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Chief Economist and Head of the Economic Affairs Section


The institute seeks an experienced economist to serve in the role of Chief Economist and Head of the Economic Affairs Section. An important goal for this role is to strengthen our policy impact, embedding a critical understanding of economics across all aspects of NKAFU’s work including in our research projects and policy advocacy, our external engagement with media, decision-makers and opinion formers, and training.

The Chief Economist will contribute substantially to the academic and technical competence required to achieve NKAFU’s strategic objectives and to the conceptualization, design, implementation and quality assurance of all NKAFU’s work. The successful candidate will be a professional and play a key role in developing the public profile of NKAFU’s work and lead outreach to a broad range of external stakeholders.

Appointment will be made at an appropriate level in the organization depending on the experience and expertise of the successful applicant.

Purpose of the role

The overall purpose of the role is:

  1. To help provide strategic vision, delivery and leadership on economic policy and research at NKAFU, and to inform and shape NKAFU’s work with sound analysis and direction.
  2. To enhance and develop NKAFU’s external profile, its influence and impact. This will be achieved through credible and persuasive communication of NKAFU’s strategic ambition to key audiences – the media, opinion-formers and policymakers.

We are looking for an individual with a strong economics background, who is a clear, creative thinker with developed influencing skills, who can build relationships with and influence key players across academia, private and public sectors and civil society.

The Chief Economist will report to the Director of the Nkafu Policy Institute.

In this position you will be responsible for:

  • Working with NKAFU Programs and individuals in helping shape and inform project proposals and project implementation with sound economic thinking
  • Representing NKAFU in public forums, including the media, events and with policymakers and opinion formers.
  • Interacting with and building relationships with senior politicians and civil servants, opinion formers, business and civil society leaders
  • Reviewing and advising on the technical quality of economics research in NKAFU projects
  • Interacting with and building relationships and joint initiatives with leading economists and other key players in academia
  • Leading on the conceptualization, development and funding of certain priority projects
  • Working with the Foundation’s Communications Manager and other senior staff in enhancing NKAFU’s external profile, impact and influence
  • Working with the Foundation’s Chief Operating Officer and other relevant staff in developing a business plan and implementation program for NKAFU’s work in establishing a center of excellence in economic research and training
  • Developing NKAFU’s work more broadly on economics, both in your own projects and as a contributor to work across the program areas of NKAFU
  • Fundraising and financial management for your own project initiatives in this position you will contribute to:

Key Qualifications and Skills Required:

  • Hold a PhD degree in Economics with strong experience in either macro-economics, fiscal management, statistics, finance, micro-economics or related discipline.
  • A minimum of 5 years relevant and demonstrable experience acquired in the area of development economics, academia or multilateral institutions.
  • Must be bilingual (English and French)
  • An excellent understanding of contemporary debates in economic policy, broadly understood, both in Cameroon and sub-Saharan Africa
  • Strong technical economics skills, specifically in relation to quantitative, statistical analysis
  • Experience of macroeconomic model-building (or a demonstrable aptitude for this work)
  • A relevant post-graduate qualification
  • A proven track record of conceptualizing and executing your own research in economics
  • A proven track record of conceptualizing, implementing and managing policy-oriented research, action- research and/or development projects
  • Good IT skills and a publication record

Essential experience

  • High-level creative and critical research and analysis in the field of economics
  • Record of success of effective engagement with high-level decision makers
  • Accomplished media performer
  • Excellent writer and communicator
  • Strategic planning and development desirable experience
  • Complex project management
  • Managing staff
  • Fundraising
  • Understanding of Cameroon’s policy making processes


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