passport, and the required academic qualifications, such as Diplomas, Bachelor's degrees, Master's degrees and any relevant certificate in line with the area of expertise.
  • The African Union is an equal opportunity employer, and female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Candidates from less-represented countries within the African Union are strongly encouraged to apply for positions that fit their profiles. These countries include Algeria, Angola, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Sahrawi D.R., Sao Tome and Principe., Seychelles, Somalia and Tunisia.