SADC’s Global Partners

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By Rama Arya SADC’s International and Regional Cooperating Partners have always played an important role in the success of the organisation. The founding fathers of the Southern African Development Coordinating Conference (SADCC) held the view that the organisation’s objectives could be achieved faster if development were to take place within the context of global cooperation. One of the principal objectives of SADC over the years has, however, been to make sure that SADC itself established its development priorities and placed primary responsibility for decision-making on the Member States. In recent years, SADC as a region has undergone major changes. These include the restructuring of SADC institutions, a process that has seen the streamlining of institutional structures responsible for implementing and coordinating the SADC Common Agenda; the development of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ (SIPO). The RISDP and SIPO are structured and aligned to respond to the wider goals of supporting SADC Members States achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and poverty reduction strategies under implementation. In addition, they integrate the goals, objectives and implementation framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), fully subscribed to by SADC and the Member States. Prior to the RISDP, donor assistance was not always coordinated in the best possible way. However, in line with the RISDP development process, the SADC Secretariat sought to ensure the buy-in of the International Cooperating Partners (ICPs) to acquire their support in funding the implementation of the RISDP. ICPs have agreed with SADC on the organization’s blueprint for the next 15 years. All funding that SADC now requests is done within the context of the RISDP. The European Union (EU) is SADC’s biggest ICP and, by far, Southern Africa’s biggest trading partner as well. The EU and SADC share a comprehensive political, trade and development partnership. Since 1975 the EU has through the European Development Fund (EDF) supported regional development in Southern Africa with a total amount of ÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã…ÂÃÆ”šÃ‚¬587 million. The current relationship between the EU and SADC is based on the Cotonou Agreement concluded with 77 African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries in June 2000. EC-SADC cooperation is coordinated by the European Commission Delegation to the Republic of Botswana and SADC and focuses on two focal areas, namely, Regional Integration and Trade, and Transport and Communications. Development cooperation is financed through the 9th EDF Regional Indicative Programme 2002-2007 with an overall financial envelope of ÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã…ÂÃÆ”šÃ‚¬161 million. An Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is presently under negotiation with the SADC EPA group of countries. Programmes presently under preparation include Customs Modernisation, Fight against Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD), Capacity Building with regard to Maximum Residue Levels (MRL), Support to the Finance and Investment Protocol (FIP), Rehabilitation of Regional Roads (Lubango-Santa Clara and Milange-Mocuba), Capacity Building for Regional Integration (CBRI), and Environmental Monitoring for Sustainable Development (AMESD). Programming of the 10th EDF has started in March 2006 and will result in a new Regional Strategy Paper for the period 2008-2013. Sweden considers herself to be an old friend of the Southern African region. This friendship has over the years evolved around common political goals like the struggle against colonial and racist regimes, the region’s belief in regional cooperation, dedication to development, international cooperation, and today a broader partnership recognising the many advances that have been made in the region. The day-to-day political dialogue with the SADC Secretariat is directed through the Embassy of Sweden in Gaborone. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and its regional officers in Lusaka, Harare and Maputo manages the Swedish Official Development Assistance to SADC. Sweden-SADC cooperation, totaling approximately ÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã…ÂÃÆ”šÃ‚¬16 million, takes place in a number of different fields. On the third of February, 2006, Sweden and SADC signed a framework agreement for all future cooperation between Sweden and SADC. With the agreement, the cooperation between Sweden and SADC entered a new, more strategic and coordinated phase which intends to ensure a more effective delivery of assistance to SADC’s development plans in the future with future cooperation focused on the following main areas: Economic cooperation, integration and trade; human rights, democracy and good governance; gender equality; HIV and AIDS; joint natural resources; and prevention and resolutions of conflicts. Another primary ICP that has played a paramount role in SADC’s development is the Deutsche Gesellschaft fÃÆ’Æ‘Æ‘ÃÆ”šÃ‚¼r Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) owned by the Federal Republic of Germany. An enterprise for international cooperation with worldwide operations, the core task of German Technical Cooperation is to establish and strengthen capacities in its partner countries not only on a technical level, but also in political and institutional reform processes. GTZ’s support to SADC spans a decade with increasing focus during the past three years being on strengthening the