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The two main centres of UN activity in Africa are Nairobi, Kenya and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  There are also, in Africa, many regional and country offices of UN system entities, UN political offices, and nine UN peacekeeping missions.

UN Photo/Tobin Jones
A school girl during a class break in 2013 at the school run by the Hawa Abdi Centre in the Afgooye Corridor, Somalia, which has for decades helped tens of thousands of Somalis displaced by civil war.

Nairobi, Kenya

The United Nations Office at Nairobi is the UN's Headquarters in Africa.  The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) also have their main offices in Nairobi.

The mission of the UN Environment Programme is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment.  It is a lead UN actor in the fight to adapt to and mitigate climate change.

UN-HABITAT's mission is to work towards a better urban future.  It promotes sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all.

Other UN agencies and entities with offices in Nairobi

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa is made up of 54 Member States from the area.  It is the only UN agency mandated to operate at the regional and sub-regional levels to harness resources and bring them to bear on Africa’s priorities. In addition to its headquarters office in Addis Ababa, the ECA has sub-regional offices for Central Africa (in Yaounde, Cameroon), Eastern Africa (Kigali, Rwanda), North Africa (Rabat, Morocco), Southern Africa (Lusaka, Zambia) and West Africa (Niamey, Niger).  

UN Peacekeeping Operations in Africa

United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO)
United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL)
United Nations Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI)
United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)
United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA)
United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the DR Congo (MONUSCO)
African Union-United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)
United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA)
United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has Special and Personal Representatives and Envoys to Africa. The Office of the Special Adviser on Africa supports UN system efforts for the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

Department of Political Affairs

The UN’s Department of Political Affairs works in many countries, regions, and areas of concern in Africa.

UN Office for West Africa

The UN Office for West Africa, in Dakar, Senegal was the first regional conflict prevention and peacebuilding office of the United Nations. Its overall mandate is to enhance contributions of the UN towards the achievement of peace and security in West Africa and promote an integrated regional approach in addressing issues that impact stability in West Africa. The office also hosts the Cameroun-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC) and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel (OSES).

Department of Public Information

There are 17 UN Information Centres in sub-Saharan Africa, which organize events, hold press conferences, launch reports and visit schools and communities to explain the work of the Organization to local populations.

UN System Offices in Africa

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP has country offices in Africa.  Its Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) has a Regional Service Centre based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)

UNCDF has country programmes in Africa.

United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

UNICEF has regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya and Dakar, Senegal.  It also has country offices in West and Central Africa,
offices in the Middle East and North Africa region and offices in  Eastern and Southern Africa.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

UNFPA has a regional office in Johannesburg, South Africa, and a liaison office in Addis Ababa,  It has country offices in East and Southern Africa, and country offices in West and Central Africa.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) works in four regions in Africa:  Central Africa and the Great Lakes, East and Horn of Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa.

World Health Organization (WHO)

WHO has country offices in Africa.

Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)

UNAIDS works in  East and Southern Africa and West and Central Africa.  It has a representative to the African Union and Economic Commission for Africa.

International Labour Organization (ILO)

The ILO gives support to the Africa Region through its Decent Work Country Teams and Country Offices.

UN Women

UN Women has regional and country offices in Africa.

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

UNIDO has regional offices in Africa.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

UNESCO has offices in Africa.

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

OHCHR has offices in Africa, including four regional office/centres.

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

OCHA, part of the UN Secretariat, has regional and country offices in Africa.

UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

UNODC has regional offices for Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and West and Central Africa and Middle East and North Africa.

The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

The UNOPS Africa Regional Office is located in Copenhagen, Denmark along with its headquarters.  There are country offices in Côte d'Ivoire​Democratic Republic of Congo, ​Ethiopia​, ​​Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, ​​​Senegal, South SudanSudan and Tunisia.  

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

FAO has a regional office for Africa in Accra, Ghana, and subregional offices and country offices in Africa. 

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

IFAD has offices in Africa.

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The IAEA works in Africa through its Division for Africa.

World Bank

The World Bank has country offices in Africa.

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The IMF has Resident Representative offices in Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)

ICAO has offices for Eastern and Southern Africa and Western and Central Africa.

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

The IMO has regional presence offices located in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), Accra (Ghana) and Nairobi (Kenya).

International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

The ITU Regional Office for Africa provides assistance to the Member States of the Region

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The WIPO Regional Bureau for Africa is responsible for the coordination and development of technical assistance to Africa.

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

UN-Habitat, the United Nations programme for human settlements is working with African governments to take early action to position themselves for predominantly urban populations.

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