In August 2001, Flanders and South Africa signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Development Cooperation. A deliberate choice was made to focus Flemish support on three provinces: KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Free State. Flemish development cooperation with South Africa was initially aimed at poverty reduction, the promotion of democratisation at provincial and municipal levels, and the continuation of long-term and extended relations between Flanders and South Africa. In 2005, a first five-year Country Strategy Paper (CSP I, 2005-2008) was drafted jointly and approved by both governments. It focused on agriculture and food security, job creation through small enterprise development, and HIV/AIDS prevention.
In 2011, a new Country Strategy Paper 2012-2016 (CSP II) was approved by both governments. Flanders and South Africa have agreed to focus on two priority areas in the sector of investment and employment in South Africa: (1) job creation through small business development, and (2) smallholder agriculture and food security. In addition, CSP II pursues a number of crosscutting themes: gender, children’s rights, HIV/AIDS, sustainable development, good governance, and climate change. The implementation of the programmes remains operationally focused on the Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal. However, the strategic entry point will be at national level. Twenty-five million Euros have been allocated to the entire programme portfolio.
Across the current project portfolio, the main focus lies on the development of the social economy and social enterprises. Attention is given to entrepreneurship education and skills development, business incubators and mentorship, social and green enterprises and cooperatives, as well as to the promotion of an enabling environment for SME’s to start-up and develop. Many projects within the CSP II have been based on the success of earlier projects, and the current project portfolio mostly represents a continuation of initiatives launched under CSP I. The Government of Flanders has worked closely with state and non-state actors and has relied on the networks of its managing agents and implementing partners.
The current CSP with South Africa can be found here: CSP South Africa.pdf