United Nations Office for Project Services to move to Nairobi
The United Nations (UN is relocating its Africa projects management entity to Nairobi, indicating its desire to concentrate on achieving sustainable development goals (SDGs in African countries.
The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS will move to Nairobi, which is also the headquarters of the UN in the southern hemisphere.
A self-financing entity, UNOPS has had its Africa Regional Office housed under the same roof of its global headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark, but often implements projects in crisis-hit countries across the continent especially those at war or recovering from conflict.
It acts as a project implementer for other UN agencies or programmes and charges them a fee for providing infrastructure, procuring supplies and managing UN projects especially those aligned to SDGs.
A statement from the entity said having the regional office in Nairobi will strengthen the organisation’s capacity to support its partners on the continent.
UNOPS Executive Director Jorge Moreira da Silva, who is on a visit to Nairobi, said the regional office is moving closer to where it is needed.
“This move will reinforce our capacity to support our partners in Africa to ensure our work effectively reduces inequalities, builds sustainability and supports African countries in climate adaptation and mitigation efforts,” he said according to a statement from his office.
UNOPS was established in 1973 as part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP but it separated in 1995 to focus on independent operations where it provides services to the UN system at a fee.
In Africa, it has been since the days of Kofi Annan as UN Secretary-General been the lead projects entity in conflict areas. Globally, it handles a portfolio of $3 billion worth of development projects annually usually involved in construction of social facilities like schools and clinics, erecting temporary shelters for displaced people and procuring emergency response equipment for outbreaks such as Ebola and Covid-19.
“This move makes us more agile in our ability to respond to peace and security, humanitarian and development needs across the continent. From our new base in Nairobi, we look forward to supporting our partners to deliver on the SDGs in the African region,” said UNOPS Africa Regional Director Ms Dalila Gonçalves, who is also among UN officials touring Nairobi this week.
The UNOPS said its Africa Regional Office relocation to Nairobi will be completed before end of the year.