organizational, managerial, and technical capacities of the SADC Secretariat. The strengthening of the economic competencies includes support to the implementation of the SADC Protocol on Trade, macro-economic convergence issues, improvement of negotiations skills, and issues related to WTO and other international agreements and conventions. Further areas of support consist of the Trans-boundary Water Resources Management Programme, and the Peace and Security, Democracy and Governance Programme. German development cooperation assistance is provided through various instruments. In 2004, commitments in technical cooperation equaled ÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã…ÂÃÆ”šÃ‚¬8.0 million whilst financial cooperation amounted to ÃÆ’Æ‘ÂÂÃÆ’ÂÃ’šÂ¬Ã…ÂÃÆ”šÃ‚¬4.8 million. The Department for International Development (DFID) is the UK government’s department responsible for Britain’s contribution towards international efforts to promote development and eliminate poverty. DFID supports SADC in three core areas, namely, growth, jobs and equity; resilient livelihoods; and peace and security with an annual budget of ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚£20 million per year over the next three financial years. As per its mandate the primary SADC programme funded by DFID is the Regional Trade Facilitation Programme (ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚£11 million) involving customs and border improvements, tax policy and coordination, Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) /Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) standards and support to EPA and other trade agreement preparation. DFID also funds SADC’s HIV and AIDS programme (ÃÆ’Æ‘ÀÃ…ÃÆ”šÃ‚£7.65 million) aimed to create an enabling environment where the transmission of STD/HIV/AIDS will be reduced. The area of Belgian involvement in SADC is mutually agreed upon between the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) in Pretoria and the SADC Secretariat. Major SADC programmes funded by BTC include the Regional Energy Planning Network (2000-2005; US$2.057 million), Study and Consultancy Fund Phase I & II (1999-2007; US$2.5 million), Information 21 (2002-2006; US$2.454 million), Institutional Support to the SADC FANR Directorate (2000-2005; US$1.009 million), and the Fund for Institutional Capacity Building (1999-2005; US$1 million). All programmes/projects are currently being implemented to their final conclusion. The Information 21 Project is one of SADC’s principal vehicles for the empowerment of the people of the region through information and knowledge sharing that enables them and their institutions to take informed decisions as they identify their niches in the regional development and integration agenda. Its mass-media based implementation strategy is executed by the SADC Secretariat, which serves as the Project Management Unit, and three civil society-implementing partners, namely, Inter Press Service (IPS) Africa Regional Office, Southern African Broadcasting Association (SABA), and Southern African Research and Documentation Centre (SARDC). Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the implementation organisation of Japan’s Official Development Assistance, especially in the field of technical cooperation. Its collaboration with SADC has focused mainly on conducting training courses and workshops. These include Training of Trainers Workshop on Hazardous Water Management (2003), Regional Needs Assessment Workshop for Regional Training Courses in Agriculture/Rural Development (2005), JICA/NEPAD/DBSA Regional Training Courses in Public Finance (2006-2008), JICA/NEPAD/DBSA University of Pretoria Regional Training Course in Health Systems (2006-2008), Development Harmonization Dialogue in Southern African Region (2006), and JICA/Department of Health, RSA Regional Training Course in Medical Equipment Maintenance (2006-2008). JICA has also conducted a feasibility study for the Zambezi River Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2000/2001. In addition to projects implemented through JICA, Japan has various other interactions with SADC. Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) organized SADC trade and investment promotions in Japan in 2001 and 2002. On the government level, the Government of Japan has contributed over US$950,000 to the SADC Secretariat, financing over 14 SADC projects since 1995. The Government of Japan also works with international organizations such as UN agencies and the World Bank to support SADC and SADC Member States. In 2005 the Government of Japan contributed US$975,000 for Capacity Building and Institutional Development Project and US$1 million for Southern Africa Multi-Country Agricultural Productivity Programme, both of which are SADC projects, through the Policy and Human Resources Development Fund (PHRD) of the World Bank. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Regional Centre for Southern Africa based in Gaborone, Botswana, implements regional development programmes in the areas of agriculture, trade, democratic governance, and natural resource management. USAID is the principal U.S. agency providing economic assistance to developing countries around the world. While USAID does not currently give assistance directly to the SADC Secretariat, the Regional Center’s strategic plan supports several objectives of the SADC RISDP. The Regional Center provides indirect support to these programmes through technical assistance contracts and an agreement with the SADC Parliamentary Forum. Between 1998 and 2001, USAID through the ‘U.S.