10 Feb 2024 Senior Economist at Food and Agriculture Organization

Job Description

FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. FAO’s goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. The Regional Office for Africa (RAF) oversees 47 sub-Saharan countries guided by Regional Programme Priority Area Initiatives that serve as a mechanism to ensure effective delivery and to demonstrate impact of FAO’s work on agrifood systems transformation in the key priorities of the region. In its programme delivery, RAF contributes to the achievements of the FAO Strategic Framework 2022-31, which seeks to support the 2030 Agenda through the transformation to MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable, agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind. The four betters represent an organizing principle for how FAO intends to contribute directly to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 1 (No poverty), SDG 2 (Zero hunger), and SDG 10 (Reduced inequalities) as well as to supporting achievement of the broader SDG agenda, which is crucial for attaining FAO’s overall vision. The four betters reflect the interconnected economic, social and environmental dimensions of agrifood systems. As such, they also encourage a strategic and systems-oriented approach within all FAO’s interventions.

RAF is responsible for leading FAO’s response to regional priorities for food security, agriculture and rural development through the identification, planning and implementation of FAO’s priority activities in the region. It ensures a multidisciplinary approach to programmes, identifies priority areas of action for the Organization in the region and, in collaboration with Offices and Divisions at headquarters, develops, promotes and oversees FAO’s strategic response to regional priorities. RAF also advises on the incorporation of regional priorities into the Organization’s Programme of Work and Budget and implements approved programmes and projects in the region, monitors the level of programme implementation and draws attention to problems and deficiencies. RAF develops and maintains relations with region-wide institutions including the African Union and Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REIOs).

The Regional Office supports regional policy dialogue on food security, agriculture and rural development issues, facilitates the emergence of regional partnerships, and supports capacity development and resource mobilization for food security, agriculture and rural development in the region.

The post of Senior Economist is located in the Programme Unit of the Regional Office for Africa (RAF) in Accra, Ghana, under the technical leadership of the Regional Programme Leader.

Reporting Lines

The Senior Economist reports to the Regional Programme Leader (RPL), of the FAO Regional Office for Africa and maintains regular contact with FAO headquarters in Rome for functional guidance.

Technical Focus

The Senior Economist will support the development and implementation of coherent, integrated and effective analytical work, policy support and governance work at regional, subregional and national levels at RAF. He/she will lead specific activities in the Program Area of Work on trade and market opportunities for inclusive growth, focusing on agricultural commodity markets, international and regional trade. The Senior Economist will also contribute to RAF’s activities on strategic thinking and programmatic matters relating to transformation of agrifood systems, strengthening partnerships and knowledge networks within and outside the Organization as well as support country-level actions guided by the Country Programming Frameworks (CPFs).

Key Results

Leadership and conceptual thinking for the development and implementation of comprehensive technical, statistical and/or analytical frameworks to support the programme of work and related products, projects and services in accordance with the FAO Strategic Framework.

Key Functions

  • Manages or leads highly specialized or multi-disciplinary teams, and provides technical leadership in high-level policy analysis missions or projects, policy networks and/or international policy setting bodies.
  • Leads the work carried out by technical or policy officers in the Regional Office in collaboration with colleagues from Subregional offices and headquarters in relation to policy and governance work under FAO’s Strategic Framework.
  • Advocates strategic partnerships, best practices and policy dialogue in support of enhanced policies and governance for food security and nutrition , sustainable agriculture and food systems.
  • Interacts with UN Regional and Country Teams to improve cross-sectoral policies and strategies concerning agriculture, food security, nutrition and sustainable development.
  • Engages with development partners, including international financial institutions, to advocate and strengthen the linkages between knowledge and policy work with investments in food security and nutrition , sustainable agriculture and food systems.
  • Analyses regional and country-level issues to provide input into the identification of country and regional priorities and requirements.
  • Designs, implements and monitors regional and subregional policy work programmes and the supporting budgets and/or resourcing strategies.
  • Plans, organizes and participates in capacity development activities involving the provision of technical advice and assistance, and oversees the development of related materials, on-line tools and information kits.
  • Represents the Organization at international/inter-governmental meetings and conferences.

Specific Functions

  • Leads and contributes to the preparation of studies, reports, briefs, statements and other knowledge products on agricultural trade, commodity markets, transformation of agrifood systems and related policy matters.
  • Contributes to assessment of the impact of crises on food security to inform decision-making.
  • Contributes to strategic thinking, planning and programmatic matters related to trade, investments and market opportunities for inclusive growth.
  • Coordinates FAO’s work in the Africa region with headquarters teams and units working on agricultural commodity markets and international and regional trade.
  • Provides advice to Members and technical support to FAO Subregional and Country Offices in the region, in the development and implementation of programmes in agricultural trade and investment.
  • Promotes and coordinates collaborative activities and workflows with other Programme Areas of Work in RAF, and maintains close work relations with headquarters Divisions, units and other Decentralized Offices.
  • Develops, coordinates and implements partnerships with external partners to reinforce the work programme and deliverables of FAO in the Africa region.
  • Identifies emerging areas of work for FAO in the Africa region and develops or oversees the development of concept notes, proposals and work plans.


Minimum Requirements

  • Advanced university degree in economics, agricultural economics or a related field.
  • Ten years of relevant experience in quantitative economic analysis of agricultural markets, trade and policies.
  • Working knowledge (proficient – level C) of English and limited knowledge (intermediate – level B) of another FAO official language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian or Spanish).


  • Results Focus
  • Leading, Engaging and Empowering Others
  • Communication
  • Partnering and Advocating
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement
  • Strategic Thinking

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Work experience in more than one location or area of work, particularly in field positions.
  • Understanding of complex strategy and policy processes.
  • Extent and relevance of experience and knowledge in the analysis of commodity markets and trade and related policies.
  • Extent and relevance and extent of experience in policy analysis and advise relating to food security and nutrition , sustainable agriculture and rural development.
  • Ability to undertake quantitative economic analysis of production, consumption, stocks trade and prices of agricultural commodities and to prepare analytical studies and reports.
  • Extent and relevance of knowledge and experience in working with inter-governmental bodies and multidisciplinary teams.


Closing Date : 22nd Feb, 2024

July 2024