Every year, multilateral organisations such as the United Nations and the African Union implement projects worth hundreds of billions of South African Rands. Internationally procured and financed, these projects offer both business opportunities for South African companies and a chance to contribute to a better world.

International procurement is a growing business area, and South Africa is one of the leading contributing African countries in this area. Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) is responsible for the coordinated effort to support South African companies and organisations with an interest in procurement, financed by multilateral development organisations. Working closely with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation and embassies around the world, we focus especially on emerging markets in Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

The export strategy of the South African Government has a strong focus on business opportunities from international procurement opportunities. To make the most of these opportunities, LEAD has created and implemented a dedicated action plan.


Natural disasters and violent conflicts cause suffering all over the world. The current global investment in humanitarian support is worth several billions of South African Rands. Making these solutions more efficient and sustainable can really make a difference in the lives of many people worldwide.

The UN, other organisations and governments support initiatives all around the world to promote and build a better world. The UN both responds to acute humanitarian needs and proactively promotes peace and security, human rights, and economic and social development for a better standard of living, democracy and equality as well as international relations. The UN's assignment is of great importance to sustainable global development.

In addition to several UN organisations, multilateral organisations such as the international development banks, the World Bank and other bilateral donors also support and execute projects. These are mostly aimed to mitigate the effects of climate change and natural disasters. The projects mainly support international organisations, country authorities and provinces that receive funding for initiatives in the field of climate adaptation and disaster management.


The AU is an important organisation that offers funding to development projects and procurement. It offers support in stimulating employment, combating poverty and social exclusion, supporting climate change and sustainable energy supply, and promoting research and education.

The AU provides support to many sectors, from infrastructure, transport, energy and telecommunications to healthcare and security. The funds are distributed through different financing tools. This includes the AU's external aid programs for developing countries and funds that focus on the African market. Such projects can fund new roads across Africa or support environmentally smart solutions in African countries.

There are plenty of opportunities for South African companies to participate in AU-funded procurement projects, either as an individual company or as part of a consortium. South African authorities, non-profit organisations and private companies can also apply for AU-funded investments in South Africa. This means that AU-funded procurement projects are also available for South African companies that haven’t gone abroad yet.


Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) has created well-established relationships with different UN /AU bodies and multilateral organisations. We help South African companies by monitoring relevant and upcoming procurements, by analysing business opportunities and decision-making processes and by identifying suitable partners to form consortiums. We also organise tailored activities and delegations to relevant organisations and conferences.

Contact Us to discuss your opportunities in AU-funded projects.

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