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African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)

Established in 1988, the African Economic Research Consortium is a capacity building institution to inform economic policies in sub-Saharan Africa. The launch of AERC goes back to the late 1980s, when a small group of Africanists and African scholars began to recognize the disconnect between economic policy making and economic research in sub-Saharan Africa. Available research results, applied to other economies, did not always seem appropriate to the African context. And where such results were available, they were too often not put to use.


Their concern swelled into a full-fledged idea; they had a discussion about a vehicle for pooling their expertise and applying it to the development of economic policy capacity in sub-Saharan Africa. And instead of sitting around mumbling about the problem, they decided to act. Thus, the AERC was born. The idea was fairly simple– to set up a framework for supporting sound economic research on themes of importance to the management of economies in Africa and make existing expertise available through experienced economists who could serve as resource persons to the researchers supported under the framework. First, they were able to convince one donor to support the idea, then a small group of donors.


That group of donor agencies grew into the actual Consortium itself. Based in Nairobi, AERC was formally established in 1988. A postgraduate training programme soon followed the research efforts, and then a publishing and communications component. Today the Consortium reaches across sub-Saharan Africa, with research and training alumni serving in central banks, ministries of finance, economic departments of universities and policy research institutes.


AERC has three primary components: research, training and policy outreach. The organization integrates economic policy research, postgraduate training and policy outreach within a network of researchers, universities and policy makers in Africa and worldwide.

Role purpose

The Executive Director is the chief executive officer of the African Economic Research Consortium with broad responsibilities for the implementation of the Consortium’s strategic goals and the management of its resources. The Executive Director must give direction and leadership to the achievement of AERC’s mission, the development of its strategic and the attainment of its annual goals and objectives. He/she supports the Board by advising and informing it of all matters that should be brought to its attention, the Executive Director effectively manages the human and financial resources according to the approved policies and procedures of the Consortium and ensures that the Secretariat operations fully conform to the laws and regulation of the host country, Kenya, and those of the jurisdiction of incorporation of the Consortium.


The Executive Director has overall responsibility for the implementation of programmes and services provided by AERC. He/she is responsible for the effective communication of the Consortium’s programmes and results to the AERC network, donors and policymakers as well as ensuring that AERC has a high and positive organizational profile as a premier economics capacity building and research organization in Africa. The Executive Director manages the financial resources of the Consortium within approved policies and procedures and instills a value for money culture throughout the organization. He/she is responsible for strategic fundraising, including identifying current and future resource requirements, developing fundraising strategies, submitting proposals and ensuring adequate reporting is made to donors and the Board.   



Duties and Responsibilities


Direction of the Consortium’s overall operations and governance

  • Supporting the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and the Programme Committee in the effective governance of AERC, and for this purpose works closely with the chairs of the Board and the Programme Committee.
  • Providing leadership to the organization in pursuing its mission, developing five-year strategic plans, and in establishing strategic objectives for its programmes and services.
  • Monitoring the progress of the Consortium with respect to relevant performance indicators and develops and oversees the implementation of evaluation plans, as agreed with the Board and the Programme Committee.
  • Overall responsibility for the management of the Secretariat, ensuring that the Consortium meets all its legal requirements in connection with its operations.
  • Ensuring that the approved activities in the annual Programme of Work and Budget are implemented.
  • Developing long and medium-term funding strategies for AERC in consultation with the Board and assumes overall responsibility for raising funds to carry out the programmes and services of AERC, and for reporting back to Donors and to the Board on the disbursement of those funds on a timely basis.
  • Maintaining effective liaison with members of the AERC network.
  • Overall responsibility for communication of AERC’s activities and results to its constituencies and to donors, policy makers and other groups as needed to achieve its strategic objectives and actively promotes networking and exchange of information as an integral part of AERC’s mandate.
  • Developing strategic partnership with other organizations, including universities and national research and “think tank” institutions in Africa that support the mission and strategic objectives of the Consortium.


Programmes management

  • Coordinating the preparation of the Programmes of Work for each financial year and presents it to the Board for its approval.
  • Ensuring preparation of reports of AERC activities each year for review by the board and subsequent wide distribution.
  • Overall responsibility for approving grants and award in accordance with approved limits and procedures.
  • Ensuring that grants are administered in accordance with approved procedures.
  • Initiating studies and consultancies as necessary, and ensures proper administration of all consultancies, whether initiated by the Board, the Programme Committee or the Secretariat.
  • Recommending to the Board candidates for appointments to the Programme Committee.
  • Attending all meetings and facilitates the business of the Programme Committee.


Financial management and administration

  • Overseeing the preparation of the annual Programme of Work and Budget for presentation to the Board for approval.
  • Ensuring the close monitoring of the Consortium’s revenue and expenditures takes place throughout the   fiscal year and is responsible to the Board for any adjustments that are made to the approved Programme of Work and Budget.
  • Principal authorizing officer for disbursement of AERC funds in accordance with Board approved procedures.
  • Ensuring that the specified financial controls    are adhered to and that “value for money” principles are embodied in the policies and procedures of the Consortium and are followed by staff.
  • Ensuring that accurate, timely and well‐supported financial reports are produced and distributed in accordance with existing financial and administrative policies and procedures.
  • Ensuring that the Consortium’s accounts are properly audited, as stipulated by the AERC By‐laws and financial procedures.
  • Ensuring that the Consortium files appropriate tax returns annually or as required.


Secondary responsibilities

  • Undertakes any other duties relevant to the mission of AERC and in support of the Board as directed by the Chair of the Board.



Education, Qualifications & Experience

  • PhD in Economics and a track record in economics research and/or experience in managing economic research and/or teaching economics at the undergraduate level.
  • In-depth knowledge of the main economic, social and political policy issues facing African countries.
  • At least ten years relevant experience, which will include at least five years’ experience working in Sub‐Saharan Africa and five years as senior manager.
  • Experience in working with international organizations.
  • Experience in interacting with senior decision-makers in the public and private sectors.



Key Skills and Competencies

  • Demonstrated leadership and management skills
  • Good interpersonal and negotiating skills
  • Able to give AERC a high profile internationally
  • Capability and willingness to raise funds
  • Excellent ability to make effective presentations
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Ability and willingness to travel widely in Africa and internationally
  • Excellent written and spoken English. Ability to work in French a definite asset



Main Internal Contacts

  • Heads of Divisions
  • Programmatic Managers
  • Manager, Finance
  • Manager Human Resources & Administration



Main External Contacts

  • Board of Directors Chair
  • Executive Committee
  • Board members
  • Programme Committee
  • Donors
  • Senior members of AERC Network
  • Senior Government Officials
  • Senior representatives of international bodies (IMF, World Bank, AfDB, ECA, ACFB, African Union, etc)
  • African Universities and Research Institutes



How to Apply

If you wish to be considered for this position, please complete the Application Form below. In addition, we encourage you to please attach a copy of the most recent English version of your CV.


All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.


If you have an initial query rather than an application, kindly email us at AERC-ED@sri-executive.com.


SRI Executive is exclusively retained by AERC to undertake this assignment.

Application form

Personal Details
Work Experience
Attach Resume
Required Field
Any Additional Documentation (Optional)