The AU-SAFGRAD was established in 1977 through Resolution 505 XXIX that was adopted by the Council of Ministers of the OAU; and, since 2003, AU-SAFGRAD is a specialized technical office of AUC-DREA. Moreover, through decisions taken by African Union Heads of States and Government in 2003 and 2011, AU-SAFGRAD is mandated: To lead, coordinate and facilitate the formulation of appropriate policies and programmes that would build resilience of rural livelihoods in semi-arid Africa through strengthening of institutional capacities aimed at advancing agricultural research, technology transfer and adoption; enhancement of value chains; management of natural resources; and mitigation and adaptation to climate change and combating desertification. In this regard, the office has since facilitated development of agricultural technologies as well as building national research capacities and building a knowledge base in Africa’s Semi-Arid Zones. In addition, AU-SAFGRAD has been designated as the institutional focal point for coordinating the Thematic Program Network for the Promotion of Sustainable Agricultural Farming Systems to Combat Desertification in Africa (TPN6). (The TPN6 was launched in 2004 within the framework of the African Regional Action Program of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)).  The global objective is to enhance efficiency of national, sub-regional and regional sustainable land management programs and agricultural farming systems through facilitation of knowledge sharing and utilization for scaling up/out of successful experiences.). The Commission of the African Union invites applicants who are citizens of Member States for Consultancy service/SAFGRAD Office in the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture for the following position:.


 Post title:        Consultant for preparing effective platform to provide the necessary guidance, and promote experience sharing and coordination among the existing African Centres of Excellence on Desertification.

Duty Station: The consultant will perform his/her work mainly from his/her country. He/She will be required to visit Burkina Faso to meet with the AU-SAFGRAD Coordinator and to travel to selected partners as may be requested.

Immediate Supervisor:    Coordinator, AU-SAFGRAD

2.Major duties and responsibilities (Scope of Work) :


  • Further responding to the specific and persistent challenge of desertification, the AU Assembly through Decision; Assembly/AU/Dec.492 ( XXII) of January 2014, requested the African Union Commission to rationalize and strengthen its specialized units, in particular the African Union- Semi-Arid Food Grains Research and Development ( AU-SAFGRAD) office and the Climate Change and Desertification Unit to serve as an effective platform to provide the necessary guidance, and promote experience sharing and coordination among the existing African Centres of Excellence on Desertification.



  • Report existing situation, opportunities and challenges including investments and financing opportunities and challenges to address desertification and land degradation impacts in semi-arid zone of Africa. ( Identify and categorize completed and current initiatives addressing the issues of desertification  and land degradation, and the stakeholders involved, both at national and global level ; Identify financing mechanisms that the countries in the region may access for the combating desertification)
  • Define the goal\s , structure, main components and the principle of the platform;
  • Develop governance and management guidelines;
  • Define the methodology that will be used.
  • Identify key stakeholder (institutions, agencies or individuals) willing to be active members of the Platform ensuring equitable geographical representation(Create a database of all the members of the platform with detailed contacts  and identify one or more focal person per institution for the platform). and their priorities in terms of experience and knowledge sharing and management
  • Animate discussions and exchanges between the members of the platform that will lead to the identification and development of at least one concrete project
  • Define the priorities of programmes/activities that could be tackled by the platform; as well as the available source of funds.
  • Identify the proper ways of facilitating interaction among different stakeholders(contacts, meetings, logistics as well as    the communication tools and networking of the platform);
  • Set the boundaries of the platform and prepare a platform manual
  • It might be the consultant will be required to visit some selected countries to meet with the relevant experts/institutions there.
  • If required, The consultant will present his study to the relevant stakeholder in the workshop organized by AU-SAFGRAD
  • The consultant will be responsible to facilitate the above mentioned workshop
  • Based on the above mentioned the consultant will finalize his study and submit to AU-SAFGRAD


2.b. Deliverables


i-          Available database of all members of the platform with relevant contacts details.

ii-         Effective and dynamic forum for members of the platform to communicate, exchange ideas and information.

iii-         At least one project document foreseeing concrete activities pertaining to the subject of the platform developed with the participation of all members.

v-         The platform manual.

vi-Any other requirements to have effective platform and to cover the above mentioned tasks.

The consultant will submit his report through the following steps:

  • Inception report: The consultant will prepare an inception report including the methodology of delivering the assignment and detailed work plan. The report should also highlight all logistic issues necessary for the exercise. The contents of the inception report will include: background, understanding of the ToRs, work plan and reporting.
  • Draft report: the consultant will submit a draft report for review by SAFGRAD team and other key stakeholders within and outside SAFGRAD. The report will be submitted in electronic copy.
  • Final report: After organizing the workshop and receiving comments on the draft report, the consultant will submit a final report including the relevant inputs from SAFGRAD and other stakeholders. Hard copies and an electronic copy of the final report will be submitted by the consultant


3. Educational Qualifications: Candidates must have a Master Degree or equivalent degree in land management and desertification, environmental science, Agriculture science, development economics,  Social Sciences fields, Economics, Law, International Relations, Computer Science or closely related discipline. A Ph.D.  Degree will be an added advantage. 


4. Work experience requirement: At least 10 years of experience in creating platforms ideally at the international level. Work experience within the theme of the platform is highly desirable.


5. Other relevant skills

  • Be able to connect the platform with scientific information on desertification and land degradation available from specialized national and international sources and be able to encourage all stakeholders to become active partners with the platform.
  • Fully Understanding of desertification in Africa;
  • Board awareness of the NARS, regional programs in agriculture and IARCs;
  • Working knowledge of policy analysis and development;
  • Management experience, excellent interpersonal skills and ability to organize and motivate others and to work in a multi-cultural environment;
  • Excellent report writing and presentation skills ;
  • Good communication and negotiating skills;
  • Good planning and organizational skills ;
  • Commitment to personal performance and self-development ;
  • Leading and managing change with integrity, trustworthiness and confidence;
  • Computer literacy.


6. Language requirement: Proficiency in one of the AU working languages. Knowledge of one other working languages would be an added advantage.


7. Age requirement: Candidates must preferably be not less than 35 years old.


8. Tenure of Appointment: The consultancy is planned for a maximum period of weeks

9. Gender Mainstreaming: The AU Commission is an equal opportunity employer and qualified women are strongly encouraged to apply.



10. Application: To apply, please submit the following:

  • A detailed and updated CV, indicating your nationality, age and gender;


11. Remuneration: The consultant will get a lumpsum ———————–


12. The applications must be received not later than 15 July 2014 and should be addressed to:


01BP1783 Ouagadougou 01

Email ElMekassA