Subregional Office


 for Eastern Africa (SFE)



Organizational Structure

The Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa is responsible for developing, promoting, overseeing and implementing agreed strategies for addressing sub-regional food, agriculture and rural development priorities. It develops and maintains relations with sub-region wide institutions including the Regional Economic Integration Organizations (REIO) - e.g. EAC, COMESA and IGAD). It assists the FAO Representations (FAORs) in Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda by addressing sub-regional food security, agriculture and rural development issues at country level. SFE is a subsidiary of the Regional Office for Africa (RAF).

The functions of SFE are:

The role of SFE includes inter-alia: (i) developing and implementing FAO's field programme in support of sub-regional organizations; (ii) providing, upon request of FAO Representatives (FAOReps), technical, operational and administrative support to country offices and their projects; (iii) and supporting sub-regional UN inter agency coordination as per applicable policies and procedures.

The organizational structure consists of:

- Office of the Sub-regional Coordinator (SRC);

- Multidisciplinary Team (MDT); and

- Administrative Support Unit.


In accordance with the Agreement concluded between the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Organization for the establishment of a Sub-regional Office for Eastern Africa in Addis Ababa, the Director General appointed Mr. Mafa Chipeta Sub-regional Coordinator for Eastern Africa, effective 20 February 2007. Mr. Chipeta also serves as FAO Representative in Ethiopia, to the African Union (AU) and to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

Mr. Chipeta, a national of Malawi, holds holds a B.Sc. (Honours) in Forest Products and an M.Sc. in Forest Industries from the University College of North Wales, UK. He started his career in 1973 serving with the Malawi Government as Forestry Officer in the Forestry Department. From 1977 to 1979, he worked as Assistant Manager for the Forest Industries Division and, from 1979 to 1981, as Manager of the Blantyre Sawmill. In 1981, he became Senior Forestry Officer of the Government/World Bank Wood Energy Project in the Southern Region and, a year later, joined the Imperial Group Ltd. in Malawi as Manager.

The SRC is the senior representative of the Director-General in the sub-region who represents FAO vis-à-vis REIOs (ECA) and other sub-regional institutions (IGAD & COMESA) and media. He is also the FAO Representative for the host country, Ethiopia and African Union. He provides general guidance to FAO Representatives, in their capacity of MDT members, and supervises the Senior Technical Officers (STOs).


The SRC is responsible for developing, promoting strategies for addressing sub-regional food, agriculture and rural development priorities and for implementation of sub-regional programmes/projects. The SRC (i) is the senior representative of the Director-General in the sub-region who represents FAO vis-à-vis sub-regional wide institutions and media and guides all MDT officers in FAO on sub-regional priorities; (ii) supervises the Administrative Unit and STOs; (iii) provides functional guidance on sub-regional priorities and administrative/managerial issues to FAOReps; and (iv) provides leadership to the Sub-regional MDT composed of STOs and FAOReps.


Operates in close coordination with respective technical departments of the Headquarters as with relevant units of the

Agricultural Information Management

Agribusiness & Enterprise Development

Crop Production and Protection



Investment in Agriculture

Policy Assistance

Soil Resources (including Sustainable Land Management and Natural Resources Management)

Library and Information Services.

Multidisciplinary activities

The Team consists of sub-regional technical officers dealing with the Field Programme and the sub-regional aspects of Regular Programme entities. STOs are, together with the FAOReps in the sub-region, members of the MDT, which is headed by the SRC.


The STOs are responsible for technically supporting the SFE's response to agreed sub-regional and country assistance priorities supporting the functions of the SRO and implementing the work plans approved by the SRC. In this context, they:

1) provide technical support to FAORs, sub-regional organizations and their projects and guide MDT members on adherence to corporate technical and policy quality standards;

2) implement, at the sub-regional level, Regular Programme entities in their areas of competence;

3) provide technical and policy support to Field Programme development and implementation at sub-regional and, as requested by FAOReps, at country level; and

4) support, in their areas of competence, the SRC in the performance of his responsibilities.

5) Regional Office for Africa (RAF).

 1) representing the Organization, advocating its policy positions and communicating its messages;

2) supporting food security, agriculture and rural development in the sub-region;

3) strategy development, programming and aid coordination;

4) supporting exchange of knowledge and information;

5) field programme implementation/project operations; and

6) assuring security of SFE and its staff.