IPI Vacancy: Africa Programme Officer

Location: IPI Secretariat (Vienna)

Deadline for applications: 15 February 2022, 23:59 (Central European Time)

About IPI:

The International Press Institute (IPI) is a global network of editors, journalists, and media executives dedicated to defending press freedom and independent journalism. Founded in 1950, IPI is one of the world’s leading global press freedom organizations and is based in Vienna, Austria.

Position description:

The International Press Institute (IPI) is seeking a dedicated and driven Africa Programme Officer to lead IPI’s work in monitoring attacks on press freedom in Africa and coordinate our advocacy for journalists’ rights across the continent, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa.

The Africa Programme Officer will play a central role in expanding IPI’s monitoring and advocacy in Africa, helping to grow IPI’s network and contacts to journalists and local civil society organizations. The Programme Officer will work to ensure that IPI’s work has a strong practical impact and reaches the necessary audiences.

This is an exciting opportunity to join IPI’s fast-growing team as we redouble our efforts to defend independent journalism globally.

Duties and responsibilities include:

– Carrying out robust research and data collection on press freedom violations in Africa, working directly with journalists, local CSOs, IPI members in Africa, existing data platforms, and other sources on the ground
– Producing regular coverage of press freedom violations in Africa through statements, analyses, newsletters, fact sheets, annual reports, and policy briefs that support national, regional, and global advocacy
– Growing IPI’s network of partners, contacts, and sources across Africa
– Conducting research into existing commitments and legal mechanisms to protect safety of journalists in Africa and monitoring states‘ compliance with those commitments
– Working with regional and international partners to develop advocacy strategies to tackle pressing violations
– Carrying out campaigns to raise awareness about attacks on the press and build regional and international solidarity for media for journalists under threat
– Coordinating panel sessions and side events at key international forums related to press freedom in Africa
– Developing IPI’s Africa-related activities with respect to key dates, including World Press Freedom Day (3 May) and International Day to End Impunity (2 November), as well as advocacy tied into the annual IPI World Congress
– Coordinating IPI press freedom missions to African countries with a high degree of press freedom challenges
– Contributing to the coordination of other aspects of IPI’s engagement in Africa, including training on covering disinformation and countering online harassment
– Liaise with IPI’s membership team on communication with current and potential IPI members in Africa
– Representing IPI at international events, on panels and giving interviews to the media on issues related to press and media freedom in Africa

In carrying out these tasks, the Africa Programme Officer will work closely together with IPI’s advocacy, communications, and press freedom staff, as well as with IPI’s membership team and Africa-based IPI members and National Committees.


The Africa Programme Officer:

– Has proven familiarity with press freedom issues and a strong understanding of freedom of expression as a fundamental human right
– Has good knowledge of the journalistic profession and the challenges journalists face in doing their jobs, especially in Africa
– Is familiar with principles of international human rights law related to freedom of expression
– Has strong research skills, is able to find and follow up with sources on the ground, and carry out robust fact-checking
– Is a strong writer with the ability to present complex information in a compact, understandable fashion
– Has excellent oral and written communication skills in English; knowledge of other languages, especially French or Portuguese, is a significant advantage for this position
– Is familiar with social media platforms and has experience using online channels to develop effective advocacy campaigns
– Has strong collaborative working skills, and is able to build partnerships and relationships with relevant players, including local press freedom and human rights organizations
– Is able to think strategically about how to use IPI’s voice to combat attacks on the press
– Feels comfortable representing the IPI global network and pursuing advocacy aims with confidence and professionalism in various forums
– Has experience with project management, including managing budgets, and is comfortable setting and meeting deadlines
– Demonstrates a strong work ethic, is able to generate ideas independently, and proactively pursues goals

Experience working in Africa is not necessarily required for this position, but would be a clear advantage.

Please note that this position is expected to involve regular travel, pandemic permitting.

The Africa Programme Officer should have at least three years of relevant professional experience. Journalistic experience and/or experience working for a related human rights organization is highly valued.

Location and term

The preferred location for this position is Vienna, Austria, at IPI’s headquarters. Flexible arrangements may be considered. All nationalities are eligible to apply. A successful candidate who is not a citizen of the European Union/European Economic Area will be eligible for a work permit in Austria.

The successful candidate will be asked to start as soon as possible. This position is initially envisioned as a three-year position.


Salary will be determined based on experience and qualifications. Net (take-home) salaries are paid 14 times per year in accordance with Austrian employment law. IPI employees are able to benefit from Austria’s national health and other social insurance programmes. The salaries of IPI employees are not subject to income tax in Austria.

Holiday allowance is 25 days per year, in addition to Austrian national holidays.

Application procedure

If you meet the qualifications above, and wish to join IPI’s passionate team, please send a cover letter and CV to the email address [email protected] with the subject line “Africa Programme Officer”. Please include the names and contact information of at least two references. Applications must be received by no later than 15 February 2022, 23:59 (Central European Time)

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview, which can be conducted at IPI’s offices in Vienna, or virtually. Kindly note that IPI is unable to reimburse travel costs for those wishing to have an in-person interview in Vienna.