ECA, through its programmes and initiatives, seeks to enhance the capacity of its member States and their regional and sub-regional organizations, in formulating and implementing harmonized macroeconomic and sectoral policies, programmes and initiatives to address key integration priorities in the sub-regions, including infrastructure and services; trade, investment and finance; mining and energy; food security and sustainable development; gender and development; and the achievement of the MDGs and other internationally agreed goals
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) was established in 1958 and serves 54 Member States which are organised in five sub-regions: North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.
In order to better serve its African Member States, the Economic Commission for Africa has opened, in 1963, representation in each one of the five sub-regions. Since then, to better reflect the changes introduced in the programme functions, these representations were successively renamed: Multinational Programming and Operational Centres (MULPOCs) in 1979; Sub-regional Development Centres in 1997; and ECA Offices in 2002.
By virtue of being closer to member States, ECA sub-regional offices are better equipped to prepare the country and sub-regional profiles that include risk analysis for the member States of the Economic Commission for Africa with a focus on strengthening the relationship with National Statistical Offices in the countries of the sub-region to produce and use quality statistical information.
The Offices develop and maintain sub-regional repositories of statistical information that feed into the common databank and support analytical and research needs of the Commission.
The offices contribute to and promote the results of the Economic Commission for Africa's policy-oriented research with the view to strengthening the capacity of its member States to formulate evidence-based plans and policies in support of economic and social transformation in the sub-region.
The sub-regional offices provide policy advisory services to member States, regional economic communities and sub-regional development actors in support of regional integration and sub-regional initiatives.
Finally, the offices serve as facilitators of the integration activities of the organizations of the United Nations system operating within the respective sub-regions.