-SADC Forum’ provided approximately US$5 million of technical assistance to the SADC Secretariat to support programmes principally in trade and investment, trans-border issues, regional environmental management, and disaster planning and mitigation. Besides the abovementioned ICPs, the World Bank and African Development Bank groups are further key additional partners in SADC’s programmes. The World Bank Group, focusing on poverty reduction and economic growth, is one of the world’s largest sources of development assistance, extending about US$20 billion in loans to developing countries per annum. The IDA 13 and 14 agreements have provided for a Pilot Programme for Regional Projects allowing for funding of regional projects of US$439 million per annum. The Bank provides analytical, advisory and technical assistance services to SADC, while also financing regional projects. Analytical and advisory work has included studies on trade for the Mid-term Review of the Trade Protocol, financial integration, cooperation in the Zambezi river basin, SADC’s water strategy and regional cooperation in higher education. Through various grant facilities amounting to US$4 million for a two to three year period the Bank has been providing technical assistance for statistical capacity building, capacity building of SADC institutions, harmonization of auditing and accounting standards, natural resource management – land, ground water, fisheries – and for SADC’s agricultural productivity programme. Currently, the Bank’s main project financing area is the Southern Africa Power Pool Development Project which is aimed at developing an efficient regional power market in order to supply stable electricity at lower prices in the SADC region. The project consists of three phases. Phase 1 (US$187 million, US$175 million of which is financed by IDA credits) is currently being implemented and comprises of creating a coordination centre, making energy available from Inga in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the rehabilitation/construction of transmission lines between the DRC and Zambia. Phase 2 at US$63 million will connect Malawi to the pool with direct benefits for Mozambique and Malawi. Phase 3 would focus on increased availability of power. The cooperation between SADC and the African Development Bank Group is based on the Regional Assistance Strategy Paper (RASP) for Southern Africa (2004-2008). The long-term goal of the RASP is to assist the SADC region to prepare for a competitive and socially beneficial incorporation into a globalizing world economy and the creation of a Customs Union by 2015. The assistance programme has three areas of strategic focus, namely, investment support for regional cooperation; facilitating trade and financial liberalization; and capacity building for both the Secretariat and country focal points. The work programme of the RASP contains both lending and non-lending activities covering multinational operations in agriculture and sustainable food security, and infrastructure development. The agriculture and sustainable food security assistance focuses on providing support to irrigation as a way of increasing agricultural productivity and enhancing regional food security. Eight SADC countries have signed up for this programme. In infrastructure, the work programme is being implemented within the context of the NEPAD Short Term Action Plan concentrating on water, energy and transport. Concrete multinational programmes and projects already approved for the SADC region or currently under preparation include the Integrated Water Resources Management Project, Agricultural Water Management and Food Security Programme, Trans-boundary Animal Disease Control and Surveillance Project, Capacity Building for Open and Distance Learning (ODL) Delivery, Support for HIV/AIDS and TB Programme, Institutional Support to the Macro-economic Surveillance Unit, and the Kazungula Bridge Study. Lessons learnt from the past and current practices of managing cooperation between SADC and the ICPs as well as the changes on both the regional and international levels, call for a new partnership that would establish a structure for dialogue on the political, policy and technical levels; and create an environment for more and better aid for greater development impact in the SADC region. In providing and using aid as effectively as possible, SADC and the ICPs need to also take into account international agreements such as the Rome, Marrakech and Paris commitments which could be categorized in four broad areas of ownership, alignment, harmonization and managing for results, respectively. The Windhoek Declaration to be adopted by SADC and ICPs at the Consultative Conference held in Windhoek, Namibia on 27 April 2006 aims to put in place a New SADC/ICP Partnership for the implementation of the SADC Common Agenda, as outlined in the RISDP and SIPO. The objective of the Declaration, in particular, is the attainment of the SADC Mission of promoting sustainable and equitable economic growth and socio-economic development through efficient productive systems; deeper cooperation and integration; good governance; strengthened capacity and participation of stakeholders; and durable peace and security so that the region emerges as a competitive and effective player in international relations and the world economy. The Declaration, a guide for SADC-ICP cooperation, will outline the overall objective, the commitments by SADC and ICPs and the structure for effective dialogue under the new partnership, namely, the Ministerial Consultative Conference and the Joint SADC-ICP Task Force, as well as the key areas of cooperation between SADC and ICPs.