WASCAL (West African Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use) is research and education-focused institution designed to provide knowledge and climate services that should help tackle the climate change challenge and enhance the resilience of human and environmental systems. It does so by strengthening the research capacity and infrastructure in West Africa related to climate change by pooling the expertise of ten West African countries and Germany. The West African countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Togo.

WASCAL seeks to recruit a Scientific Software Development at its Competence Centre in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The ideal candidate will be required to service WASCAL by explicitly providing support to the project, PPeDMaS (Precision Pest and Disease Management System based on Multidimensional Big Data), under the guidance of the project coordination team.

The PPeDMaS project aims to use big multidimensional data on climatic and environmental variables and biophysical parameters of crops to develop a robust set of management tools for common pests and diseases that affect maize, tomato, and onion production in Burkina Faso. Thus, it will provide innovative digital services for pest management, leading to improved food security in the country. The project is funded by European Union (EU) through the ACP Innovation Fund of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) (Grant Ref: FED/2020/420-491).

The chosen candidate will work with a multidisciplinary team that includes a remote sensing scientist, data management scientist, agronomist, climate scientist, pathologist, and entomologist to develop web and mobile software applications for pest and disease monitoring in crops.

Key responsibilities include, among other things:

Essential Duties:

  • Design, experiment and implement various AI (machine learning and deep learning) algorithms to create proof of concepts (PoCs) and deployed apps for AI-based products.
  • Define, design and develop product-focused AI solutions leveraging Deep Learning, Computer Vision and Machine Learning methods and paradigms.
  • Work closely with scientists and product managers and domain experts from various domains to build and incorporate AI-based capabilities into solution and offerings that are deployed as part of climate services.
  • Drive incorporation of developed AI models and pipelines into production AI systems in both on-prem and cloud-based delivery models, by creating robust, scalable and well-engineered AI components.
  • Serve as an AI scientist and Subject Matter Professional (SMP), in the face of internal and external stakeholders, and present technical content in technical and professional conferences and internally within the project.
  • Lead and contribute to scientific publications related to the project in peer-reviewed journals.

General Duties:

  • Support WASCAL fundraising initiatives.
  • Undertake any other duty that may be assigned.


Education and Experience

  • PhD or Master’s Degree in computer science or a related field is required.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Strong programming experience in one or more of Python, Java, C/C++, C#.
  • Prior experience in information extraction from multispectral images and text analytics using deep learning and/or machine learning techniques is a plus.
  • Experience in machine learning and deep learning libraries such as Tensorflow, MXNet, PyTorch, Scikit-Learn, and other open-source libraries.
  • Recognized expertise in an artificial intelligence and machine learning applications as evidenced by relevant education and publications achievements, and/or awards is preferred.
  • Familiarity in the lifecycle of enterprise-class software development, and agile software development methodologies.
  • Work experience in West-African countries is an advantage
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
  • Familiarity with French is an advantage
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organisational, time management, and prioritisation skills.

This position is a 12-month fixed-term agreement position, with a possibility of extension contingent on the project’s progress. The remuneration package for this position will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

To apply, please submit a letter of application and a CV with contact details of three referees to candidature@wascal.org  by the due date of 1st April 2022. Applicants must come from ECOWAS member countries. Only applications from candidates who meet the minimum qualifications will be considered.

Correspondence will only be entered with candidates who have been shortlisted.

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