The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is a regional group of fifteen West African countries. Founded on 28 May 1975, with the signing of the Treaty of Lagos, its mission is to promote economic integration across the region.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Principal Programme Officer (PPO) – Legal, Investigation, Compliance & Enforcement

Job Code: 20003369
Location: Banjul, Gambia
Grade: P5
Agency: ECOWAS Regional Competition Authority (ERCA)
Department: Economic Affairs & Agriculture
Directorate: Investigations & Law Enforcement Monitoring
Division: Legal, Investigation, Compliance & Enforcement
Line Supervisor: Director Operations
Supervising: PO Investigation; PO Enforcement; PO Compliance

Role Overview

  • Under the supervision of the Director Operations, the incumbent will be responsible for providing legal services and advice to the Authority and ensuring compliance with all relevant ECOWAS legal instruments and the protection of the interests of the Commission.
  • In addition, he/she will lead the team in providing legal advice and / or strategic directions on the interpretation and application of relevant legislation with respect to the activities of all divisions of the Agency to address anti-competitive conduct, preparing and presenting matters before the Competition Tribunal and Competition Appeal Court with legal integrity.

Role and Responsibilities

  • Prepare legal advice on operational matters such as mergers and acquisition; competition and economic research among others; on other diverse substantive and procedural issues, related to administration, procurement, contracts and perform extensive legal research and analysis and prepare briefs & reports.
  • Developing, interpreting, and implementing internal legislation, decisions, directives etc.
  • Verify and ensure that decisions of ERCA take due account of the relevant laws.
  • Provide legal service in negotiating and drafting undertakings and ensure the accuracy of undertakings given by enterprises to ERCA.
  • Develop and implement relevant guidelines/procedures/manual such as those pertaining to investigations procedures and ethics, confidentiality issues, exemptions, etc under the Competition Regulations and Rules.
  • Assess/review all exemptions possible under the Regulations pertaining to professional bodies and other economic actors in the region and develop guidelines thereto.
  • Ensure compliance by enterprises to the letter and spirit of the law and provide guidance to business on matters of compliance under the Competition Regulations and assist firms or other persons to draft competition compliance programs.
  • Keep an update on all key developments or best practices at regional and international levels in competition law and recommend appropriate policy and legal review.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of internal controls, policies, and guidelines for all Divisions of ERCA.
  • Check that policies are in line with the Division’s strategic objectives and relevant statutory requirements.
  • Implement corrective measures where deviation from stipulated policies is identified.
  • Develop, implement, and maintain effective and efficient procedures, templates, and processes for the effective functioning of the Division.
  • Participate in risk assessment for the Division and contribute to the mitigation of the identified risks.
  • Initiate expeditious and effective prosecution of firms that contravene the Act in accordance with defined legal processes.
  • Brief attorneys and counsel; including instructing and assisting counsel in formulating the case strategy, drafting pleadings and heads of argument, as well as identifying and preparing witnesses.
  • Respond efficiently and timeously to all correspondence related to current cases.
  • Participate in Screening Committee meetings, screening referral papers and initiations from a legal perspective.
  • Provide well researched legal advice and opinions to case teams to facilitate sound decision-making by case teams, to ERCA and its management, meeting stipulated deadlines.
  • Facilitate the completion of Market Inquiries, Cartels, E&E and M&A investigations within set service standards/statutory deadlines/reasonably agreed extension periods by contributing appropriate legal advice to case investigations.
  • Sign off on advisory opinions related to various cases, checking compliance with relevant legislation.
  • Contribute to the acquisition and delivery of the best possible evidence on behalf of ERCA e.g. through advising on evidence, summons, document requests, interrogations, and search warrants, as required.
  • Provide legal advice to third parties and stakeholders through drafting well researched advisory opinions and clarifications.
  • Provide support from a legal perspective in relation to legislative reviews by contributing to ERCA’s task teams.
  • Present cases to the courts, other quasi-judicial or administrative bodies, conveying a clear understanding of key legal issues in order to promote the ERCA’s objectives.
  • Defend legal challenges in the courts, presenting a logical case, based on well-founded precedents.
  • Provide well considered advice on evidence, well prepared witnesses, and witness statements in order to establish the merits of cases.
  • Compile well drafted correspondence, memoranda, advisory opinions and pleadings such as referral, answering and replying to affidavits, applications for search warrants, summonses etc. in accordance with the applicable legal processes.
  • Advise the ERCA of suitable terms of settlement including contributing to the negotiation of suitable terms of settlement and well drafted consent and settlement agreements, as required.
  • Monitor compliance with budgeted figures and negotiated fees, dealing with irregularities identified in a timely manner.
  • Coordinate legal resources in allocated cases to enable proper and effective presentation of matters before the Tribunal.
  • Continuously monitor the case management, research, analytical, drafting, litigation, communication, and negotiation skills of Division members to maintain sound legal standards.
  • Prepare quarterly and annual reporting in respect of Division’s activities, meeting deadlines for submission.
  • Oversee the uploading of opinions and relevant legal information on the Knowledge Management System’s legal site, achieving accessible information for the ERCA.
  • Prepare legal briefs, guidelines, newsletters and other ERCA publications, including contributions to the annual report, which serve as legal learning points within the ERCA.
  • Perform any other tasks assigned by the Supervisor.

