Job Announcement by the Association of African Universities – Data Specialist

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Job Announcement by the Association of African Universities – Data Specialist

The Association of African Universities (AAU) was established in November 1967 with the cardinal functions of coordinating and networking Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) at the continental level, and providing leadership in developing and promoting a common vision for African higher education. The AAU is an international non-profit higher education organisation dedicated to enhancing the quality and relevance of higher education in Africa. Currently, AAU has a membership of about 400 HEIs from 46 African countries. Given its continental scope of operation, inclusiveness, capacity and experience, AAU is the main advocate for and convener of all stakeholders on general matters of Higher Education (HE) in Africa. The AAU collaborates with a number of international organizations and development partners in an effort to fulfil its mandate to the African higher education community.

The Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25) aims to reorient and provide qualitative and quantitative improvements to African education and training systems and
provide the continent with the requisite human resources for achievement of the African Union’s Vision and Agenda 2063. The AAU is the Coordinator of the Higher Education Cluster of CESA and the Manager of the African Quality Rating Mechanism (AQRM) database of the African Union.

The AAU is part of a consortium on Harmonisation, Quality Assurance and Accreditation (HAQAA) Initiative funded by the European Union Commission whose key objective is to
improve the quality and harmonisation of African higher education and support students’ employability and mobility across the continent. Pursuant to this Quality Assurance (QA)
Initiative, AAU is creating a Policy-Data Unit, which is a centralized structure within AAU that will be responsible for all data related activities, with particular reference to the HAQAA Initiative. As a result of the volume of envisaged activities under the Policy-Data Unit, the AAU seeks to recruit a Data Specialist.

The AAU Policy-Data Unit will undertake a number of activities, including but not limited to:

-Driving data collection on key themes linked to the objectives of CESA 25, specifically those related to higher education, as covered by CESA Higher Education Cluster.
-Interacting with key stakeholders in African higher education, at regional and national levels, so as to better understand existing data sources and build upon them.
-Produce policy analysis reports, based on data collection activities, which will serve the CESA Clusters and ultimately help to assess the goals of CESA, particularly in higher
-Participate in CESA Higher Education Cluster meetings, so as to receive feedback on data collection and also present findings.
-Set-up and host the African Higher Education Database, with key information on Trends in higher education in Africa.
-Contribute, where called upon, to other important studies carried out by the CESA Higher Education Cluster, led by its Co-Coordinators (AAU and INHEA) and the coordinators of its subclusters.
-Oversee the data intake from the AQRM and assess its possible integration into the African HE Database and into Policy reports and studies.
-Communicate actively with the AUC regarding the coordination of data to assess and develop policies at the African level for higher education, via the CESA inter-cluster coordinating structure.

Main Responsibilities of Data Specialist/Officer:

The Data Specialist will be a member of the AAU project management team and will report to the Secretary General of the AAU and consult regularly the Director of ICT and Knowledge Management (DIKM) and Director of Research & Academic Planning (DRAP), as well as other relevant governing structures, including the AAU Governing Board. S/he will be responsible for the day-to-day execution of the policy related activities of the AAU Data-Policy Unit under the guidance of DIKM, DRAP and the HAQAA Initiative Coordinator, OBREAL Global. The main duties of the Data Officer will include:

-Contributing to the drafting of an annual workplan for discussion within the AAU, with key stakeholders and the PDU Steering Committee
-Gathering data and producing reports based on qualitative and quantitative analysis:
-Extracting, collecting and aggregating data across databases, information sources, survey responses, and other data sources; ensuring data quality; cleans and checks exiting data for consistency and accuracy;
-Developing data visualizations for diverse audiences and develops, formats, and prepares reports, charts, and/or graphs for varying documents and written and oral
presentations for both internal and external audiences;
-Conducting data standardization processes; proactively identifies and proposes alternatives to improve the stability, performance, and accuracy of the data;
-Managing master data, including creation, updates, and deletion;
-Managing users and user roles;
-Quality assuring imported data/ working with quality assurance analyst if necessary;
-Commissioning and decommissioning of data sets;
-Processing confidential data and information according to guidelines;
-Managing and designing the reporting environment, including data sources, security, and metadata;
-Supporting the data warehouse in identifying and revising reporting requirements;
-Supporting initiatives for data integrity and normalization;
-Assessing tests and implementing new or upgraded software and assisting with strategic decisions on new systems;
-Generating reports from single or multiple systems;
-Troubleshooting the reporting database environment and reports;
-Evaluating changes and updating source production systems;
-Providing technical expertise on data storage structures, data mining, and data cleansing; and
-Any other duties or project management assignments that the Secretary-General may assign, in consultation with DRAP and the HAQAA2 Coordinator (OBREAL Global).

Requirements of the Data Specialist

-A relevant higher education degree/academic qualification in Statistics, Mathematics, ICT, Economics, Demography or a relevant discipline;
-Having held academic and/or management position with experience in data analysis and report writing for a minimum of 5 years, with extended period outside home country;
-Familiarity with the African higher education environment and higher education regional and sub-regional bodies;
-Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment;
-Ability to prepare and manage project budgets and produce project reports;
-Ability to analyze existing tools and databases and provide software solution recommendations;
-Strong competences in computer applications including use of various statistical software (IBM SPSS; STATA; EViews; SAS; etc.) word processing, spreadsheets, etc.
-High-level experience in methodologies and processes for managing large scale databases;
-Demonstrated experience in handling large data sets and relational databases;
-Exceptional team player with a strong ability to contribute positively to a team environment;
-Have good management, presentation and interpersonal skills;
-Excellent verbal and written communication skills for preparing and presenting information.
-Proficiency in English is required, plus one additional AU language (French, Arabic or Portuguese) will be a strong advantage.

Terms and Conditions of Employment

-The contract will be for a period of two (2) years, subject to a probationary period of six (6) months. The appointment may be extended subject to availability of funds.
-The position may require occasional travel outside Ghana.
-The AAU offers an attractive remuneration package calculated and paid in US dollars for non-Ghanaian professional staff. The monthly salary of the Data Specialist will be
consolidated as a consultant within the range of P2-P3 depending on qualification and experience.
-As a member of the AAU project management team, the Data Specialist will enjoy diplomatic privileges accorded to non-Ghanaian professional staff by the Government
of the Republic of Ghana.
– Annual leave of twenty-one (21) working days.


Please submit your application and supporting documents via this link – 

Applications should comprise:

  • A statement of interest and fitness for the position.
  • A detailed curriculum vitae describing applicant’s professional experience and qualification for the position.
  • Three (3) reference letters, one of which should be outside the candidate’s home country, should vouch for the candidate’s knowledge, integrity, and enthusiasm towards work. Each of the three reference letters should be sent directly from the referee by e-mail to this address: (with a copy to

The Deadline for application  was Monday, 15th February,  2021.  

For further enquiries contact:
Tel: (+233) 302774495/761588
Email: (with a copy to


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