ICLEI – Africa Latest Employment Opportunity

Posted on :

4 Sep, 2020

Category :

Internships in South Africa

ICLEI is a global network of over 2 000 cities and other subnational governments committed to building a sustainable future. ICLEI provides technical services, capacity building, networking opportunities and cutting-edge urban solutions to its network cities and their communities. ICLEI’s African Head Office, which serves ICLEI’s network cities from across Africa, is based in Cape Town (www.africa.iclei.org).

Over the past two decades ICLEI Africa has provided critical support to African cities and subnational governments as they embark on their sustainability journeys.



Title: Internship
Location: South Africa

ICLEI Africa conducts sustainability work across Africa, and has done so over the past 20 years. Our programmes and projects are needs-based, they serve cities and towns across the continent, and contribute in tangible ways to local, national and international urban sustainability agendas. Our goals are significant: we promote the necessity for city engagement in the development of national and international sustainability agendas, and communicate in tangible ways how cities are contributing to the achievement of all major sustainability-related international agreements, such as the Paris Agreement, the New Urban Agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. We implement programmes and projects in cities across Africa, from inception and project conceptualisation to implementation of on-the-ground interventions. One of ICLEI Africa’s major strengths is that complementing the significant technical expertise that our teams possess, who get deep technical work done in cities across the continent, we engage in sustainability journeys with our cities, over the long-term. ICLEI Africa prides itself in maintaining long-term and trust-based relationships with stakeholders in our cities and towns through serving our member and network cities via capacity building, technical support for policy development and action, and advocacy for the importance of local action and finance.

ICLEI Cities Biodiversity Center

ICLEI Africa also proudly hosts ICLEI’s global Cities Biodiversity Center (CBC), a center of excellence in the field of urban biodiversity and nature-based solutions for urban development. Through the CBC we work with all of our other ICLEI offices, many international partner organisations and networks, and with cities and other subnational governments from across the world (www.cbc.iclei.org).

The ICLEI Africa and ICLEI CBC team

Our work is conducted by a dynamic and passionate team of well qualified and highly skilled professionals that work with cities to ensure a more sustainable future. As an office that deeply cares for the cities it works with, the team adheres to a strong set of values. There is a culture and ethos of openness and sharing, where staff are always willing to support each other where they can. There is diversity of skills and experiences in our team of well over 40 staff that spans from those that have worked in research, carrying Masters and Doctorate degrees, to those that are experienced practitioners in the fields of urban planning, economics, sustainability, environmental science and engineering, as well as communications. Given the number of languages spoken across the African continent and globally, ICLEI Africa has many bilingual and multilingual staff, and also supports staff development in adding more languages to their repertoire.

ICLEI Africa has the pleasure to invite suitably qualified individuals to apply for the position below, to join our African and Cities Biodiversity Center teams of dynamic urban sustainability professionals. 

ICLEI Internship
(12-month fixed term contract position with the potential of renewal)

In line with our commitment to support youth development, ICLEI Africa invites recent graduates to apply for an internship position at ICLEI, joining our African and global Cities Biodiversity Center teams of dynamic urban sustainability professionals.

Successful candidates must have a keen interest in pursuing work in urban development; economics; systems thinking; socio-technical systems; communications, promotions and marketing, to work at the city and city-region level. Interns are also selected based on their ability and keen interest to effectively and creatively communicate technical subjects to diverse audiences. ICLEI Africa is seeking candidates a wide range of subjects related to urban sustainability, including:

  • Social Justice and Equity
  • Finance for Sustainability
  • Climate Change
  • Energy
  • Nature-based Solutions
  • Urban Biodiversity
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Coastal Systems
  • Circular Economy
  • Systems thinking and systems approaches
  • Food, Water and Energy Systems
  • Mobility
  • Co-production Methodologies
  • Research, Innovation and Experimentation
  • Development Planning
  • Urban Policy and Governance
  • Urban Visioning, Futuring and Storytelling
  • Communications, Marketing and Promotion
  • Online Communication Systems

Strong candidates should be delivery and results-orientated; as well as have a strong city/local government and multi-level governance orientation and focus.


  • Relevant Diploma, Graduate or Master’s degree related to sustainability, climate, urban nature, infrastructure, urban planning, development, communications, marketing or associated field;
  • Experience with desktop research, data collection and analysis approaches and methodologies, and the ability to conceptualise and implement projects;
  • Strong analytical abilities; able to apply research and practice methodologies to analyse date for relevance to cities in Africa and beyond;
  • Ability to lead and support planning and implementation of projects and events with proven experience of working in, multi-disciplinary project teams, and in certain instances, undertaking applied research;
  • A keen desire to learn, experiment, and push knowledge boundaries;
  • Aptitude for working with numbers, and proficiency in Microsoft Excel;
  • Ability to write succinctly and with clarity, articulating complex work simply;
  • Ability to produce technical reports, popular articles, promotional and social media material, and to promote, enhance and expand the projects and partnerships he/she is involved in a record of well-respected grey literature and/or peer reviewed publications will be an added advantage;
  • Ability to communicate sustainability concepts utilising various communication tools, such as articles, videos and social media; and
  • Innovative individual with a ‘çan do’ attitude who can think on his/her feet and harness well-established networks to further build ICLEI’s good reputation and networks across sub-Saharan Africa and internationally.

Further Requirements:

  • Sensitivity to, and understanding of, Global South/ developing contexts, as well as knowledge of African and global geo-political contexts;
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in multiple and multi-disciplinary teams in a highly dynamic and creative environment, often engaging directly with high level political leadership, academic and technical experts, the United Nations and other international organisations and the private sector on behalf of ICLEI;
  • Able to liaise with high-level technical and political staff within government tiers, respecting cultural norms and practices;
  • Ability to be flexible about work responsibilities and thrive under pressure;
  • Problem-solving and analytical skills, well-organised, attention to detail and quality, and a structured and pro-active working style;
  • Excellent written, presentation and verbal communication skills;
  • Valid code B driving license, with at least one year’s driving experience;
  • South African resident/valid work or critical skills permit;
  • Able to engage successful using remote platforms and tools;
  • Must have a passion for, and willingness to, travel extensively, locally and internationally (within obvious limitations such as through the current Covid-19 pandemic); and
  • Proficiency in another global language, especially Arabic, French, Swahili or Portuguese will be a strong added advantage.

Please forward a comprehensive CV and covering (motivating) letter, including a certified copy of your ID, available starting date and three references to Sonya Smith ([email protected]).

Email Subject: indicated clearly which post (Manager: CitiesWithNature & RegionsWitNature or PO: Urban Systems or Technical Support Officer: Energy, Climate Change and Resilience or Internship position, indicating preferred field of work).

No late applications will be considered.
A market-related and competitive annual remuneration package (TCOE based) will be offered to successful candidates, taking into consideration qualifications and experience.

Good team fit within the ICLEI team will be a consideration for all posts.
Applicants who have not been contacted within 60 working days after the closing date of this advertisement should regard their applications as unsuccessful.
ICLEI Africa reserves the right not to appoint an individual in relation to this job advert.

Application Deadline: 23h59 SAST on Wednesday 16 September 2020.

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