Principal Technical Officer for Pathogen Genomics (1 Role)

Addis Ababa
Posted 2 weeks ago

Job Features

Closing Date12th of August
LocationHQ (Addis Ababa)

Job Description

About Saving Lives and Livelihoods Programme

The African Union, established as a unique Pan African continental body, is charged with spearheading Africa’s rapid integration and sustainable development by promoting unity, solidarity, cohesion and cooperation among the peoples of Africa and African States as well as developing a new partnership worldwide. Its Headquarters is located in Addis Ababa, capital city of Ethiopia.

The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) was officially launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on January 31, 2017. The Africa CDC is Africa’s first continent-wide public health agency and envisions a safer, healthier, integrated and stronger Africa, where Member States are capable of effectively responding to outbreaks of infectious diseases and other public health threats. The agency mission is to strengthen Africa’s public health institutions’ capabilities to detect and respond quickly and effectively to disease outbreaks and other health burdens through an integrated network of continent-wide preparedness and response, surveillance, laboratory, and research programmes.

Africa CDC has been at the forefront of the continent’s fight against the pandemic. The agency has set a goal to vaccinate 60 percent the continent’s population before the end of 2024. To achieve this ambitious and critical goal, the Africa CDC and the Mastercard Foundation are launching “Saving Lives and Livelihoods,” “partnership for COVID-19 Vaccination in Africa.” The planned Saving Lives and Livelihoods partnership is a unique initiative due to its scope and scale, the critical topics it focuses on, as well as the way it will be governed.

The Role

The Principal Technical Officer for Pathogen Genomics is responsible for providing technical expertise and guidance to implement genomic sequencing for a timely response to outbreaks/ epidemics. She/he will also be responsible to improve surveillance for pathogens of public health significance including COVID-19. She/he is also expected to contribute towards Africa CDC’s vision of strengthening Pathogen Genomics capabilities across the continent through the Institute of Pathogen Genomics (IPG).

Major duties and responsibilities

The Principal Technical Officer for Pathogen Genomics shall:

  • Coordinate regional and national genome sequencing studies to identify new variants and understand their impact on vaccine administration
  • Provide technical assistance to National Public Health Institutes (NPHIs) and other relevant institutions for strengthening the use of pathogen genomics for routine infectious disease surveillance including COVID-19
  • Support NPHIs on sampling methods, data collection, analyses, interpretation and reporting
  • Support the development and adoption of roadmap for pathogen genomics integration in COVID-19 response in particular and public health surveillance in general
  • Supports the creation and running of pathogen genomics of technical working groups
  • Coordinate the development and implementation of minimum quality standards for genomics laboratories
  • Manage and administer relevant data sets to be used for genetic research
  • Keep up to date on new developments in genome sequencing to stay up-to-date on discoveries and developments and develop an action plan on vaccine administration based on new
  • Ensure that all gene research related challenges and risks are identified and mitigation measures established and implemented
  • Maintain a dashboard for monitoring technical assistance and overall implementation of pathogen genomics by countries especially for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout program
  • Represent Africa CDC in a professional manner, which creates a positive image and enhances the credibility of the organization
  • Perform any other duties as requested by the Technical Assistance Lead

Qualifications and skills required

• Master’s degree in molecular epidemiology, genomics, genetics, bioinformatics, or other related science-based discipline. Candidates must have at least 10 years’ experience with 3 years at a supervisory level.


• Bachelor’s degree in molecular epidemiology, genomics, genetics, bioinformatics, or other related science-based discipline.

Candidates must have at least 12 years’ experience with 3 years at a supervisory level.

Required skills and competencies:

a. Functional skills

• Experience in public health, molecular epidemiology, infectious diseases and health Science including diseases surveillance, or emergency preparedness and response
• Demonstrated scientific knowledge and understanding of pathogen genomics and genomics sequencing
• A good understanding of public health systems in Africa and a fair knowledge of operations of National Public Health Institutions (NPHIs) and Ministry of Health in Member States
• Skills in translating highly technical information into presentations, briefings and report and funding proposals for both technical and lay audiences
• Excellent computer skills, including word-processing capabilities, proficiency with e- mail and internet applications, experience in using office software applications such as MS Excel, Power Point and Word

b. Personal abilities

• Leadership and management abilities. Pro-active and solutions oriented.
• Analytical and problem-solving abilities
• Ability to build strong relationships internally and with external actors.
• High level of autonomy at work, yet with profound team spirit.
• Ability to work under pressure, with minimal supervision, and in a culturally diverse team
• Adaptive, patient, resourceful, resilient and flexible.

Language requirement

Applicants must be proficient in at least one of the African Union working languages (English, French, Arabic, Spanish or Portuguese). Knowledge of two or more of African Union working languages would be an added advantage.

Apply Online


To apply for this post, click on the “Apply” button on the job advert page, complete our online application form, and submit your CV and cover letter in two different documents, which should be prepared before applying as they will be considered in the application process. The cover letter should be no more than two pages long and explain why you are interested in this post and how your skills and experience make you a good fit. The document should be saved in MS Word in the following format: Your First Name-Your Last Name-Document Name-Date (mmyy) e.g., Pat-Jones-CV-062022-AFENET or Pat-Jones-CoverLetter-062022-AFENET

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Apply Online

Job Features

Closing Date12th of August
LocationHQ (Addis Ababa)

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