Senior Economist, Accra, At Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Organizational Setting

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda through FAO Strategic Framework by supporting 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.

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 eIzO9Cj BIpnb
  •  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.

FAO staff are expected to adhere to FAO Values of Commitment to FAO, Respect for All and Integrity and Transparency.


  •  Extension of fixed term appointments is based on certification of performance and availability of funds
  •  FAO reserves the right not to make an appointment.
  •  Appointment will be subject to certification that the candidate is medically fit for appointment, accreditation, any residency or visa requirements, and security clearances.


A competitive compensation and benefits package is offered. For information on UN salaries, allowances and benefits, click on the following link: allowances/salary.htm Other benefits, subject to eligibility, include:

  •  Dependency allowances
  •  Rental subsidy
  •  Education grant for children
  •  Home leave travel
  •  30 working days of annual leave per year
  •  Pension fund entitlements under the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund
  •  International health insurance; optional life insurance
  •  Disability protection

FAO encourages a positive workplace culture to increase inclusivity and diversity within its workforce. FAO applies measures in which all staff members contribute equally and in full to the work and development of the Organization. This includes:

  •  elements of family-friendly policies
  •  flexible working arrangements
  •  standards of conduct.


  •  To apply, visit the recruitment website at Jobs at FAO and complete your online profile. We strongly recommend that your profile is accurate, complete and includes your employment records, academic qualifications, and language skills
  •  Candidates are requested to attach a letter of motivation to the online profile
  •  Once your profile is completed, please apply, and submit your application
  •  Please note that FAO only considers higher educational qualifications obtained from an institution accredited/recognized in the World Higher Education Database (WHED), a list updated by the International Association of Universities (IAU) / United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The list can be accessed at
  •  Candidates may be requested to provide performance assessments and authorization to conduct verification checks of past and present work, character, education, military and police records to ascertain any and all information which may be pertinent to the employment qualifications
  •  Incomplete applications will not be considered
  •  Personal information provided on your application may be shared within FAO and with other companies acting on FAO’s behalf to provide employment support services such as pre-screening of applications, assessment tests, background checks and other related services. You will be asked to provide your consent before submitting your application. You may withdraw consent at any time, by withdrawing your application, in such case FAO will no longer be able to consider your application
  •  Only applications received through the FAO recruitment portal will be considered
  •  Your application will be screened based on the information provided in your online profile
  •  We encourage applicants to submit the application well before the deadline date.

If you need help, or have queries, please contact: [email protected]



April 2024