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Procurement Unit: Doing Business with ECA 


The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) established the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in 1958 as one of United Nation's five Regional Commissions. ECA's mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development. 

ECA's dual role as a regional arm of the UN, and as a part of the regional institutional landscape in Africa, positions it well to make unique contributions to member States' efforts to address their development challenges. Its strength derives from its role as 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. 

The Division of Administration is expected to support the functioning of the seven programmatic Divisions of the ECA. In order for ECA to achieve its programmatic objects at the continental level, ECA General Services Section, located within the Division of Administration is required to support other Divisions through the provision of Protocol and Logistics support by providing shipping, transport, protocol and visa as well as mail registry services. In addition, the GSS is also responsible for the maintaining of inventory of property and maintaining the central stores in the organization. The GSS Travel Unit also supports ECA staff in provision of travel bookings at competitive prices for official and personal travel. The Procurement Unit provides support to programme managers by assisting in procuring goods and services required for the smooth functioning of the organization's program of work. 


The Procurement Unit (PU/GSS) is responsible for all procurement of goods, services and works for ECA. However, authority and responsibility of such procurement up to certain amounts can be delegated to the field/out posted offices, as and when required. The authorization to do so depends on budget of the field office, the volume of procurement and the number of staff. 

Nonetheless all stationary supplies, supplies for ECA printing office and office equipment for its needs including furniture, office automation, audio-visual, photographic, reproduction, interpretation and communications equipment and vehicles are purchased by PU based on the requisitioners' indication of the generic specifications of items required. The PU also purchases equipment and other supplies that may be required from time to time by ECA. The temporary services of individuals required by the organization may be obtained by their engagement as contractors under contracts entered directly with an institution or a company/corporation. The functions to be performed by the contractor are clearly specified in the contract, which also contains a time schedule for their performance. 

Contractual services with institutions, corporate bonds including feasibility studies, research, consultancy, expert services, as well as travel, shipping insurance and packing, maintenance service and other consulting services relevant to the work program are retained wherever such expertise is not available in-house. 

Competitive Bidding

Contracts for the purchase or rental of service, supplies, equipment and other requirements are awarded after a competitive bidding or calling of proposals. Orders valued at above US$2500 must be opened to request for quotations while orders valued at above US$ 30,000 must be opened to competitive bidding with at least three companies on the shortlist, but PU/GSS seeks to include as many as practical. Invitations for bids are usually sent by fax, and companies have an average of four weeks to prepare their bids. Depending on the dollar value of the requirements, the bids are submitted to PU/GSS either by fax or in sealed-bid envelopes depending on the amount involved. Consulting companies are requested to submit comprehensive proposals for services based on detailed terms of reference in a sealed-bid. However, contracts may be awarded without calling for proposals or bids when:

•    The proposed contract involves commitments of less than US$30,000 
•    The price or rates are fixed pursuant to national legislation or regulatory bodies or a standardization of supplies or equipment has been approved on advice of Local Committee on Contracts; or 
•    The proposed contracts relate to professional services other than staff services, or medicines, medical supplies, etc and proprietary articles or perishable supplies; 
•    The exigency of the service doesn't permit the delay attendant upon the issue of invitations to bid or calling for proposals; and 
•    The head of the organization determines that competitive bidding, or calling for proposals, will not give satisfactory results.
•    ECA Local Committee on Contracts reviews submissions under the following conditions:
•    All contracts or series of related contracts amounting to US $200,000 or more; 
•    When the contract will result in income to ECA of US$10,000 or more; and 
•    Proposals for modification or renewal of contracts previously reviewed by the LCC.

Registration Procedure

PU maintains a computerized roster of vendors from all over the world. To do business with PU/GSS/ECA vendors may access and complete a Vendor Registration Form for goods and services. The information provided by a prospective vendor enables PU/GSS to decide whether the vendor is qualified or not to be registered as a prospective supplier of ECA requirements. This criterion has been simplified to enable a larger number of vendors to be registered with us. (Please refer to the revised criteria for registration) If necessary, PU/GSS may investigate the past performance of a vendor by contacting customers who had dealings with the firm concerned and we advise prospective vendors to update their information annually. However, PU/GSS also makes use of the IAPSO vendor roster and the United Nations Global Marketplace from time to time.

To be a potential supplier to ECA please fill out our Vendor Registration Form and apply electronically to to apply for being considered for inclusion to database. Please also send a signed hardcopy of the form to the address listed below.

The UNCCS Codes required in the Vendor Registration Form can be accessed at: . Please note that your application will be considered incomplete without these codes. You are encouraged to give codes that are as specific as possible.

The criteria used by ECA for placing vendors on the database can be accessed by clicking here



The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa maintains a Vendor Database to facilitate inclusive and transparent procurement of goods and services. In an effort to expand the scope and number of vendors available, the ECA is currently updating its Vendor Database. All interested vendors are requested to register by accessing the revised application form at: 

Vendor Registration Form

After completion, you may send the form via e-mail to or by mail to: 

Vendor Database Officer 
Supply Chain Management Section
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
P.O. Box 3001, Addis Ababa 
Room 2nd floor North 12
Tel: +251 115 514898
Fax: +251 115 511874

As per ECA's revised requirements, vendors will need to update their information annually in order to remain on the Database. All vendors already registered with the ECA are requested to resubmit their information in the revised format. 

Please note that applications will be placed on the Database subject to vendors fulfilling the basic requirements as outlined on the ECA website. Vendors are requested to access the detailed eligibility criteria here .
Inclusion in the Vendor Database allows vendors to compete for procurements undertaken by ECA in their areas of expertise. 


Fictitious Procurement Emails "ECA in Ghana"

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is currently aware of fictitious procurement announcements to unsuspecting vendors. The purpose of such fraudulent activity is to deceive an individual and convince him/her to procure services through "ECA in Ghana." The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has no office in Ghana. Furthermore, the ECA does not engage in procurement procedures outside of the United Nations rules and regulations. Since logos, emblems, forms, names and addresses are publicly available and can be easily copied or reproduced, applicants are strongly advised to take particular care in responding to such announcements, including undertaking all appropriate measures to protect against advanced fee frauds. If you believe that you became a victim of such fraud, you may wish to report it to local law enforcement authorities for appropriate action.