EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES WITH THE UNITED NATIONS (UN), AFRICAN UNION (AU) SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY (SADC) AND SOUTHERN AFRICAN CUSTOMS UNION (SACU)
This Fact Sheet is intended to provide information to Namibian nationals interested in employment opportunities in regional and international organizations. Although a number of Namibian nationals are working for regional and international organizations, it is still far below the desirable range. The Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation encourages qualified Namibian citizens to consider applying for, and taking up employment in regional and international organizations.
International organizations have their own recruitment websites where you can find information on the latest vacancies and the application process. At the same time, the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation has created a link (http://www.mirco.gov.na/vacancies) to disseminate information on available vacancies in regional and international organization. Individuals who believe they qualify for professional positions should apply directly to the organizations, using directions provided by the websites of those organizations. Generally, organizations are asking for on-line applications. Applicants can inform the Ministry about their applications through this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
There is no common procedures of recruitment into international organizations. Interested applicants should check the websites for details of how each organization recruits. New graduates often need to build up experience as an intern or volunteer.
We hope that you find the information on these pages useful. Please note that the information does not contain any promises of future employment with international organisations or endorsement of any kind. We do not accept liability for any loss or damage arising from use of these pages to the extent that this is permitted by law. Any dispute arising from use of these pages will be subject to the law of Namibia. The general terms and conditions which relate to information on the GRN website apply to the information on these pages.
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WHAT IS AN INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATION?
These are inter-governmental organizations that take a global approach to tackling a wide range of issues, such as sustainable development, conflict, and climate change. The most well-known include the United Nations and its affiliated Agencies; the World Trade Organization, the Commonwealth, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, etc.
WHAT IS A REGIONAL ORGANIZATION?
Regional organizations are, in a sense, international organizations, as they incorporate international membership and encompass geographical entities that operationally transcend a single nation state. However, membership of regional organizations is characterized by boundaries and demarcations characteristic to a defined and unique geography, such as continents, or geopolitics, such as economic blocs. They have been established to foster cooperation and political and economic integration or dialogue among states or entities within a restrictive geographical or geopolitical boundary. These are organizations like the African Union, SADC, SACU, the African Development Bank, etc.
WHY DO WE WANT NAMIBIAN NATIONALS IN THESE ORGANISATIONS?
As a Member State to many international organizations, Namibia pays its annual membership fees to those organizations. Therefore, we want to see Namibian nationals taking up key roles within these organizations. Some organizations, such as the United Nations, the African Union and SADC, ensure that the diversity of Member States is reflected in the composition of their staff members by giving quotas to member states. The quota system is based on the assessed contributions of each State to the budget of the Organization. It is not enough for a country to pay its assessed contribution for its nationals to be employed in regional and international organizations. Applicants must have the required skills, competencies and experience in order to be employed.
According to the UN Charter and personnel policies, the primary consideration in the selection of staff is the need to secure the highest standards of efficiency, competence, and integrity. To attract and hire such individuals, the UN and other international organizations have their own personnel departments that publicize vacant positions and evaluate and hire applicants.
There are various ways of obtaining work at the United Nations. The first step is to research the various offices, programmes, and agencies by using the official United Nations website, www.un.org. Details of current opportunities are listed at www.unjobs.org and UN Careers Portal http://careers.un.org career options, career paths, internships, how to apply, etc.
One of the main routes into the organisation is to sit for the National Competitive Recruitment Examination. Applicants should have a Masters degree in a development related subject and be proficient in English, French or Spanish.
UN employees are required to have a good command of at least one language used at the UN, other than English. The working languages of the Secretariat are English and French. The official languages of the United Nations are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
Full time, permanent positions in the UN and its agencies normally require substantial experience and relevant professional qualifications.
Alternative ways of obtaining work experience or employment in the UN include the following programmes and internships:
- "Junior Professional Officers" are recruited through National Competitive Recruitment Examinations. They should have a Masters degree in a development-related subject and be proficient in English, French or Spanish.
