Chief Economist (Director, Research & Knowledge Management)

Job Description

Job Description

The role is expected to help the Bank to achieve its mission “stimulating  a consistent expansion and diversification of African trade so as to rapidly increase Africa’s share of global trade, while operating as a first class, profit oriented, socially responsible financial institution and a centre of excellence in African trade matters” by leading the various theoretical and applied economic research and leading the preparation of reports and publications as may be required by senior management. 

The role of the position holder will be to participate in the Bank’s research and economic analysis activities especially in trade development and financial economics. The role will also include conduct of sector and country studies as well as the preparation of the Bank’s various reports for Senior Management, the Board and shareholders. 

The position holder will also be responsible for developing working relationships with other UN, multilateral, and bilateral organizations – including specialized agencies, the UN’s Economic Commissions, the African Union and its Commissions, International Financial Institutions – and engage with academia and relevant bodies in member states in the pursuit of turning the Bank into a centre of excellence for trade related research and information generation.


  • Strategic policy advice: Leading the consolidation and contribution to the enhancement of research methodology in the preparation of required studies in the areas of world trade, trade finance and economic issues important to Africa as well as their policy and business implications;
  • Intellectual leadership on applied research and policy development: leading the monitoring and collation of key economic data covering the globe, major trading regions and Africa into suitably organized information to inform and guide the Bank’s policies and operations;
  • Cutting Edge Research: Leading the conduct of cutting research in economics, ranging from theoretical methodological issues to applied economics touching on trade development and financial issues covering sectors such as commodities, agriculture, manufacturing and services;
  • Internal Research Reports: Leading the production of regular reports which monitor developments in global trade and trade finance as well as the Bank’s key markets and products, risk based sector and country reports and providing timely analyses on their likely impact on the African economy and the Bank’s operations;
  • New Products and Facilities Development: In conjunction with the Strategy and Origination departments, pro-actively design and develop new products and schemes aimed at enhancing the Bank’s strategic and business activities to ensure the achievement of its mandate of facilitating and developing intra and extra African trade;
  • Collaborating with key external partners: collaborating, as appropriate with relevant UN system organizations, International Financial Institutions, the African Union and its agencies and other multilateral and bilateral organizations, academia and the private sector to advance the trade development agenda;
  • Shaping African trade development policy: strengthening the capacity of the network of economists, bankers and other trade experts from various African multilaterals, banks, trade agencies, academia and other stakeholders, through organizing strategic conferences, symposia, and workshops to draw on external expertise, advocate on key trade development issues, and contribute to African and global trade policy debates;
  • Knowledge Management & Publications: Developing and disseminating the Bank’s trade related publications, research papers, and journals(including the African Trade Journal), coordination of the management of the Bank’s library as a knowledge repository as well as spearheading the development and management of  a modern and functional records management system for the Bank, in liaison with other relevant departments; and
  • Any other duties as may be assigned by Senior Management.






  • PhD degree or equivalent in Economics or other related fields from a recognized University;
  • Sound experience of at least 12 years as a Research Economist, preferably in the financial services industry and experience in trade and development economics. Evidence of publications in scholarly journals will be required;
  • Demonstrated experience in preparing and presenting research papers for use by the financial services industry and an expert understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods, especially econometrics and operations research;
  • Demonstrated experience in development impact analysis;
  • Ability to communicate and function in a culturally diverse and change oriented setting with good knowledge of research practices in Africa;
  • Ability to interact with senior officials of international agencies, multilaterals, banks, corporates and governments and to present well researched information trade related issues to the Bank’s Senior  Management and the Board of Directors;  
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English. Knowledge of  the Bank’s other working languages (French, Arabic and Portuguese) is an added advantage;
  • Knowledge of broad analytical techniques, such as statistics, econometrics,  as well as mathematical and operations research tools. In particular, the ability to analyse and draw reasonable inferences from the analyses of financial and economic data;
  •  Knowledge of computer software necessary for analysing large volumes of statistical data (e.g. SPSS, STATA, MICROFIT, PcGive etc.); and
  • Demonstrated leadership capabilities, including ability to organize and manage human resources to attain goals.


Please note, interviews for this position will take place at our Careers in Africa Recruitment Summit in Paris, 11 – 13 April 2014. Relevant candidates will be contacted and invited to attend the event.