Multi-Lateral Summaries > United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Established in 1958 by the Economic and Social Council of the UN, ECA’s mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its MSs, and promote international cooperation for Africa’s development. The Trade, Finance and Economic Development Division (TFED) is in charge of all the trade-related capacity building activities and programmes. In addition, ECA has set up the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) which is organizing continental and regional workshops on various aspects of ongoing trade negotiations in the WTO and other multilateral forums, and conducts research on trade-related issues of interest to African countries. It also helps to convene sub-regional and regional meetings to build consensus on major trade issues. ECA is also helping African countries to strengthen or establish trade negotiation units and build their capacity to undertake technical work on trade negotiations. At the same time, ECA continues to undertake short-term technical advisory services and missions to member states and RECs.

TCB Related Programme

Trade capacity building services are provided to African countries and their high level officials, in particular, trade negotiators and trade policy-makers, private sector and civil society organizations. Technical assistance is provided to: Mauritius, Senegal, Gabon, Egypt, Cameroon, Mali, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Swaziland, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Seychelles. Training workshops are provided to 10 countries on trade-related analysis tools and methods: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Mali, Senegal, Seychelles, Sudan and Swaziland.

Trade capacity building activities helped African countries to adopt better-informed positions on trade-related issues and their WTO positions. TCB training activities also contributed to enhancing the analytical capacity of more than 200 national trade officials and experts, so enabling African countries and their RECs to assess the implications of trade agreements on their economies.


Major TCB–related partnerships and joint programmes with: the African Union Commission, UNDP, the WTO, UNCTAD and ITC. African RECs are always involved in our TCB activities. UNECA is hosting the African Trade Policy Centre.

For more information:

TCB activities in this guide


  • Promotion of Regional Integration in Africa
  • African trade policy centre


  • Africa Trade Forum (ATF)
  • The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)