• Abuja, FCT

  • Permanent

  • Full-time

Organizational Setting

The Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) is a FAO and the European Union partnership programme with the purpose of providing a policy assistance mechanism for improved food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture. FIRST is designed to strengthen the enabling environment for food security and nutrition and sustainable agriculture in a number of selected priority countries. FIRST is embedded within the FAO’s programme management and coordination structure. FIRST is operational in over 20 countries across Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America. In the ECOWAS region, the FIRST programme focuses on promoting a sustainable Blue Economy based on the rational use of natural marine and continental aquatic resources in West Africa, whilst ensuring that aqua-food systems are gender equitable and youth inclusive.

The Senior Policy Expert (Fishery and Aquaculture, FIRST Programme) works under the overall technical guidance of Senior Fishery Officer (FAO Regional Office for Africa – RAF) and works in close collaboration with Fishery and Aquaculture team based at headquarters (NFI). The Senior Policy Expert works under the guidance of the ECOWAS Commission Directorate of Agriculture and Rural Development (D/ARD), in close collaboration with the UEMOA Commission, the FAO Regional/Sub-regional offices, the EU Regional Delegation in Abuja and Ouagadougou, (sub)-regional fisheries bodies (RFBs) in ECOWAS area, African Union, and other relevant stakeholders in the ECOWAS member states (Governments counterparts).

Reporting Lines

The Senior Policy Expert (Fishery and Aquaculture, FIRST Programme) reports to the Senior Fishery Officer (FAO Regional Office for Africa) and on technical issues to the FIRST Manager.

Technical Focus

Development and implementation of coherent, integrated and effective policy assistance, capacity development and governance for achieving food and nutrition security and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture in accordance with the FAO Strategic Framework and in response to policy assistance needs and demands at country and subregional levels.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Lead the work of FIRST in supporting the transformation of aqua-food systems along the three dimensions of sustainability (economic, social, environmental) to accelerate progress towards SDG2 in West Africa
  • Provide technical and policy advice and support in relation to fisheries and aquaculture to the ECOWAS Commission to accelerate and maximize regional food and nutrition security impact, resilience, sustainability under the ECOWAS Comprehensive Strategic Framework for Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (CSFS-FAD) within the ECOWAP/CAADP framework;
  • Support existing coordination structures within ECOWAS in the coherent formulation and implementation of projects and programmes in the Fisheries and Aquaculture sector (e.g. PESCAO)
  • Plan, organize and participate in capacity development activities as endorsed by the ECOWAS Commission, including the provision of advice and technical assistance, training workshops, seminars, and meetings;
  • Oversee the development of awareness raising, information and capacity development materials on regional fisheries and aquaculture issues, including on-line tools and information kit;
  • Organize international/inter-governmental meetings and conferences and provide short-term policy and technical assistance in other ECOWAS technical partners (including regional Non-State Actors) as part of the FIRST expert network;
  • Promote strategic partnerships, best practices, and increased policy dialogue and develop and negotiate effective synergetic and complementary working relationships/consensus and agreements with international and national partners within the regional integration approaches and schemes;
  • Perform other duties as required.


Minimum Requirements

  • University degree in fisheries, aquaculture, economics or marine affairs with a specialization in fisheries policy, management and/or governance or other field related to fisheries and aquaculture. Advanced university degree will be considered a strong asset.
  • Relevant experience in fisheries management, aquaculture production, fishery policy analysis, including policy assistance and capacity development or related field:

o Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement) level B: at least 7 years of relevant experience

o Consultant / PSA (Personal Services Agreement) level A: at least 12 years of relevant experience

  • Working knowledge of French and at least limited knowledge of English.

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Leading, Engaging and Empowering
  • Strong Communications Skills
  • 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 is essential
  • Extent and relevance of experience and/or knowledge in fisheries and aquaculture including related areas which may include fisheries policy, management, governance and international relations in development or international organizations
  • Extent and relevance of experience in planning and implementation of programmes in fisheries and aquaculture or related areas
  • In depth understanding of the role of development and international organizations with competence in fisheries and aquaculture


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