Posted 2 years ago

The African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) seeks to fill the position of Head – Youth, Employment and Skills. This position is based in Accra and reports to the Senior Director – Research and Advisory Services.


ACET is an economic policy institute supporting Africa’s long-term growth through transformation. We undertake research, offer policy advice, and galvanize action for African countries to develop their economies, reduce poverty, and improve livelihoods for all their people. We are the pre-eminent African organization advancing African solutions to African challenges.

As the development discourse around Economic Transformation continues to unfold and is deepened across the African continent, there is an increasing recognition of the critical role a well-educated and skilled work force can play in enhancing and accelerating transformation across the continent. The creation and provision of productive jobs, matched by appropriate investments in education and skills development, is a pre-requisite for an inclusive and sustainable transformation. However, unabated demographic headwinds and weak education systems, and the disconnect between the supply and demand for skills have been exacerbated by the economic and social impact of covid-19 pandemic. All these factors compound the challenges of creating future-ready jobs.  Thus, there is the renewed urgency to realign, strengthen and expand capacities of national education, and skills development systems to adequately respond to these challenges.

Over the last five years, ACET has been actively engaged in producing high level analysis and advisory services, including advocacy around issues such as the Future of Work, the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), and Strengthen Education and Learning Systems in the 4IR era. In a bid to take this work further, ACET has decided to institutionalise the approach through the establishment of a Youth, Employment and Skills (YES) Team.  The YES Team will work with ACET’s key international and country partners with the aim to advance policy debates and accelerate policy reforms in the areas of education, skills development and job creation, with a particular focus on women and youth.

Job Summary

The Head of the Youth, Employment and Skills (YES) Team will lead the thematic, strategic, and operational developments, and be the focal point for all matters relating to ACET’s YES projects. S/he will lead the development and implementation of an ACET YES strategy, and co-ordinate and manage a YES team around these efforts. The YES head will also be responsible for the YES programs partnership development and management and  will work closely with stakeholders from across public and private sectors to develop consensus around the ACET program and its implementation and help create an environment of trust and collaboration with clients and key partners. In addition, the YES head will lead ACET’s business development opportunities in the fields of YES. They will work closely with the ACET research and advisory team in sourcing content and managing, assigning and coordinating activities of ACET’s project with Partners with a view to growing the YES portfolio.

The YES Head will report directly to the Senior Director, Research and Advisory Services.

Areas of Responsibility:

Specifically, and in consultation with and as directed by the Senior Director, the YES Head will:

  1. Foster ACET’s youth, employment and skills vision and strategy within ACET and amongst partners and stakeholders towards attainment of YES program objectives.
  2. Manage and supervise ACET staff and consultants working in the YES team and on the wider YES portfolio.
  3. Develop and implement annual YES work plans
  4. Maintain open and fluid communication with the partners and the relevant public and private sector agencies.
  5. Coordinate activities of governmental agencies supporting educational and skills development institutions and/or various labour market initiatives
  6. Work closely with ACET Private Sector Team to ensure effective coordination and synergies in the respective work programs
  7. Maintain up-to-date record of available resources, including in-kind resources for the various phases of the YES projects
  8. Lead the YES team’s business development efforts and grow the ACET portfolio
  9. Prepare status reports to ACET Management
  10. Work with ACET communications team in public outreach, press releases, public presentations of the work and website development and content
  11. Oversee project specific budgets.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
  • Proven research and analytical skills and competencies
  • Ability to multitask with strong attention to detail, organization, time management and quality control
  • Demonstrated leadership, initiative, flexibility and work ethic
  • A strong and proven track record of effective people management and team leadership
  • Demonstrated ability to build and grow program portfolios
  • A strong knowledge of organisations that finance YES programmes in Africa. A proven track record of successfully working with these partners will be an asset.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication and presentation skills in English. Good working knowledge of French and/or Portuguese is an advantage.
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to deliver high quality work under pressure
  • Ability to work effectively independently and as part of a team
  • Good public speaker and skilled at facilitating workshops
  • Ability to handle both strategic and administrative tasks and issues
  • Good knowledge of educational and labour market policies, regulations and institutional and organizational arrangements.
  • Project management skills and knowledge of project management principles and best practices.
  • Ability to influence and good negotiation skills.
  • Good understanding of the political economy of African countries, with particular emphasis on labour market and educational policy spheres

Education and Experience  

  • Master’s degree in the social sciences (Economics, Sociology, Political Science, Education and, Business), Law or other area relevant to ACET’s strategic activities and engagement
  • Extensive experience  of working in Africa on   labour economics or educational development, A good grounding in economic fundamentals will be an asset.
  • Experience working with African governments as clients on public policy issues
  • Experience managing research and advisory engagements
  • A strong network in the areas of labour or education
  • A labour economist


Benefits of working with ACET:  

ACET is an independent, dynamic and responsive organization. The incumbent will have an exceptional opportunity to engage with policy makers at the highest levels in African countries. (S)he would enjoy the opportunity of shaping ACET’s YES program and contributing to growing a young dynamic organization. ACET offers a competitive remuneration package.  The contract is a full-time contract, with a 6 months initial probation period. The role is based in ACET’s headquarters in Accra.


Interested applicants should email their CV and an accompanying cover letter to hr@acetforafrica.orgThe closing date for the receipt of applications is 15th February, 2021.

NB: Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted

Share this position