Principal Counsel – Public Sector, PGCL1


Established in 1964, the African Development Bank is the premier pan-African development institution, promoting economic growth and social progress across the continent. There are 81 member states, including 54 in Africa (Regional Member Countries).  The Bank’s development agenda is delivering the financial and technical support for transformative projects that will significantly reduce poverty through inclusive and sustainable economic growth. In order to sharply focus the objectives of the Ten Year Strategy (2013 – 2022) and ensure greater developmental impact, five major areas (High 5s), all of which will accelerate our delivery for Africa, have been identified for scaling up, namely; energy, agro-business, industrialization, integration and improving the quality of life for the people of Africa.


The President, plans, supervises and manages the business of the Bank Group. Under the direction of the Boards of Directors, the President conducts the business of the Bank and the African Development Fund and manages operations and activities in accordance with the Agreements establishing the African Development Bank and the African Development Fund. The President supervises several Departments and Units including Office of the President; Independent Development Evaluation Department; Integrity and Anti-Corruption Department; Compliance Review and Mediation Unit; Secretariat to the Sanctions Appeals Board; Administrative Tribunal; Office of the Auditor General; Group Risk Management Directorate; General Counsel and Legal Services Department; Communication and External Relations Department; Staff Integrity and Ethics Office and Office of the Secretary General & General Secretariat.


The role of the General Counsel and Legal Services Department is to deliver legal advice and services to the statutory organs of the Bank Group (the Boards of Governors and the Boards of Directors), Senior Management, Regional Directorate Hubs, Country Offices and the entire Bank.  The General Counsel and Legal Services Department’s job is to also protect the interest of the Bank from legal liability and, to ensure that the Bank Group is properly and efficiently defended in litigation involving the Bank.

The principal objective of the Public Sector Operations, Policy and Governance Division is to provide legal support, advice, and services in connection with public sector transactions and project implementation for loans and grants for the African Development Bank, the African Development Fund, and other special vehicles such as trust funds, projects and programs. In addition, the Division provides legal assistance on operations policies and governance, environmental and procurement related matters as well as all aspects of the business of the Bank Group.


The Principal Counsel – Public Sector Operations, Policy and Governance Division purpose is to ensure compliance with the various policies and regulations of the Bank related to public sector operations.


Under the supervision and guidance of the Division Manager, Public Sector Operations, Policy and Governance, the Principal Counsel – Public Sector Operations, Policy and Governance Division will:

  1. Ensure compliance of all operational activities with applicable Bank policies, rules and regulations.
  2. Prepare and issue legal opinions on agreements, contracts and other formal arrangements for operational activities of the Bank Group and Special Funds with members and non-member countries, international organizations and governmental and non-governmental entities.
  3. Provide legal assistance throughout the identification, preparation, appraisal, supervision and post-evaluation stages.
  4. Assist in the design of projects and programs from inception to completion in compliance with the Bank’s policies, rules, and guidelines as well as minimize risks that may impede the achievement of desirable outcomes.
  5. Participate in meetings and provide legal support to project teams including the structure of the project, type of financing instruments, terms of financing, implementation arrangements and compliance with the relevant Bank Group applicable policies, rules and regulations.
  6. Draft and Negotiate financing agreements including loan agreements, grant agreements, guarantee agreements and co-financing agreements with other lenders.
  7. Provide legal opinions on the effectiveness of financing agreements and the fulfilment of conditions precedent to disbursement including the review of documents submitted in fulfilment of loan and grant conditions.
  8. Provide legal support and technical assistance to Regional Member Countries and to regional and sub-regional institutions in connection with matters pertaining to the purpose, functions and activities of the Bank and to developmental issues and activities.
  9. Provide legal support in the drafting of all operational policies, directives and instructions of the Bank Group and Special Funds.
  10. Provide legal assistance in operations-related implementation activities of bilateral and multilateral cooperation arrangements related to public sector operations.
  11. Draft Board resolutions pertaining to public sector projects and programs; and  
  12. Undertake such other assignments as required by the Division Manager, Public Sector Operations, Policy and Governance or the General Counsel.

COMPETENCIES (skills, experience and knowledge):

  1. Hold a Master’s degree in Law, and admission to the Bar of one of the Bank member countries; OR a Juris Doctor (JD) and admission to the Bar of one of the Bank member countries.
  2. Have a minimum of six (6) years of relevant experience in similar jobs in a law firm, a financial institution or a multilateral organisation.
  3. High level skills in communication and negotiation as well as the ability to build partnerships with a broad range of clients and deliver results.
  4. Seasoned knowledge of the current trends in development finance and familiarity with development and international finance  
  5. Strong skills in drafting of legal documents including agreements, briefs and confidential legal opinions, and conducting negotiations
  6.  Effective advisory skills that enable clients and help resolve their legal questions.
  7. Ability to deal with sensitive issues in a multi-cultural environment and to build effective working relations with colleagues.
  8. Ability to work independently in a multicultural team.
  9. Ability to communicate effectively (written and oral) in English and/or French, preferably with a working knowledge of the other.
  10. Competence in the use of standard Microsoft Office Suite applications.