- Young Professionals Programme, a recruitment initiative for talented professionals from countries under-represented in the UN to start a career with the United Nations Secretariat.
- UN Internships. Although internships of up to 6 months are available throughout the year for graduates without experience, the UN has no provision in its budget to pay interns and all costs involved must be paid by the interns themselves.
- The UN Volunteer Programme, places qualified candidates (who must be aged 25 or above) in posts such as administration, agriculture, communication, community development, commerce, education, engineering, environment, health, human settlements, information communication technology, logistics, media and social sciences. Volunteers receive a living allowance and travel costs.
- Associate Expert Programme. This Programme offers graduates the opportunity to acquire professional experience. Associate Experts normally perform their duties under the supervision of an experienced expert specializing in their field. Upon completion of their UN contracts, a few Associate Experts take on regular staff member posts, but there is no automatic transfer to regular staff positions.
- The UNDP Leadership Development Programme offering an entry point for young development professionals interested in a career with UNDP.
The African Union Commission, previously the Organisation of African Unity, is Africa’s biggest and most influential regional body. Its origins span from a time the continent was fighting against colonialism and Apartheid. In order to work for the African Union, you have to love the continent and be a Pan-Africanist. Pan-Africanism is essentially the belief that African unity is important for the social, political and economic development of the African people. Your belief in Pan-Africanism should be evident in your cover letter, make it known through the interview, and your personal and professional experiences should speak to that.
More and more young people want to work at the African Union and contribute to the development of the continent. Besides meeting the requirements of the job description here are some tips on how you can land a job with the AU.
To apply, please visit http://www.aucareers.org/. You can learn how to apply, create your Profile and submit your application online. The African Union Commission request all applicants from AU Member States to send online detailed CVs in accordance with the format indicated. The Commission further encourages all applicants to forward their respective application directly to the address specified above.
The African Union provides opportunities for students enrolled in a graduate programme to undertake an internship at its Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Financial aid is not available to interns through the African Union Commission.
If you want to land a job with the AU you have to know and understand Agenda 2063 and its flagship projects which are currently being implemented. It is based on seven aspirations which will result in the “Africa We Want”. Agenda 2063 works towards creating a prosperous, peaceful, people-centered Africa with a regional identity. Agenda 2063 does not belong to the African Union but to all Africans! It relies heavily on its implementation by member states. Every single African has the responsibility to seeing this great plan through in order for the continent to enjoy the fruits of its aspirations.
SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY (SADC)
The overall objective of SADC is to achieve development and economic growth, which is to be attained through increased regional integration, built on democratic principles and equitable and sustainable development. SADC is an equal opportunity employer. The criteria required for potential employment in SADC Secretariat are as follows:
- All Treaty and Regional Posts are for nationals of SADC Member States.
- The Quota System is a framework for the recruitment and selection of staff into the SADC Secretariat organizational structure that provides for equitable representation of Member States in the SADC Secretariat; hence applicants are encouraged to contact their National Contact Points in their respective countries to find out whether they are eligible to apply for the advertised positions. In terms of the quota, Namibia has a quota of 63 points.
Currently there are 6 Namibian nationals employed at SADC. Namibia has not yet utilized all her quota. Once a country has exhausted its quota, its nationals are not eligible to apply for any vacant post at the Secretariat.
Vacant positions that Namibians could apply for are posted from time to time by the SADC Secretariat on its website which is accessed at www.sadc.int. All applications by Namibian nationals have to be submitted to the SADC national contact point (Ministry of Industrialization, Trade and SME Development) on or before the expiry date of advertised posts.
SOURTHEN AFRICAN CUSTOMS UNION (SACU)
The Southern African Customs Union (SACU) consists of Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, and Swaziland. The SACU Secretariat is located in Windhoek, Namibia. SACU was established in 1910, making it the world’s oldest Customs Union.
The SACU Secretariat is headquartered in Windhoek. Applications for employment by the SACU Secretariat are equally always advertised. Vacancies are the subject of open competition and advertised by means of vacancy notices posted on this website and advertised in the press.