Academic Qualifications and Experience

  • Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Law, with a specialization in International Law, Administrative Law or Commercial Law from a recognized University.
  • 10 years progressively responsible practice in law, including legal analysis, research and writing with experience as a lawyer in the legal office of an intergovernmental organization or government, with exposure to commercial law practice, and with a minimum of 5 years in a supervisory role;
  • Knowledge of Litigation and ability to apply legal expertise in analyzing a diverse range of complex and unusual legal issues and problems and in developing innovative and creative solutions.
  • Knowledge of legal issues relating to the functions, structures and activities of international organizations.
  • Knowledge and skill of comprehensive legal research on a range of issues, including those of a unique and/or complex nature, with proficiency in legal writing and ability to prepare legal briefs, opinions, or legal submissions, and a variety of legal instruments and related documents.
  • LLB degree, Admitted Attorney/Advocate, (Litigation experience) will be an added advantage.

Age Limit:

  • Be below 50 years old. This provision does not apply to internal candidates.

ECOWAS Key Competencies:

  • Ability to lead in assigned programs and projects by providing the necessary managerial and operational expertise required for the fulfilment of the organization’s mandate.
  • Ability to lead by example and organize teamwork to encourage cooperation to achieve targeted results, champion and build momentum for change and to bring about employee engagement; develops and implements internal controls for pilot program to manage potential barriers to implementation.
  • Ability to respect chain of command in an appropriate manner.
  • Excellent self-management skills, demonstrating ethics and integrity, confidentiality and displaying due regards for internal controls of rules, delegations, and transparency.
  • Ability to bring together complementary skills/expertise, assess individual contributions and recognize/address accomplishments and shortcomings in a manner that brings continued success to the organization.
  • Knowledge of program management at the level usually acquired from a certification in program management.
  • Ability to research benchmarks and trends to bring about the best recommendations for the development and improvement of programs/projects that will best serve the community/organization.
  • Well-developed networking and interpersonal skills to seek feedback, information and data from a network of professionals from multiple countries/sectors/organizations and to identify and prioritize the most critical community requirements.
  • Ability to manage and co-ordinate client management initiatives and make recommendations.
  • Ability to develop and implement best practices in client services.
  • Ability to develop and implement stakeholder management plans, programs and initiatives to obtain buy-in on new initiatives, to better understand dissenting views, to obtain resources and to increase perceptions of success.
  • Ability to be diplomatic, tactful and respect of other people from varied backgrounds, understanding diverse cultural views especially within West Africa with the ability to convert diversity into opportunities to improve program/operational outcomes.
  • Ability to create a diverse and inclusive interactive environment that benefits from diverse strengths bringing together innovative practices.
  • Ability to remain objective in managing conflict regardless of cultural differences /positions, gender differences, and encourage other staff to overcome cultural and gender bias and differences.
  • Ability and responsibility for incorporating gender perspectives and ensuring the equal participation of women and men in all areas of work.
  • Ability to serve the interest of culturally diverse multinational teams/organizations/communities and persons with disability without prejudice and bias.
  • Understanding of the ECOWAS organizational structure, associated dynamics and expectations as required to collaborate, participate, contribute and lead effectively.
  • Knowledge of the ECOWAS mandate, strategic plan/priorities as well as the economic, political, and social situation and trends in member states, as pertains to own scope of work.
  • Knowledge of ECOWAS best practices, program management approaches and research techniques to lead and/or contribute to the development or assessment of programs, projects, or initiatives.
  • Knowledge of the ECOWAS rules and procedures to appropriately interpret and apply directive text, provide technical advice, coach others and assess performance.
  • Ability to analyse a situation by using indicators to assess the costs, benefits, risks, and chances for success, in making decisions.
  • Ability to pull together information from different sources to identify the cause of problems, consequences of alternative causes of action, potential obstacles and ways to avoid the problem in the future.
  • Ability to break down very complex situations/information into simple terms to explain recommendations and conclusions aimed at solving problems or improving operations/programs/projects.
  • Ability to develop new insights into situations, apply innovative solutions to problems and to design new methods of addressing issues or disconnects where established methods and procedures are inapplicable or no longer effective.
  • Ability to communicate with impact, clearly and concisely in a succinct and organized manner conveying credibility & confidence when making presentations, setting expectations, and explaining complex issues.
  • Ability to listen intently and correctly interpret messages from others and respond appropriately.
  • Accomplished technical writing and editing skills.
  • Exhibit active listening skills to encourage stronger communication amongst team members, to show care and make them feel valued and to drive employee engagement in all institutions and agencies.
  • Ability to give constructive feedback, provide recognition, address shortcomings, and motivate direct reports to work at peak performance.
  • Proficiency in information communication technologies (ICT).
  • Fluency in oral and written expressions in one of the ECOWAS official languages of the Community (English, French & Portuguese). Knowledge of an additional one will be an added advantage.
  • Superior organizational and project/program management skills with significant experience identifying timelines, targets, costs, and resources necessary to deliver on operational/program/project outputs.
  • Ability to set effective goals and targets for self, others, and the work unit and adjusting work or project priorities in response to changing circumstances.
  • Ability to identify gaps affecting the achievement of program/project expectations and to design and implement intervention plans required to build the desired capacity (e.g. training, structural realignment, partnerships, reallocation of resources.
  • Ability to implement rigorous monitoring, and evaluation practices and to set in place regular reporting schedules relevant to key outputs (e.g. management indicators, project milestones, program results, processing targets).
  • Ability to plan, organize, and control resources, procedures, and protocols to achieve specific goals.

Salary
USD84,211.94 Annually.

Application Closing Date
6th March, 2024.

Method of Application
Interested and qualified candidates should send their correctly filled Application Form, Curriculum Vitae (CV) and a Motivation letter to: b43ppolegalinvescompenforce@ecowas.int using the Job Title as the subject of the mail.

Click here to download the application form (Docx.)

Note

  • Female applications are encouraged.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Applications initially submitted with only the CV remain acceptable.
  • ECOWAS does not charge a fee for recruitment and will not request for your account details.
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