UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa

The UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and with additional offices in Dakar, Senegal and Nairobi, Kenya, serves UNDP’s 45 Country Offices in sub-Saharan Africa, develops high quality knowledge and policy, is the organisation’s main interface with regional and continental bodies such as the African Union and the Regional Economic Communities, and implements UNDP’s Regional Programme for Africa. 

This continent-wide Regional Programme supports Africa’s transformation agenda by 1) enhancing inclusive and sustainable growth, 2) widening political participation and giving everyone a voice, and 3) developing responsive institutions which deliver desired services and promote inclusive processes of state-society dialogue. The work builds on UNDP’s expertise in development thinking and practice, and decades of experience working at country level and globally. For more on the Regional Programme click here.

Other areas of work led from the Centre, on a regional and continent-wide basis include: preparation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), improving countries’ public finance management, mitigating the impact of HIV and AIDS, building capacity for disaster risk management and climate change mitigation and adaptation, enabling access to sustainable energy and sustainable use of natural resources, promoting gender equality and empowerment, and enhancing food security in the Sahel. The Centre also provides support to countries on aid and development effectiveness, South-South Cooperation.

The Centre’s teams work in an integrated manner, focused on the following areas:

Inclusive growth and sustainable development


This area focuses on integrating UNDP’s economic, social and environmental work into a coherent, sustainable development policy and programming framework. It provides a continuum of adaptable development solutions covering all strands of sustainable development and contributing to the continent’s structural economic transformation agenda. Within the context of the upcoming Sustainable Development Goals and the broader post-2015 agenda, this Cluster addresses inter alia poverty, economic growth, employment and livelihoods, social inclusion and equality, recovery in post crisis countries, the management of ecosystems and biodiversity, marine resources, extractive industries and chemicals. Specific areas of work include:

  • Development Planning and domesticating the shift from MDGs to SDGs
  • Harnessing extractive Industries for Sustainable Human Development
  • Natural capital protection and maintenance for sustainable livelihoods.
  • Inclusive Employment and Livelihoods
  • Reducing vulnerabilities through social protection
  • Private Sector Development to expand and diversify the productive base of small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Local Economic Development with communities as points of entry

Governance and Peacebuilding


This area focuses on developing knowledge, providing policy advice and country office programme support in the following areas: conflict prevention and peacebuilding; inclusive political processes and elections; enhancing voice and participation, responsive institutions and anti-corruption; and rule of law, justice and security. For the team's profile, please click here. Specific areas of work include:

  • Support to regional institutions such as NEPAD, APRM, ACBF, AUC, PAP etc.
  • Integrated Governance Assessment Framework via strategy for the harmonization of statistics in Africa.
  • Political parties and elections
  • Fostering gender equality and women´s participation and contribution to economic and political transformation.
  • Anti-Corruption and Economic Governance: Illicit financial flows, National Integrity Systems/Processes, Development Planning and Budgeting.
  • Youth Inclusion and Participation
  • Urbanisation and migration 
  • Decentralization and local governance
  • Public Administration and core government functions
  • Radicalisation and violent extremism
  • Peacebuilding and Reconciliation
  • Support to the UN Peace and Security Framework for the Great Lakes.
  • Strengthening Human Security and Community Resilience in the Sahel.

Climate change and resilience


This area leads the development and coordination of policy in climate change adaptation and mitigation, climate risk management, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and disaster recovery. The Cluster specifically incorporates risk as a key element of strategies to pursue sustainable development, to anticipate conflict and crises and to strengthen resilience. Specific areas of work include:

  • Climate Change
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • The Global Environment Facility
  • Sustainable Energy for All
  • Strengthening the Capacity of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Building Resilience in the Horn of Africa Programme.

HIV, Health and Development


This team, of which the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) Partnership Team is a part, provides policy and programme support to UNDP Country Offices, UN Joint Teams on AIDS, the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, Regional Economic Communities, the African Development Bank, Regional Civil Society organisations and other regional institutions. Specific areas of work include:

  • Strengthening national and regional legal environments for HIV and health to ensure a human rights-based approach.
  • Mainstreaming HIV and gender to into environmental assessments to mitigate the impact of capital and extractive projects.
  • Strengthening gender and human rights in the context of HIV and health.
  • Promoting sustainable responses for health, including strengthening access to affordable medicines.
  • Supporting policy and programming capacity to strengthen access to services for key populations in regional strategy development and for GFATM projects.
  • Providing support to countries, through the Global Fund Partnership Team, in implementing and/or transitioning Global Fund projects on HIV, TB and malaria.



Under this cross-cutting area, the team prioritizes gender mainstreaming as the main strategy to achieve gender equality and women´s empowerment. It also supports governments through gender-specific targeted interventions. In addition it supports  intergovernmental and regional processes on meeting gender targets, while providing policy and programme support on women’s political and economic empowerment, and engagement in peace and security.  Specific areas of work include:

  • Political participation and leadership
  • Economic Empowerment
  • Engagement in peace and security
  • Implementing UNDP Gender Equality Seal to improve institutional efficiency to deliver results on gender equality is also a priority for the team.

Development Impact

Communications, partnerships and resource mobilisation


This cross-cutting area underpins all programmatic work, to strengthen programme effectiveness and development effectiveness. Working towards deepening UNDP’s and the international community’s understanding of what works and what does not work in effecting development change at country level in UNDP’s programme priority areas, and how this understanding can drive knowledge creation and dissemination, innovation and scaling up, and more productive partnerships. Specific areas of work include:

  • Supporting South South/Triangular Cooperation
  • Effective Development Cooperation
  • Knowledge and innovation: Analyzing experiences, lessons and evidence from UNDP programmes to inform knowledge and its dissemination, and to drive innovation.
  • Standards, Quality Assurance and Coherence
  • Monitoring, Compliance and Evaluation
  • Corporate Planning and Reporting



To relay the impact of UNDP’s programmes to partners, public and the media, the Regional Centre provides advisory support for effective communications, advocacy and partnership building. 


Country support


The Country Support Team is the principal point of contact for Country Offices with regional and HQ teams. The team advises the COs on a regular basis and ensures coordinated support to their day-to-day activities, including but not limited to programme and management-related matters from a corporate perspective, planning, monitoring and reporting, and troubleshooting.


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