Communications Officer at The West African Power Pool (WAPP)

The West African Power Pool (WAPP) was created by Decision A/DEC.5/12/99 of the Twenty-second summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government. By Decision A/DEC.18/01/06, the Twenty-ninth summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government held in Niamey, adopted the Articles of Agreement for WAPP organization and function.

Communications Officer

Location: PMU Head Office, Abuja, Nigeria (With frequent travel to participating countries)
Project Name: WAPP North Core/Projet Dorsale Nord Interconnection Project
Employing Institution: Project Management Unit (PMU) of the North Core Project
Reports to: Project Director
Subordinates: N/A
Appointment: Full time, approximately 36 months
Language required: Proficiency in English and French

Project Background

  • Within the framework of the West African Power Pool (WAPP), the Governments of Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Togo and Burkina are collaborating to develop a sub-regional interconnection project referred to as the 330 kV WAPP North Core Project. The project involves the construction of approximately 875 km of 330 kV transmission lines from Nigeria to Burkina Faso, through Niger, and Benin. The project will also involve the electrification of rural communities located within a 5 km radius on both sides of the line, and the implementation of several environmental and social mitigation measures. These include, among others, the implementation of Resettlement Action Plans (RAPs) to provide for persons and communities affected by project implementation activities.
  • The project is being financed by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), African Development Bank (AfDB), European Union (EU) and the World Bank (WB).
  • Given the regional dimension of the project, and in order to enhance its coordination, Energy Ministers of the North Core countries agreed to put in place an institutional framework which includes the establishment of a Project Management Unit (PMU) to, among others, assist in the preparation and physical implementation of the North Core project.

Job Purpose

    • The Communications Officer will perform broad-based tasks associated with executing the communication function and providing support, primarily to the Project Management Unit.
    • The Officer will provide specific guidance to all communication-related activities, establishing and maintaining standards across the WAPP North Core Project.
  • S/he will take the lead responsibility for liaison with the media, and manage relationships across all stakeholders at the state, national and regional levels.
  • S/he will be responsible for producing periodic information on the project to be sent to all the interested stakeholders, under the guidance of the Project Director and with the contribution of the entire team.
  • S/he will also ensure comprehensive project communication to ensure that it receives adequate visibility throughout the project area and within the WAPP community, using various media including print, social media, internet and broadcast media.

Duties and Responsibilities

    • Deliver strategic, targeted communication via diverse media, including periodical bulletins, public presentations and forums, public relations campaigns and social media management to promote the achievement of objectives of the North Core project at all levels;
    • Contribute to the annual report and other periodical information bulletin, and support all the team members providing contributions.
    • Develop and maintain a consistent and high-quality image and “house-style” for the WAPP North Core Project and promote the voice of WAPP, Project Director, the work of the Project, official reports and other news on the project;
    • Develop and maintain the project website in collaboration with the IT Officer;
    • Conceptualize, design, plan, formulate and manage the project’s news production in the media platforms as well as generate and/or coordinate the project’s media content in both official languages and ensure consistent editorial delivery;
    • Develop formats and templates for communicating and reporting for key personnel across the project, establish and maintain a filing and database system for storing copies of all WAPP North Core Project related activity reports and communication materials in various formats, and also make these accessible to project staff and relevant stakeholders;
    • Support key staff in preparing necessary documentation for pre-construction phase activities ie. sending out job tender documents, evaluation of tender documents, contract negotiations and final draft of contractual agreements for the contract awardees;
    • Develop, manage, define the tone and generate content for the project’s media presence such as on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, and edit drafts prepared by other officers;
    • Exercise journalistic and political judgement to make timely editorial decisions on what should go on the project’s media platforms. Draft complex material for the project’s media platforms;
    • Plan and initiate strategic and proactive outreach activities through media campaigns and collaboration with donors, WAPP and other interconnection projects;
    • Actively identify and maintain relations and partnerships with key stakeholders that contribute to the development and implementation of the project’s initiatives in the field of media. Provide guidance to other project officers, as well as to managers and senior officers, on the strategic and effective use of media to help achieve North Core objectives;
  • Evaluate results and impact of communication activities on media platforms; reports on developments, trends and attitudes regarding the project countries;
  • Monitor and evaluate interactions and feedback through the project’s media presence, respond on behalf of the PMU when deemed appropriate, in liaison with relevant departments within the project;
  • Monitor and analyze current events, public opinion and press, identify issues and trends, and advise management on appropriate action/responses.

Qualification and Experience
The Communications Officer must have the following:

  • A Master’s degree or equivalent in Communication, Journalism, International Relations, Public Administration or related field with a minimum of four (4) years of progressively responsible professional experience;

Or

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Communication, Journalism, International Relations, Public Administration or related field with a minimum of eight (8) years of progressively responsible professional experience;
  • Experience in media campaigns is required;
  • Work experience at the regional or international level, preferably with donor funded projects is desirable.

Knowledge Requirements:

  • Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office applications and the internet in particular publishing software;
  • Ability to deploy large scale public information campaign at the national and international level;
  • Good understanding of the dynamics of the energy sector in the sub-region and partnerships with multilaterals;
  • Solid knowledge of socio-economic and environment issues in West Africa;
  • The general policies and reporting guidelines of international institutions, such as the World Bank (WB), African Development Bank (AfDB), European Union (EU) and Agence Française de Developpement (AFD).

Desirable Qualities, Skills and Competencies:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French;
  • Strong interpersonal skills and experience in working on similar projects;
  • Self-starter with the ability to strategically plan own communication work and that of the project and balance a diverse and demanding workload;
  • Experience in using different media for information dissemination and ability to communicate with diverse audiences (governments, donors, companies and other stakeholders);
  • Ability to produce high quality media content using modern tools and equipment;
  • High level of professionalism, initiative and conscientiousness.

Language Requirements:

  • It is required that the Communications Officer is proficient in English and French (Reading, writing, listening, speaking.

Performance Assessment:

  • The performance of the Communication Officer will be evaluated annually by the PMU Director. Key performance indicators derived from the duties and responsibilities above and agreed upon between the jobholder and the direct manager for the position, would be used as the basis for measuring the performance of the jobholder.

Further Information

  • This position is on a full time basis envisaged for a duration of approximately 36 months with a six (6) month probation period. Successful candidates will be stationed at the PMU Head Office in Abuja, Nigeria.
  • A key requirement for this position may be/is fluency in French and/or English with a good working knowledge of the second language and ability to use relevant computer software (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint) as well as the internet.
  • Interested applicants are strongly advised to refer to the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the advertised position prior to sending their applications.

Method of Application

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